ACTU boss opposes tax cut for workers

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 10-Jul-20

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has urged the federal government to extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme for an additional six months. It is slated to end in late September, but McManus says the union movement will not support an extension of temporary changes to workplace laws unless the scheme is extended for all eligible workers. McManus also opposes bringing forward personal income tax cuts, arguing that it will lead to less money being spent on essential services. She adds that company tax cuts should not be considered until tax loopholes and rorts have been addressed.

CORPORATES
ACTU

Porter cuts fast-track rule on new work deals

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 12-Jun-20

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has advised that a temporary change to workplace laws in response to the coronavirus has been repealed. The notice period for changes to enterprise agreements was reduced from seven days to just 24 hours in April, prompting unions to warn that it could be open to abuse. Porter says a review found no evidence that the regulation had been misused, and he stresses that the change was always intended to be temporary and is no longer needed. The Federal Court was scheduled to rule on the regulation’s validity on 12 June, following a legal challenge by the construction union.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Porter to consider EBA change limit

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 13-May-20

The Greens will back Labor’s Senate motion to disallow a regulation that temporarily reduces the notice period for changes to enterprise agreements from seven days to just 24 hours. Attorney General Christian Porter has signalled that the federal government may be open to One Nation’s proposal to limit any such variations in enterprise agreements to 12 months. The regulation is slated to expire after six months; shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke contends that as it stands, any variations to enterprise agreements will remain in place after the pandemic abates, and they will need to be removed via another vote by employee

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Labor launches Senate push to reverse IR changes

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 21-Apr-20

Shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke has questioned the need for reforms which reduce the amount of time employees are given to vote on proposed changes to workplace agreements from seven days to just one. The reform was prompted by the pandemic, but Burke argues that any such changes to enterprise agreements will remain in place after the coronavirus abates and will need to be removed via another vote by employees. Labor will put a disallowance motion to the Senate when parliament resumes, and it intends to seek the support of crossbenchers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Ex-Fair Work senior official calls for bargaining overhaul

Original article by David Marin-Guzman, Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 16-Apr-20

A former senior deputy president of the Fair Work Commission warns that strict application of the ‘better off overall test’ is contributing to the decline of enterprise agreements. Jonathan Hamberger, who stepped down from the FWC in late 2019, has praised the flexibility of employers and unions in negotiating changes to industry awards during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that such flexibility is needed in the enterprise agreement system. Amongst other things, he says the better off overall test should be replaced with the ‘no disadvantage test’.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

ABCC defends focus on pursuing unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Jan-20

Labor senator Tony Sheldon has accused the Australian Building & Construction Commission of unfairly targeting unions, while failing to give sufficient attention to the unlawful conduct of employers. Data from the ABCC shows that it has spent $3.179m on legal proceedings against unions, officials and employees since 2016, and just $164,336 on legal action against employers. The ABCC has successfully prosecuted the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy some 86 times over this period.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

CFMEU branded a serial offender

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Oct-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Victorian shop steward Kevin Pattinson have been fined $69,000 in total for preventing an apprentice and an electrician from working on a Melbourne construction site. The court was told that Pattinson had barred the two workers from the site because they were not members of the CFMMEU. The Federal Court’s Justice John Snaden noted that the union is a "serial ­offender" with regard to its lack of compliance with workplace laws.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Costs blow strikes Fair Work funders

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 9-Oct-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has welcomed the Federal Court’s ruling that litigation funder August Ventures should provide security for employers’ costs in a class action over alleged breaches of workplace laws. Willox hopes the ruling will make Fair Work class actions less attractive to litigation funders, while he has called for such businesses to be subject to greater regulation. There are currently 11 class actions before the Federal Court involving ­alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUGUST VENTURES, ADERO LAW, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD

Gillard’s IR laws need rework: Lib MPs

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 20-Aug-19

Liberal MPs Tim Wilson, Jason Falinski and Andrew Bragg have called for changes to unfair dismissal laws that were introduced when Julia Gillard was the Labor government’s industrial relations minister. The trio argues that Labor’s Unfair Dismissal Code has also been ineffective, and the number of unfair dismissal cases heard by the Fair Work Commission has risen sharply under Labor’s reforms. A recent review of the code by Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell recommended 15 changes to it.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN

CFMEU slapped with $65m in penalties

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Jul-19

The federal government has released data showing that the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime & ­Energy Union has incurred about $65m worth of legal costs and court fines for breaching workplace laws since 2004. This includes court penalties totalling $28.6m in Victoria, with the bulk of these penalties having been incurred in cases involving controversial state secretary John Setka. The government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill will be put before the lower house on 24 July, and is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and other registered organisations.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT