Unions demand detail of Australia’s free trade deal with UK citing concerns for workers

Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

ACTU president Michele O’Neil has urged the federal government to begin consultations with the union movement regarding the details of its ‘in-principle’ free-trade agreement with the UK. She says both governments have been secretive throughout the negotiations, and the proposed trade deal has not be subject to independent, union or public scrutiny. O’Neil is concerned that labour market testing rules will be watered down; she notes that a fact sheet released by the UK government suggests that Australian companies will no longer be required to prioritise hiring local workers.

CORPORATES
ACTU

Labor, unions to fight Morrison on IR push

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 9-Jun-21

The Australian Workers’ Union will oppose any renewed attempt by the federal government to introduce greenfield workplace agreements. Such agreements were included in the omnibus industrial relations bill that was rejected by the Senate earlier in 2021. AWU national secretary Daniel Walton contends that major projects have been approved without greenfield agreements being in place, and the government’s proposal would merely put downward pressure on wages. Shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke has also accused the government of pushing for wage growth restraint.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Bosses and unions unite to urge senator’s vote against seriously flawed super reform bill

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 7 : 7-Jun-21

The ACTU and the Australian Industry Group have joined forces to call for the ‘Your Super, Your Future’ legislation to be rejected by the Senate. They contend that the bill still has some major flaws; it recently passed the lower house following the removal of provisions which allow the federal government to veto investments made by superannuation funds that are not deemed to be in members’ best interests. Amongst other things, the ACTU and the Ai Group are concerned that the bill will result in people being stuck in underperforming super funds.

CORPORATES
ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

NAB faces legal hit over pay shortfall

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 26-May-21

National Australia Bank included a pre-tax provision of $128m for wage underpayments in its financial accounts for the second half of 2020. NAB’s remediation program has resulted in current and former part-time employees receiving a combined $55m in compensation to date. However, the Finance Sector Union believes that NAB’s wages underpayment bill may be much higher, given that many of the affected employees work full-time. The union is preparing to take Federal Court action on behalf of NAB’s full-time workers.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, FINANCE SECTOR UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Wage freeze needed due to vaccine delays

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Apr-21

The Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has urged the Fair Work Commission to take into account the delay in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines when deciding whether to increase the minimum wage. The RCIA contends that the minimum wage should either be left at its current level in 2021-22 or any increase for workers in hard-hit industries should be delayed until February 2022. ACTU secretary Sally McManus argues that a minimum wage freeze would result in a pay cut in real terms for one in five workers at a time when domestic spending is essential to Australia’s economic recovery.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Journalists’ union says it will quit ineffectual Australian Press Council

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 22-Apr-21

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s members have voted to withdraw from the Australian Press Council, the self-regulatory body for print media. The journalists’ union will give the requisite four years’ notice to quit the APC, and the MEAA’s Marcus Strom hopes its move will prompt debate about media regulation. The MEAA has called for a simpler system of self-regulation that is consistent across all platforms and organisations. The APC’s adjudications have been widely criticised by journalists and the print media.

CORPORATES
MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL

Rise puts union leader on $470k

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Mar-21

United Firefighters Union secretary Peter Marshall received $470,280 in the 2019-20 financial year, $51,000 up on the previous year. This is according to figures released by the Registered Organisations Commission, with Marshall being Australia’s highest paid union official. Former Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Mark Stone was paid $506,366 in 2019-20, while Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president George Tambassis received $394,720 and Aged & Community Services Australia secretary Patricia Sparrow received $323,025. It is understood Marshall is paid more than double the amount earned by ACTU secretary Sally McManus and ACTU president Michele O’Neil.

CORPORATES
UNITED FIREFIGHTERS’ UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, VICTORIAN EMPLOYERS’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE PHARMACY GUILD OF AUSTRALIA, AGED AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, ACTU

Dump Albo call as heartland vote tanks

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 : 18-Jan-21

The Construction. Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s national political organiser Elizabeth Doidge says Labor leader Anthony Albanese must be ousted ahead of the next election. This follows the release of polling on behalf of key building industry unions which suggests that Labor is set to lose the Hunter Valley electorates of Shortland and Paterson at the next election. Doidge says the polling, which was undertaken in November, shows that Labor cannot win the election with Albanese as its leader. She says Tanya Plibersek would make a "fantastic leader".

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

Union calls for minimum wage for fruit pickers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 16-Dec-20

The Australian Workers’ Union will push for changes to the Horticulture Award to address the issue of wage exploitation in the sector. The ASU has applied to the Fair Work Commission to vary the industry award to include a wage floor for seasonal farm workers. The union’s proposal would provide a guaranteed minimum wage of $24.80 an hour, although piece rates would still be allowed. A recent investigation found that some fruit-pickers in the in the Coffs Harbour region of New South Wales were being paid just $3 an hour.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Workers in private sector turn their backs on unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Stephen Lunn
The Weekend Australian – Page: 2 : 12-Dec-20

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that just 9.2 per cent of workers in the private sector are now members of unions, down from 12.1 per cent in 2014. In percentage terms, union membership in the public sector has fallen from 39.6 per cent to 36.8 per cent in the last six years; however, the number of union members has actually risen from 570,00 to 710,000 over this period. The ABS figures also show that casual workers were the hardest hit during the downturn in the labour market in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS