CFMEU failed in bid at fair bargaining
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The issue is a about the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy union being refused the right to take industrial action against Mondelphous, a national Engineering company as Fair Work Australia Believed the Unions attempts at bargaining prior to initiating Industrial action was rudimentary . How did the issue occur and who was involved:
The construction Forestry and Energy Union has attempted to take industrial action against Monadelphous, after they discovered that the firm had entered Enterprise bargaining negotiations with two other unions covering staff at a central Queensland site. Fair Work Australia reviewed the claim and refused the union the right to take industrial action based on the fact that inadequate bargaining attempts were made by the union. They found that the unions only attempts at bargaining were “one telephone conversation, one missed call, a series of unanswered messages and a misdirect letter.” (LeGrand 2012) Susan Booth was the Fair Work Commissioner assigned to this case. Process and Outcome of the issue:
As of April 2012 the case is still unresolved, however the legal aspect of the case shall be discussed below. According to (Fair Work Ombudsman 2011) Protected Industrial action can-not be taken by a given party without first making an attempt to reach an enterprise agreement. (Fair Work Ombudsman 2011). An enterprise agreement is defined as an agreement on the terms and conditions of employment between an employer and their perspective employees (Fair Work Ombudsman 2011) Enterprise agreements are reached through collective bargaining, which occurs between an employer, employees and their bargaining representative (in this case the CMFEU) who are required to act in the process of good faith. Fair Work Australia lists the good faith bargaining requirements that must be undertaken. These are: •
attending and participating in meetings at reasonable times •
disclosing relevant information (other than confidential or commercially sensitive information) in a timely manner •
responding to proposals made by other bargaining representatives for the agreement in a timely manner •
giving genuine consideration to the proposals made by other bargaining representatives, and giving reasons for any responses to those proposals •
not behaving in a capricious or unfair way that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining
Recognising and bargaining with the other bargaining representatives for the agreement.
(Fair Work Ombudsman 2011)
Susan Booth investigated the matter and concluded that CMFEU’s application for protected industrial action was premature as the unions attempt to reach an agreement was rudimentary. She stated that “the unions attempt at an agreement was no more than a beginning, taking steps preparatory to bargaining but not bargaining.” (LeGrand 2012). A clear outline for the process of bargaining is outlined by Fair Work Australia and the requirements of the outline were not met by CMFEU. For this reason the unions attempt at initiating protected industrial action was refused.
Fair Work Act Vs Workchoices
Part 13 of The Workplace Relations Act 1996 states that all parties involved in dispute must genuinely attempt to resolve the dispute at the workplace level. The dispute resolution process may involve: (a) Conferencing
(c) Assisted negotiation
(d) Neutral evaluation
(e) Case appraisal
Section 440 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 states that “industrial action must not be taken until after nominal expiry date of workplace agreements or workplace determinations.” The section of the Workplace Relations Act outlines the need for attempted negotiations prior to initiating Industrial Action. Therefore CMFEU’s request for protected Industrial Action prior to taking the necessary measures...
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