$400m bill for training

Original article by Rob Harris, Anthony Galloway
Herald Sun – Page: 12 : 14-Dec-18

The federal government has criticised a push for union members to receive paid leave to attend training programs. The resolution will be put to Labor’s upcoming national conference, but the government has warned that it would cost the national economy about $1.3 billion a year and the Victorian economy $358.3 million a year if it applied to all members of a union. However, Labor has stressed that the policy would apply only to elected union delegates. Shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor argues that union delegates are already permitted to take training leave during working hours at the majority of unionised workplaces.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION

Unions test Labor with airline fight

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor will seek support for industry-wide enterprise bargaining for low-paid workers at its upcoming national conference. However, the Transport Workers’ Union will push for the policy on industry-wide bargaining to be broadened to include the aviation sector. Leaders of rival unions do not believe that there is much support within Labor’s senior ranks for such a move, while Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently warned of the impact that doing so would have on both the airline’s supply chain and the broader economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Barnaby backs unions on casuals

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 5-Dec-18

A parliamentary committee has expressed concern about the growing use of casual labour in Australia’s mining industry. The committee has supported the union movement’s proposal to allow casual mining workers to become permanent employees after a certain period of employment. Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says the federal government will consider the committee’s recommendations. Australian Mines & Metals Association CEO Steve Knott argues that many employees prefer the increased flexibility and higher wages offered by casual work.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND RESOURCES, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Fewer workers are joining unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 30-Nov-18

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of workers who are union members has fallen by 11,700 overall since 2016. A total of 1.5 million Australians were union members in August 2018, comprising 1.133 million full-time workers and 402,000 part-time employees. However, union membership as a proportion of the workforce has fallen from 15.3 per cent in 2016 to 14.6 per cent. The education and training sector has the highest proportion of union membership.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

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

Greens seek to wedge Labor on IR

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 15-Nov-18

Labor has indicated that it would prioritise low-paid workers in any push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. However, the Greens argue that industry-wide enterprise bargaining should be available to all workers regardless of income or the sector in which they work. The Coalition and business leaders have expressed concern that the ACTU’s proposal for industry-wide enterprise bargaining would see industrial action escalate to the levels of the 1970s.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, HEALTH SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Union beats $51k fine for shorts call

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 14-Nov-18

The Federal Circuit Court’s decision to fine the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s for failing to comply with a dress code for workers on a building site has been overturned on appeal. The CFMMEU was fined $51,000 over strike action after a project manager ordered construction workers to wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts at the Newcastle site. Union organiser Pomare Auimatagi was fined $7,500. The Federal Court has ruled that the fines were "manifestly excessive".

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, JOHN HOLLAND PTY LTD

Westacott pleads for Hawke-era ACTU mindset

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 1-Nov-18

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has rejected the ACTU’s push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. She says it is unworkable and would disadvantage people in regional areas and unskilled workers. Westacott argues that the nation needs a modern industrial relations system that is based on enterprise or workplace-level bargaining, and underpinned by a universal safety net. However, she has invited the ACTU’s leadership to work with business to ensure that the IR system is appropriate for a modern work environment.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

AWU misused strike rights for ACTU protests

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 31-Oct-18

The Australian Workers’ Union served Alcoa with a notice of indefinite work stoppages at its Western Australia refineries earlier in October. The industrial action was slated to commence the day before the ACTU began a series of national protests. AWU delegate Stuart Allen has told the Fair Work Commission that the timing was "good luck", but it has emerged that he send text messages to union members stating that the protected industrial action was in support of the ACTU campaign. The FWC ruled that the AWU’s representatives were not genuinely trying to collectively bargain.

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