A-G slams wharfies holding state to ransom

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 3 : 28-Sep-20

The federal government may intervene to end an industrial dispute at the Port Botany terminal of stevedoring firm Patrick. Attorney-General Christian Porter has indicated that he would be open to supporting Patrick if it applies to the Fair Work Commission to halt the Maritime Union of Australia’s industrial action. The MUA’s national secretary Paddy Crumlin says it is negotiating with stevedoring companies in good faith. He rejects suggestions that the legal industrial action has caused the massive delays at Port Botany that have been alleged by Patrick.

CORPORATES
PATRICK CORPORATION LIMITED,MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA,AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION,AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Builders slam BCA’s union deal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Sep-20

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn has confirmed reports that she left a meeting of the federal government’s industrial relations working group "in disgust" over revelations that the Business Council of Australia had struck a deal with the ACTU. The proposed deal would allow union enterprise agreements to be approved within 14 days; employers had pushed for all agreements to be approved within this time-frame. Wawn has expressed concern that amongst other things, the fast-tracked process for union agreements will favour large companies over small businesses.

CORPORATES
MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU

Cbus silent on coal in new carbon reduction policy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 1-Sep-20

Industry superannuation fund Cbus is seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 45 per cent by 2030, while aiming for a net zero emissions investment portfolio by 2050. Fellow industry funds HESTA and First State have been explicit about their intention to divest thermal coal assets, but Cbus has declined to follow their example. Cbus has links to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union, which has members working in the coal industry. Cbus’s chief investment officer Kristian Fok says its decision not to specifically divest coal assets was in part based on insight gained from members working in the coal sector.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FIRST STATE, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Fair Work backs penalty rates waiver

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

The Australian Services Union has failed in its bid to end flexible working arrangements for administrative employees who are covered by the clerks award. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours in response to the coronavirus. The deal regarding overtime and penalty rates was initially slated to end on 30 June, but the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed to extend it until the end of September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Shop workers union open to simpler IR rules

Original article by Natasha Gillezeau, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 26-Jun-20

The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association’s national secretary Gerard Dwyer says it is open to the idea of making enterprise bargaining more straightforward. He says that if an agreement has satisfied the ‘better off overall test’ and the majority of employees are in favour of it, then it should not take 12 months to get the agreement ratified. Dwyer has also attacked the rival Retail & Fast Food Workers Union, which has challenged some SDA agreements in the Fair Work Commission, saying it is a political organisation rather than an industrial one.

CORPORATES
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Bearish start to IR reform talks

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Jun-20

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter held the first meeting with representatives of the union movement and employers’ groups on 3 June, as part of a collaborative approach to workplace reforms. He said that both groups appreciate the need for change. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said employers and unions must be prepared to make compromises, while ACTU secretary Sally McManus said unions are open to changing the ‘better off overall test’. Meanwhile, the Treasury warned that it could take 5-7 years for the economy to recover from the pandemic, and that the unemployment rate could be 8-9 per cent by 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS,BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA,ACTU

CFMEU deal a threat to post-virus recovery

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 3-Jun-20

More than 100 subcontractors have signed up to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s new pattern agreement in New South Wales. Master Builders Australia’s NSW executive director Brian Seidler claims that subcontractors agreed to the deal under duress, and he has warned that it will result in a big rise in labour costs. The pattern agreement includes a pay rise of five per cent and a rostered day off every second Monday. The CFMMEU’s NSW secretary Darren Greenfield argues that construction industry workers deserve the pay rise as they kept working during the coronavirus lockdown.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Unions reject calls to halt wage increase

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 6 : 1-Jun-20

The Australian Industry Group is against any increase in the minimum wage in 2020, with CEO Innes Willox noting it is the first time in 30 years that it has completely opposed a rise. Willox says increasing the minimum wage is not in anyone’s interest, and if the Fair Work Commission does decide to do so it should be delayed until January 2021. Unions are seeking a $30-per-week increase in the minimum wage, while the Shop, Distributive & ­Allied Employees’ Association states that there should be a freeze on planned cuts to penalty rates if the FWC does not award an increase in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Retail union stands firm over BOOT

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 29-May-20

The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association has expressed support for an overhaul of the enterprise bargaining system. However, national secretary Gerard Dwyer says the union is of the view that the ‘better off overall test’ is not the primary cause of delays in negotiating and implementing workplace agreements. Employers’ group contend that the BOOT is a key problem that needs to be addressed. The proportion of private sector employees who are covered by enterprise agreements has fallen from 22 per cent in 2013 to just 12.8 per cent.

CORPORATES
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Win for unions in BHP workplace fight

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 11-May-20

A Fair Work Commission review panel has overturned a decision by deputy president Gerard Boyce to approve two enterprise agreements for employees of BHP’s Operations Services subsidiary. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union is among four unions that appealed against the December 2019 ruling. National secretary Tony Maher claims that BHP had intended to use the Operations Services business to reduce wages and conditions in the mining sector. The full bench of the FWC will decide whether to approve the disputed enterprise agreements.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES