NSW IR Minister Jeff Shaw's amendments to his 1996 IR Act have handed employees and unions a powerful enhancement to existing anti-victimisation provisions, incorporating the equivalent federal provision's reverse onus of proof that has been used to great effect by unions against Patrick and other employers.
The Queensland Supreme Court has issued a permanent injunction stopping the CFMEU and its officials picketing a Rio Tinto coal mine, despite the picket ending nearly a year ago and the lack of any immediate threat of it resuming.
The IRC has reinstated a sacked wharfie and senior MUA delegate after accepting his undertaking that he would end "forever" his union activities that had given rise to conflict with his employer, P&O subsidiary Container Terminals Australia Limited.
One of Australia's most influential employer organisations, the Business Council of Australia, wants the IRC to have a greater role in mediating bargaining disputes - a position that puts it in sharp contrast with the Government's desire to introduce competitive private mediation.
A full bench of the IRC has stepped into the aged care debate, awarding private aged care nurses in the Northern Territory a substantial pay increase, but acknowledging their employers will have difficulty providing it because of precarious funding arrangements.