Union fines hit $4m as boss put workers ‘in harm’s way’

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 7-Jun-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been fined $137,000 over the conduct of Richard Hassett, the head of its Tasmanian branch. The Federal Court ruled that he had unlawfully entered a Devonport building site and repeatedly attempted to disrupt the operation of a crane. Hassett was fined $22,000, while the CFMMEU has now been fined $4.1m in total for breaching workplace laws so far in 2018-19.

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

ALP vow: permanent work for casuals

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-19

Labor has doubled down on the Coalition’s commitment to legislate to allow casual workers to apply to become permanent employees after 12 months of regular and ongoing work with the same employer. Labor will also amend the Fair Work Act to allow such workers to legally challenge a refusal of their request to become a permanent employee. More than 50 per cent of Australia’s 2.6 million casual employees have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Lecturer sues Sydney Uni over sacking

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 18-Apr-19

Former lecturer Tim Anderson has launched an unfair dismissal claim against the University of Sydney and deputy vice-chancellor Stephen Garton. The university claims that he was dismissed for breaching its code of conduct and public comment policy. The National Tertiary Education Union in turn alleges that the teaching material and social media posts that led to Anderson’s sacking are protected under clauses in the university’s enterprise agreement relating to intellectual freedom. In addition, it contends that his sacking was unlawful under provisions of the Fair Work Act concerning political opinion.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION INDUSTRY UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY

Call for rethink on work sex claims

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Feb-19

The ACTU and the Australian Council of Social Service are among the groups that have urged changes to the Fair Work Act to allow complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace to be heard by the Fair Work Commission. The joint submission to the national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment contends that the current system is flawed and can result in complainants being victimised again when their case heard in court.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE, FEDERATION OF COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES

Strike laws like apartheid: union boss

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 4-Feb-19

ACTU secretary Sally McManus claims that Australia has the most restrictive strike laws among developed nations. In a 100-page essay published by Melbourne University Press, she also likens Australia’s strike laws to the apartheid system in South Africa, the British Raj and racial segregation in the US. McManus also defends her 2017 comments in which she said it is acceptable to break unjust laws, while she criticises the trade union royal commission, privatisation and executive bonuses.

CORPORATES
ACTU, MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS, UNIVERSITY OF MEDICINE AND DENTISTRY OF NEW JERSEY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Labor plan to criminalise wage theft may backfire

Original article by Anna Patty
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-19

University of Melbourne researchers Melissa Kennedy and John Howe have questioned the constitutional validity of Labor’s proposal for state laws aimed at addressing wage exploitation. They say the proposed laws in New South Wales and Victoria could conflict with federal laws such as the Fair Work Act, raising the possibility of a constitutional challenge. They have also raised concerns that criminalising wage theft could undermine the Fair Work Ombudsman’s ability to recover workers’ entitlements.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

New industrial relations laws to simplify bargaining

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 7-Dec-18

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says amendments to the Fair Work Act will enable new enterprise bargaining agreements to take effect sooner. The Four Yearly Review and Other Measures Bill will allow the Fair Work Commission to ignore minor technical errors when approving EBAs. Unions had previously seized on such errors to block EBAs that they opposed. The FWC will also no longer be required to review modern awards every four years, a move that had the support of both unions and employers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Eslake warns on wage crisis ramifications

Original article by Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 33 : 29-Nov-18

Australian economist Saul Eslake says the business sector’s push for economic reform is being undermined by the low growth in wages. Eslake argues that the general public is becoming less receptive to reforms such as free trade, deregulation and company tax cuts in an era of sluggish wage growth. Eslake has contributed to a new book titled "The Wages Crisis in Australia". Its editors have argued the case for changes to the Fair Work Act, including expanding the definition of an "employee" to include anyone who provides labour and allowing enterprise bargaining at industry level.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

ALP open to industry-wide enterprise bargaining

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 5 : 26-Nov-18

The ACTU wants a future federal Labor government to amend workplace laws so that workers can take strike action across entire industries. Currently, protected industrial action is only allowed during enterprise bargaining negotiations with a single employer. Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor claims that enterprise bargaining is not delivering decent outcomes for workers, suggesting that he is amenable to union calls for industry-wide bargaining. However, industry groups claim that such a move would spell "disaster" for the Australian economy.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

Employer bid to decouple union

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Age – Page: 15 : 21-Nov-18

A legal challenge to the merger between the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union and the Maritime Union of Australia will commence in the Federal Court on 21 November. The Australian Mines & Metals Association is seeking to have the merger declared invalid on the grounds that the two unions were subject to "quasi-criminal" legal proceedings when the merger was approved.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION