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Democrats set to down Reith's Bill, as NSW rallies planned

The Democrats have confirmed that the Government's pattern bargaining Bill as it stands is unlikely to get their support in the Senate committee report being handed down today, with IR spokesperson Senator Andrew Murray yesterday issuing a media release expressing concern with the legislation's wide implications.

BHP Pilbara workers to strike Wednesday

The unionised half of BHP's Pilbara iron ore workforce will go out for 24 hours on Wednesday June 7 after the company rejected a collective agreement proposal from unions that largely mirrors the terms of the company's staff contracts.

Transport unions to merge

Just when super-unions have gone out of fashion, the two big transport organisations, the Transport Workers Union and the Rail Tram and Bus Union, have revealed plans to merge into what would be one of Australia's most powerful and strategically-placed unions.

Bans continue in SA construction

The South Australian construction sector continues to be hit by union bans five months after bargaining began in the state, and there appears to be no hope of an industry-wide deal.

Deal turns call centre into a seven-day business

A new deal covering Westpac's call centre in Launceston, Tasmania, allows the business to become a 24-hour/seven-day operation, with employees paid penalties based on an hours grid.

AMWU's Marshall missing after plane crash

AMWU national organiser Neil Marshall is one of eight people missing, presumed dead, after the plane they were aboard disappeared in the Upper Spencer Gulf near Whyalla in South Australia on Wednesday night.

Pattern bargaining bill's future precarious

Union efforts to convince the Democrats that the Government's pattern bargaining bill will unfairly tip the bargaining balance in employers' favour appear to have paid off, with the party signalling yesterday that it had stepped back from its earlier position of being more inclined to amend than reject the legislation.

Commission removes award exemption clause

A full bench of the IRC has given the ASU an opening to re-unionise middle managers and administrative employees by striking out an exemption clause in a breweries award.

Big union win on contracting out

NSW unions have had a major win on contracting out, with the Roads and Transport Minister ensuring award conditions won't be undercut by insisting that all tenderers for outsourced work in his portfolio will have to negotiate awards or agreements with unions.

IRC ends bargaining at Ansett

In a major win for Ansett, the IRC has granted the airline's application to terminate the bargaining periods initiated by the AMWU, AWU and CEPU.