Stevedore DP World has opened up a new strategy for employers seeking to sideline industrial action, winning a ruling from the FWC that MUA bans on shift extensions were not protected because the employer never asked employees to work beyond their hours within 30 days.
About 1800 waterfront workers have today begun a campaign of rolling strikes at DP World container terminals across Australia this week, after the MUA and stevedore failed to reach agreement on a new enterprise deal.
An FWC member gave due recognition to the reduction of employees' bargaining power that would flow from him acceding to a DP World bid to extend notice for CFMMEU industrial action from three to five days, according to reasons issued by a full Federal Court today.
A full Federal Court majority has today rejected a judge's reasoning for ordering the MUA to pay a fine of just $38,000 for a week-long unlawful strike at Hutchison Ports' Sydney and Brisbane container terminals, but has rebuffed the FWO's contention that the stevedore should have been awarded $600,000 in damages it didn't seek.
A full Federal Court has upheld a finding that agreement-sanctioned union stopwork meetings can be freely used to delay and disrupt business as part of a campaign strategy, but has increased fines for the CFMMEU's coercion of head contractor Hutchison by almost 30%.
The CFMMEU's maritime division and the NRMA-owned operator of Sydney's Manly Fast Ferry service are expected to face off in the FWC this afternoon over planned stoppages that could start tomorrow, after talks this morning failed to resolve a bargaining impasse.
Faced with a "byzantine" and bewilderingly complex bid to recoup millions of dollars in damages, the Federal Court has found the CFMMEU organised unlawful bans at the Port Botany container terminal in 2017 but suggested further mediation on relief to take a load off public resources.