The FWC has used new legislation permitting it to overlook minor technical or procedural errors in agreements to endorse an enterprise deal with a bargaining notice that failed to comply with the Act's pre-approval requirements.
Unregistered retail union RAFFWU has today questioned Woolworths' decision to display a bargaining notice on physical noticeboards rather than its electronic or "point of sale" systems, during an FWC hearing into its bid to quash the approval of a new deal and clear the way for a $1 billion backpay claim.
RAFFWU is challenging the approval of a Kmart deal that won overwhelming endorsement from workers, claiming a refusal to provide an opt-out of the retail industry superannuation fund and 1c above-award pay rates will mean it fails the better off overall test.
In a decision further clarifying the "minor procedural or technical errors" that can be overlooked in approving agreements, the FWC has rejected a deal capturing employees not contemplated at the time bargaining notices were issued, despite their subsequent involvement in voting it up.
A full Federal Court has upheld a finding that retailer Aldi issued invalid bargaining notices because it failed to strictly follow the mandatory content requirements when it replaced "employer" with "leader".
A senior FWC member has flagged a potential "revolution" in the way the tribunal assesses agreements should a full bench review being sought by IR Minister Kelly O'Dwyer find weight must be given to indirect as well as direct discriminatory terms.
The FWC has approved a Melbourne fire brigade agreement after it accepted undertakings that override terms that hindered workers going part-time and allowed their union to block flexible working arrangements, while a challenge is still on foot to an earlier finding that discriminatory deals can still get up.
The CEPU has launched a full-frontal attack on electrical contractors' efforts to secure a multi-enterprise agreement, claiming employers in other industries might use their actions as a "blueprint" to use the Fair Work Act to their advantage before the federal election.
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RAFFWU has not given up on its push for a $1 billion backpay claim for Woolworths workers, lodging an appeal this week against the retailer's new national agreement, while the FWC says a successful bid by rival retail union the SDA to axe 30 nominally expired Pizza Hut deals will have an "overwhelmingly positive" effect.