Labor to support Indonesia, Peru and Hong Kong free trade deals

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 17-Oct-19

Labor’s caucus will shortly decide whether to support the federal government’s proposed free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru. Sources have indicated that Labor is unlikely to oppose the legislation, although it may seek a number of amendments. The ACTU will lobby Labor MPs to oppose the bill, due to concerns about issues such as the trade deals’ investor-state dispute settlement clauses and labour market testing provisions.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

CFMEU branded a serial offender

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Oct-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Victorian shop steward Kevin Pattinson have been fined $69,000 in total for preventing an apprentice and an electrician from working on a Melbourne construction site. The court was told that Pattinson had barred the two workers from the site because they were not members of the CFMMEU. The Federal Court’s Justice John Snaden noted that the union is a "serial ­offender" with regard to its lack of compliance with workplace laws.

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

Union activities may breach building codes

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 30-Sep-19

The Australian Building & Construction Commission has warned that the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s draft pattern agreement includes clauses that breach the federal building code. Amongst other things, the New South Wales agreement allows union flags to be displayed on building sites and provides for workers to be paid for attending union meetings during bargaining. Master Builders Australia says the agreement as the most restrictive it has seen.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Setka forks out $40k of members’ funds on ad

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 26-Sep-19

Embattled Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union official John Setka has criticised senator Jacqui Lambie in a full-page advertisement in the ‘Herald Sun’. Lambie has signalled that she will support the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill unless Setka steps down as Victorian secretary of the CFMMEU. Setka has accused her of attempting to blackmail himself and the union’s members. A spokesman for Setka says the ad was "union business", so it was funded by the CFMMEU rather than Setka.

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

Civil war erupts in CFMEU over Setka

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 20-Sep-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s mining and energy division has attacked John Setka’s Victorian construction division over its poaching of members from the CFMMEU’s manufacturing division. The manufacturing division is headed up by Michael O’Connor, who is also the CFMMEU’s national secretary. The relationship between O’Connor and Setka is understood to have become strained over O’Connor’s failure to publicly support Setka, after the ACTU called on Setka to stand down after he was convicted for harassing his wife.

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

Union duo plead guilty over drugs

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 16-Sep-19

Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union NSW organisers Simon Gutierrez and Nicholas Rekes have pleaded guilty to drug possession and dealing charges in Sydney Local Court. Rekes and Gutierrez were arrested in April, after a police operation that saw $4,000 worth of drugs seized and which also involved the arrest of CFMMEU NSW assistant secretary Michael Greenfield. Greenfield pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in July, but avoided jail or a conviction. Master Builders Association CEO Denita Wain says the fact that the three still retain significant workplace entry rights despite the charges against them shows why the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity laws are so necessary.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA,{SHARE}MASTER BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION

The wages explanation you won’t hear from Treasury or the RBA

Original article by David Peetz
The New Daily – Page: Online : 10-Sep-19

Australian nominal wage growth has been under half the OECD average since 2013, according to Jim Stanford from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. A senior Treasury official recently suggested low wage growth could be due to workers not changing jobs, while Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has contended caps on civil service pay rises might be another factor. A further factor behind low wage growth that neither Lowe or the Treasury official seemed to take into account is the reduction in worker bargaining power that has resulted from the fall in unionisation over recent decades.

CORPORATES
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Dragging the chain on wage theft must stop

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 4-Sep-19

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has outlined a range of proposed workplace reform measures in a four-page letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. Amongst other things, McManus has called for action to combat wage theft, an overhaul of the annual minimum wage review, the winding back of penalty rate cuts and allowing unions to undertake sector-wide enterprise bargaining. Porter has indicated that the government will shortly release discussion papers on issues such as wage underpayments.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Closure threat over union agreement OK: Fair Work

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Aug-19

The Electrical Trades Union has indicated that it may launch coercion proceedings in the Federal Court regarding an enterprise agreement at New South Wales-based DDP Electrical Services, which excluded the ETU. The Fair Work Commission approved the agreement despite a letter from DDP to its staff which claimed that it would be out of business within six months if the ETU was successful in negotiating a new agreement. The FWC found that the warning was not a breach of ‘good faith bargaining’, as workers were still given a choice between a union and non-union agreement.

CORPORATES
DDP ELECTRICAL SERVICES, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

AMP accused of leaving planners in limbo

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 12 : 20-Aug-19

The Finance Sector Union will ask the Fair Work Commission to intervene over AMP’s plans to revamp its financial planning operations. AMP has indicated that it intends to reduce the amount it pays when acquiring financial planning practices as a ‘buyer of last resort’, as well as cutting adviser numbers. The AMP Financial Planners Association will hold a meeting during August to allow members to vote on possible courses of legal action against AMP.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, FINANCE SECTOR UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AMP FINANCIAL PLANNERS ASSOCIATION