Qantas fends off unfair pay claims from aircraft engineers’ union

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 17-Feb-20

Qantas has won a lengthy legal dispute with the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association regarding how much it pays its engineers when they have additional training and qualifications. The Federal Court ruled it was Qantas to decide when and how it recognised extra certificates secured by its engineers, and it was not obliged to pay them more in such circumstances unless it met criteria under the relevant industrial agreement. It is the second time in two years that the Federal Court has dismissed a challenge by the ALAEA against Qantas on the issue of pay for extra training and qualifications.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIAN LICENSED AIRCRAFT ENGINEERS’ ASSOCIATION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Unions lean on ALP over super choice bill

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 7-Feb-20

The union movement is urging Labor to vote against proposed legislation that would ban enterprise agreements from stating that workers must join a union-backed superannuation fund. Labor senator Tony Sheldon recently warned the party’s caucus against voting for the bill, while ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connolly says the proposed legislation would have a major impact on industry funds such as UniSuper.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, UNISUPER LIMITED

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

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