In the News
Media Release 01.08.15 - Hall Payne
CFMEU and CEPU quash Bechtel industrial action orders
Hall Payne Lawyers (HPL), acting for the CFMEU and CEPU, has successfully appealed a section 418 order of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
In late June 2015 there had been some issues with the use of a hazardous substance known as perlite at Bechtel’s Curtis Island site. Our clients’ members were understandably concerned about this issue.
On the afternoon of 29 June 2015 our clients were served with a s.418 application on behalf of the relevant employer (Bechtel). The matter was listed for hearing at 2.30pm the following day (30 June 2015). At 1.50pm on 30 June 2015 our clients were served with the Applicant’s evidence in the matter. The matter was then called on before the FWC at 2.30pm before DP Lawrence. It was not in dispute that, at the time of the hearing, there was no industrial action happening. During the course of the hearing, our clients sought adjournment(s) to take instructions and to consider the filed material, however this was not granted. click here to read the full story
Media Release 29.7.15 - CFMEU National Office
China Free Trade Agreement campaign: Sturt poll shows Pyne would lose seat in a landslide
A poll of voters in the seat of Sturt conducted this week shows Christopher Pyne would lose his seat in a landslide if a candidate from popular South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon’s team ran against him. And the poll shows a dramatic drop in support for the Liberal Party in Sturt - irrespective of whether a Xenophon candidate contested. The poll, conducted by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to gauge worker attitudes to the China Free Trade Agreement, finds that voters in Christopher Pyne’s seat are overwhelmingly opposed to the Agreement. It finds:
* The Liberal Party’s primary vote would drop to 40% (down from 54% at the 2013 election)
* The Liberal Party’s primary vote would drop even further to 30.8% if a candidate for the Nick Xenophon Team ran
* Senator Xenophon would attract 38% of the primary vote
* 46% of voters oppose the China Free Trade Agreement and only 25.4% support it
The union said the strong vote for Senator Xenaphon reflected his consistent opposition to Free Trade Agreements, and specifically the China FTA. “The results are clear: the voters of Sturt detest the China Free Trade Agreement and the anti-Australian worker provisions in it,” CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said. click here to read full story.
Media Release 30.7.15
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is calling on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to drop a charge laid against a CFMEU organiser for doing nothing more than advocating higher wages for the Union’s members. ACT based construction organiser John Lomax has been charged over an Enterprise Agreement negotiated between the CFMEU and Canberra painting company Nel Trading and its principal, Woong Yul Park.
The AFP “Statement of Facts” on the case states that the CFMEU’s primary role is “to negotiate and secure improvements in working conditions and wages as well as ensure safe practices are abided by.” CFMEU Construction Division National Secretary Dave Noonan said police had totally over reacted by charging Mr Lomax with blackmail in relation to what was, after all, a normal enterprise agreement. Mr Noonan said the charge against Mr Lomax was denied and would be vigorously defended. “Achieving a pay rise for workers is not blackmail,” Mr Noonan said. click here to read full story.
Media Release 22.7.15 - CFMEU National Office
Six ways the China Australia Free Trade Agreement is unlike any before it
The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHaFTA) is unprecedented in Australian history, according to an analysis by a union that has identified six ways in which CHaFTA is unlike any other free trade agreement signed by Australia.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has carefully examined the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, signed by Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng in Canberra last month. “Andrew Robb has made a number of claims about the Agreement which are grossly misleading and false,” the CFMEU National Secretary, Michael O’Connor, said today. “Our analysis of the Agreement identifies six key ways CHaFTA is unlike any Free Trade Agreement signed by Australia with any other country before it. “The Agreement sells out Australian workers. There are new and unprecedented provisions within it to
allow Chinese companies to bring in semi-skilled workers, remove mandatory assessments of Chinese workers in skilled trades, do away with local labour market testing, and grant Chinese citizens working holiday visas that are not reciprocal for Australian citizens. “In a period of extreme unemployment in Australia, this Agreement is unconscionable.” click here to read full story.
Media Release 30.7.15 - QCU
Chilly public response to Coalition plan to cut penalty rates
P re-Ekka research shows the federal Coalition will feel the cold wind of public opinion if it continues to back the business lobby campaign to cut penalty rates for workers. Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams says perennial calls of business and the LNP to cut penalty rates had little support in the wider community. A Productivity Commission draft report into penalty rates and workplace reform is due to be handed down in early August. “If the Coalition thinks the wind gets cold at the Ekka, they had better rug up for the reaction from voters if they oversee cutting of penalty rates for workers,” Mr Battams said.
Essential Research shows 81 per cent of Australians think that people who are required to work outside of normal hours should receive a higher hourly rate of pay. “It shows the overwhelming majority of Australians support payment of penalty rates to employees working unsociable hours. That figure has not wavered over the past few years despite a concerted Coalition-backed campaign to cut penalty rates for low paid workers,” Mr Battams said. “Every year around Easter and the Ekka the business lobby claims that penalty rates are keeping them from opening on these public holidays". click here to read full story
Building and Construction Impairment Policy
The CFMEU has announced its proposal for an impairment policy in the building and construction industry, which also includes testing for drugs and alcohol. We are currently in consultation with our members with regard to the policy. The policy - put together in conjunction with South Australia and Flinders University is about safety in the workplace.
The purpose of this policy is to minimise and recognise all kinds of impairment and related risk to work place health and safety. The policy will recognise that there is a range of factors that can contribute to impairment at work, including mental health, fatigue, chemicals, heat, noise, illness and injury, illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs. click here to read full article.
Notices and FWC Orders
The Federal Circuit Court has made the following orders dated 23 June 2015 in relation to the Event Cinemas project within the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre at Broadbeach Queensland:
The Federal Circuit Court has made the following orders dated 10 June 2015 in relation to the Event Cinemas project within the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre at Broadbeach Queensland:
Bechtel Curtis Island
FWC has ordered CFMEU to put out the following message. Note that it does not, and cannot apply to protected industrial action. The Fair Work Commission Amended Interim Order requires all industrial action to cease. Members should immediately stop all industrial action and return to work. A copy of the Amended Interim Order is available at the CFMEU Construction and General Division internet site and the CFMEU Construction & General facebook page.