Employers are urging the Morrison Government to let greenfields and non-greenfields deals span the full life of major projects, without requiring them to reflect prevailing industry conditions, while legal experts say project owners and developers should be able to make them.
The FWC has referred its decision to terminate a nominally-expired greenfields agreement to general manager Bernadette O'Neill to consider whether its 2014 approval relied on inaccurate statutory declarations made by the employer's managing director and a CFMMEU State leader.
The FWC has held that a construction giant did not breach good faith bargaining requirements by secretly making two greenfields deals with the AWU without telling other unions who believed they were jointly negotiating a project agreement.
Now that the Morrison Government has decided to extend the maximum terms of greenfields agreements for major projects, employers say the principle should apply more widely to non-greenfields agreements covering subcontractors on such jobs.
In a decision traversing some of the challenges of protecting hard-won conditions in a difficult commercial environment, the CFMMEU has failed to block the termination of a construction deal no longer covering any workers after the company argued its uncompetitive terms and conditions hampered its ability to win new contracts.
An FWC full bench has clarified when non-bargaining representatives opposing agreement approvals have a right to be heard, clearing the way for the CFMMEU to test whether a wrongly-declared representative is incapable of being covered by a deal.
Three unions have won court approval to argue that the IR manager of a major service provider should be held accessorially liable for alleged underpayment of workers at Esso's onshore and offshore Bass Strait sites.
An FWC full bench has quashed a deal after accepting CFMMEU submissions that it would have allowed workers to be covered by future agreements ahead of its nominal expiry date, but has stopped short of finding that the tribunal should have heard from the union at first instance.