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

Union takes Tax Office bosses to Federal Court in work from home row

Original article by Noel Towell
The Age – Page: Online : 9-Dec-20

The Australian Services Union has commenced legal action against senior executives at the Australian Taxation Office. The ASU alleges that the executives – including Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan – were in breach of workplace laws and the ATO’s enterprise agreement, which includes working at home provisions. The union claims that ATO staff who had been working from home due to the pandemic were ordered to return to their offices without the required notice period when the federal government announced stimulus measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Kelty approves of super-union divorce move

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Dec-20

The federal government’s hopes of getting the unions demerger bill through parliament before it rises for the year have been boosted after Labor signalled that it will not opposed the legislation. Former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty has expressed support for the legislation, and he contends that breaking up the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union would be quite easy as it is an ‘amalgamation of divisions’. However, Electrical Trades Union national secretary Allen Hicks says that despite targeting the CFMMEU, the legislation would have ‘unintended consequences’ for the entire union movement, and he has urged Labor to reject it.

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

‘CFMEU totally dysfunctional’: O’Connor quits

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 6-Nov-20

Michael O’Connor has resigned as national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union. O’Connor has attributed his departure to disunity caused by the ongoing fallout from a dispute with John Setka, the head of the union’s Victorian division. He says the CFMMEU is no longer united in purpose, and people within the organisation are not willing to work together or act in the interests of the union and its members. His departure is likely to strengthen the influence of Setka within the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Unions push for better protections as 80% of employees say they want to keep working from home

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 4-Nov-20

The ACTU proposes to adopt a charter of rights about working from home. The charter covers issues such as a safe working environment and the right to be compensated for all hours worked from home. Meanwhile, the ACTU has released a survey of 10,000 workers which found that 81 per cent want to keep working from home if they have sufficient support from their employer. Some 47% of respondents said they are more productive at home, while 49 per cent reported experiencing a mental health issue due to working from home.

CORPORATES
ACTU