The FWO has again taken a bead on union behaviour, confirming today that it is investigating industrial action at the Oaky North mine in Queensland, where about 190 workers remain locked out after more than 200 days.
The FWO's costly pursuit of a cleaning company over inadvertent underpayments of $5200 over a nine-month period has drawn fire from a judge who questioned the "limited need for deterrence" in a case where Fair Work Act objectives could have been met through enforceable undertakings.
An employer could face a ninefold increase in fines ordered by the Federal Circuit Court after the FWO successfully appealed the judgment on the basis that it wrongly grouped contraventions as a single course of action.
The FWO is investigating protests at Melbourne's Webb Dock during the MUA's dispute with stevedore VICT which, despite Victorian Supreme Court cease-orders, continued until the worker's temporary reinstatement last Friday.
In a ruling that underlines the Fair Work Ombudsman's pursuit of accessorial liability against advisors, a court has for the first time imposed a fine on an accountancy firm involved in an employer's underpayments.
The FWO has initiated its first contempt of court application against a Cairns businessman for allegedly breaching a freezing order by transferring $41,035 out of two company accounts to a family trust when still owing $85,000 to the Commonwealth and former employees.
After entering into an FWO compliance partnership that commits it to taking responsibility for underpayments across its trolley collection network for the past three years, Woolworths says it would welcome working with any regulatory body to ensure workers in all supply chains are paid correctly.