Fair Work backs penalty rates waiver

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

The Australian Services Union has failed in its bid to end flexible working arrangements for administrative employees who are covered by the clerks award. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours in response to the coronavirus. The deal regarding overtime and penalty rates was initially slated to end on 30 June, but the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed to extend it until the end of September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Shop workers union open to simpler IR rules

Original article by Natasha Gillezeau, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 26-Jun-20

The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association’s national secretary Gerard Dwyer says it is open to the idea of making enterprise bargaining more straightforward. He says that if an agreement has satisfied the ‘better off overall test’ and the majority of employees are in favour of it, then it should not take 12 months to get the agreement ratified. Dwyer has also attacked the rival Retail & Fast Food Workers Union, which has challenged some SDA agreements in the Fair Work Commission, saying it is a political organisation rather than an industrial one.

CORPORATES
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Bearish start to IR reform talks

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Jun-20

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter held the first meeting with representatives of the union movement and employers’ groups on 3 June, as part of a collaborative approach to workplace reforms. He said that both groups appreciate the need for change. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said employers and unions must be prepared to make compromises, while ACTU secretary Sally McManus said unions are open to changing the ‘better off overall test’. Meanwhile, the Treasury warned that it could take 5-7 years for the economy to recover from the pandemic, and that the unemployment rate could be 8-9 per cent by 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS,BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA,ACTU

CFMEU deal a threat to post-virus recovery

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 3-Jun-20

More than 100 subcontractors have signed up to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s new pattern agreement in New South Wales. Master Builders Australia’s NSW executive director Brian Seidler claims that subcontractors agreed to the deal under duress, and he has warned that it will result in a big rise in labour costs. The pattern agreement includes a pay rise of five per cent and a rostered day off every second Monday. The CFMMEU’s NSW secretary Darren Greenfield argues that construction industry workers deserve the pay rise as they kept working during the coronavirus lockdown.

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

Unions reject calls to halt wage increase

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 6 : 1-Jun-20

The Australian Industry Group is against any increase in the minimum wage in 2020, with CEO Innes Willox noting it is the first time in 30 years that it has completely opposed a rise. Willox says increasing the minimum wage is not in anyone’s interest, and if the Fair Work Commission does decide to do so it should be delayed until January 2021. Unions are seeking a $30-per-week increase in the minimum wage, while the Shop, Distributive & ­Allied Employees’ Association states that there should be a freeze on planned cuts to penalty rates if the FWC does not award an increase in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Retail union stands firm over BOOT

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 29-May-20

The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association has expressed support for an overhaul of the enterprise bargaining system. However, national secretary Gerard Dwyer says the union is of the view that the ‘better off overall test’ is not the primary cause of delays in negotiating and implementing workplace agreements. Employers’ group contend that the BOOT is a key problem that needs to be addressed. The proportion of private sector employees who are covered by enterprise agreements has fallen from 22 per cent in 2013 to just 12.8 per cent.

CORPORATES
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Win for unions in BHP workplace fight

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 11-May-20

A Fair Work Commission review panel has overturned a decision by deputy president Gerard Boyce to approve two enterprise agreements for employees of BHP’s Operations Services subsidiary. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union is among four unions that appealed against the December 2019 ruling. National secretary Tony Maher claims that BHP had intended to use the Operations Services business to reduce wages and conditions in the mining sector. The full bench of the FWC will decide whether to approve the disputed enterprise agreements.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES

ACTU wage bid ‘damaging’, puts recovery at risk

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 6-May-20

The ACTU has called for the minimum wage to be increased by four per cent in 2020, or $30 a week. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has warned that the ACTU’s wage claim could jeopardise Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry contends that it would increase the financial strain on businesses that are already battling during the crisis.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Porter seeks Hawke-style accord with unions to spark a recovery

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Greg Brown, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Apr-20

Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong has called for the industrial awards system to be abolished, while Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says awards should be retained but simplified. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has signalled that workplace reform will be on the federal government’s agenda. He hopes to build on recent good relations with ACTU secretary Sally McManus to have constructive discussions with union leaders regarding workplace reforms aimed at creating jobs and boosting wages when the coronavirus abates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU

Wharfies vote to reject new EBA

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 14-Apr-20

Victoria Inter­national Container Terminal employees have voted against a new non-union enterprise agreement at Webb Dock in Melbourne. The current agreement is due to expire in October. The Maritime Union of Australia has lodged a claim with VICT that would see the pay and conditions of its workers brought into line with those at Qube, DP World and Patrick. MUA official Will Tracey says it and VICT are "not that far apart" on salaries, while the MUA may review its log of claims, given that most of it was compiled before the COVID-19 outbreak.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL LIMITED, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, QUBE HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX QUB, DP WORLD AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PATRICK CORPORATION LIMITED