Unions seek pay guarantees

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 17-Jan-20

Unions are proposing a new workplace condition that would see the pay of workers guaranteed if their employer has to shut down because of a bushfire or some other natural disaster. Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia CEO Peter Strong has attacked the idea as being "political and completely unworkable", although COSBOA has lent its support to a push by the ACTU to increase the federal government’s disaster recovery allowance for fire-impacted workers to the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED,{SPAC}ACTU

Union pushes to overturn BHP’s Fair Work win on enterprise deals

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Jan-20

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union is appealing the Fair Work Commission’s decision to approve two enterprise agreements covering employees of BHP’s Operations Services division. The bulk of these workers are employed at BHP’s coal mines in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, and the CFMEU contends that they should be covered by the enterprise agreement for the miner’s other workers in the basin. The CFMEU argues that these workers earn up to $40,000 a year more than the Operations Services employees.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Unions call for more government assistance for workers in fire-hit areas

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Age – Page: Online : 8-Jan-20

The federal government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance provides people who have been directly affected by the bushfires to receive up to 13 weeks of income support. However, the United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons contends that this will be insufficient for many bushfire victims, adding that casual workers in particular will be hard hit by loss of income due to the fires. Retail & Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan notes that many casual workers are reluctant to stay at home despite feeling sick from smoke haze and heat from the bushfires.

CORPORATES
UNITED WORKERS UNION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Services won’t improve, says union

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 6 : 6-Dec-19

The Community & Public Sector Union has criticised the federal government’s decision to streamline the bureaucracy. CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly warns that reducing the number of government departments will do nothing to improve the provision of government services. Donnelly notes that the Coalition has axed 18,908 public service jobs since it gained office in 2013, and she has urged the government to lift the average staffing level cap.

CORPORATES
COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Albanese to dodge unions’ walkout

Original article by Ewin Hannan, John Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 15-Nov-19

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has refuted claims that he will not attend the party’s Victorian state conference on 16-17 November because unions planned to stage a mass walkout when he gave the keynote speech. Albanese says the decision was made several months ago, while Deputy Leader Richard Marles will be at the conference but has declined to deliver the keynote speech. The proposed walkout by unions that are aligned with Labor’s Left faction is primarily in response to the party’s support for free-trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

New mega union swings Labor to left

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 11-Nov-19

The new United Workers Union will boast more than 150,000 members and a potential membership base of two million. The merger of United Voice and the National Union of Workers will be formally completed on 11 November. The new union will be aligned with Labor’s Left faction, whereas the NUW was aligned with the Right. The new union will have a national body rather than autonomous state branches.

CORPORATES
UNITED WORKERS UNION, UNITED VOICE, NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Pay falls as non-union agreements rise

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 8-Nov-19

Wage increases in new private sector agreements fell from 2.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the June quarter, according to data from the Attorney-General’s Department, while public sector agreement pay rises grew from 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent. The number of non-union agreements increased by 60 per cent between the March and June quarters, and Centre for Future Work economist Alison Pennington says it is possible that non-union agreements could rise as a proportion of all approved agreements from 22 per cent to 27 per cent by the end of 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

Unions push for jail terms for wage theft

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-Oct-19

The ACTU has urged the federal government to introduce harsher penalties for employers who underpay their staff. Its submission to the government’s compliance discussion paper advocates a maximum jail term of five years or a fine of up to $2m for individuals and $10m for a company. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has in turn expressed concern about imposing criminal penalties for breaches of workplace laws. It has argued that such penalties should also apply to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Kelty unleashes super spray at Swan

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 25-Oct-19

Former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty referred to Wayne Swan as a "miserable bastard" at the launch of the Crescent Think Tank on 24 October. Kelty’s description of the former Labor treasurer was on account of him only increasing the superannuation guarantee by 0.5 per cent during Labor’s six years in office. Kelty and former Labor prime minister Paul Keating are pushing for the SG to be increased to 12 per cent, although some Liberal MPs and the Grattan Institute have called for it to be paused at 9.5 per cent. Kelty says suggestions that deferring SG increases will cause employers to increase wages are "laughable".

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Setka not going anywhere, says union

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Oct-19

The CFMMEU’s national conference in Adelaide has passed a motion calling on Labor to oppose exploitative free-trade agreements. Dave Noonan, the head of the union’s construction division, has criticised Labor leader Anthony Albanese for agreeing to support ‘sell-out’ free trade deals. He also said the CFMMEU’s Victorian secretary John Setka had the full support of delegates at the national conference and he will not resign. Noonan added that Setka’s resignation from Labor will have no impact, arguing that many of the CFMMEU’s leaders have not been party members.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT