In Today's Media

Travel time fear blocks wage deal (19/01/2017)
A roadside traffic management contractor has failed in its efforts to cut workers’ penalty rates, the latest employer to be rebuffed by the Fair Work Commission. A day after Swedish fashion retailer H&M had a proposed national deal rejected, the commission has refused to approve an agreement cutting weekend penalties of Traffic Force employees in Western Australia. Commission deputy president Melanie Binet found some workers could have been almost $80 a week worse-off compared to their award.
Source: The Australian

‘Protected’ strikes no bar to sack, says Fair Work Commission (19/01/2017)
Australia’s powerful mining union is flexing its muscles for a Federal Court showdown after the workplace umpire upheld the right of bosses to sack legally striking workers in a decision ­applauded yesterday by employer groups. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has threatened to challenge the Fair Work Commission ruling in the Federal Court, with mining division national secretary Andrew Vickers yesterday accusing “conservative’’ members of the tribunal of “improperly’’ applying the nation’s workplace laws.
Source: The Australian

AGL Loy Yang wins orders against industrial action disguised as sick leave (19/01/2017)
The Fair Work Commission has found workers at AGL Energy's Loy Yang A power plant are faking sickies to take covert industrial action, which the energy giant says is threatening Victoria's summer power supply. Commissioner Julius Roe handed down a decision on Wednesday afternoon ordering the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's energy division to tell workers to stop the action and AGL has threatened to sue both the union and workers for damages if they continue.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Australians delay retirement by three years (19/01/2017)
Australians are delaying retirement by an average three years as cuts to the age pension and low interest rates force people to rethink their savings plans. A survey by research firm Roy Morgan conducted last October found that the average age of individuals planning to retire over the next 12 months was 61, up from 58 years of age two years ago.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Fears for Gippsland jobs as timber supply dries up (19/01/2017)
There are fears for more job losses in Gippsland, with a mill that processes wood from sensitive Victorian forests warning 250 jobs are under threat unless a substantial supply of timber is secured soon.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Parmalat locks out workers at Echuca dairy plant (19/01/2017)
Dairy company Parmalat has locked about 60 workers out of a processing plant in northern Victoria indefinitely amid a heated dispute over pay and conditions. Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement at the Echuca plant have been underway since August 2016, and in November, Parmalat applied to have the existing agreement torn up.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Burger Buzz boss Todd Buzza faces jail threat over underpayment (19/01/2017)
A burger bar operator who has repeatedly underpaid workers is now facing the prospect of jail time if he keeps ripping off his employees. For the second time in a year, Todd Buzza and his company Rum Runner Trading face allegations of underpaying employees at outlets of his Burger Buzz chain.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Unpaid internship trend may penalise poorer job seekers, study finds (18/01/2017)
More job hunters are doing unpaid internships, and this trend may disadvantage those who can't afford to work for free, as well as people in regional areas, the authors of a new report say.
Source: ABC

Swedish fashion giant gets BOOT from FWC (18/01/2017)
The Fair Work Commission has rejected a national workplace agreement proposed to cover 1200 workers employed by Swedish fashion giant H&M, finding planned cuts to penalty rates left casual employees worse off than the industry award. H&M had proposed cutting weekend and public holiday penalty rates as well as overtime rates in exchange for higher pay for working Monday to Friday.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Goodman Fielder to close three bakeries with loss of 215 jobs (18/01/2017)
Australia's largest baker, Goodman Fielder, is seeking approval from competition regulators to establish a supply agreement with its largest competitor, George Weston Foods, after announcing plans to close another three bakeries with the loss of 215 jobs.
Source: Australian Financial Review

http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/more-than-half-of-young-australians-do-unpaid-work-20170116-gtsps4.html (18/01/2017)
A major Australian accommodation chain has been ordered to make part of a $300,000-plus payout to a worker sexually assaulted by another employee at a company hotel. The "serious and shocking" assault by a naked and much older man on a 21-year-old woman in December 2010 left the woman with post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptoms, according to a tribunal, and she couldn't return to work until 2015.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

More than half of young Australians do unpaid work (18/01/2017)
More than half of Australia's young adults have done unpaid work as part of an internship or a job trial, raising questions about the need for greater regulation of unpaid work to prevent exploitation, a landmark national study has found. The study of 3800 people aged 18 to 29 from across the country is the first to investigate the prevalence of unpaid work in Australia and suggests it is becoming a pervasive norm in an increasingly competitive labour market.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Can wage growth recover in 2017? Don't count on it (17/01/2017)
It is the time of year for crystal ball gazing, including on economic matters. For people in the financial markets, that means preparing year-ahead forecasts on everything from the price of coal, to interest rates and the Australian dollar. But for many of us, a more relevant financial question for the year ahead is will I get a decent pay rise?
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Showpo sues fellow e-retailer over data 'theft' (17/01/2017)
Online fashion house Showpo is suing one of its former graphic designers and fledgling online retailer Black Swallow for reputational damage and loss of sales alleging the woman stole the entire customer database and passed it on to her new employer.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Female tradies promote 'male-dominated' jobs to school leavers (17/01/2017)
Workshops aimed at teaching young women how to use tools are being offered around the country in a bid to break the gender imbalance. A recent national report found women made up just 14.7 per cent of technicians and trade workers. Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) was set up in 2009 by painter and decorator Fi Shewring to boost the number of female tradies.
Source: ABC

ABCC seeks to end CFMEU impunity over fine payments (17/01/2017)
The national building watchdog has taken High Court action in a fresh bid to ban the construction union from paying penalties imposed on its officials for unlawful conduct. In one of its first acts since being reinstated late last year, the Australian Building and Construction Commission has applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal against a judgment last month setting aside an order banning the union from paying an $18,000 penalty on behalf of one of its officials, Joe Myles.
Source: The Australian

Auditor red flags CFMEU Qld coal division accounts over credit card spending (17/01/2017)
The qualification of its latest financial accounts by new auditors has delivered the Queensland coal union to the creeping quagmire of community scepticism over the exuberance with which Australian officialdom spends other people's money.
Source: Australian Financial Review

AGL fails at industrial umpire over shortage of overtime workers at Loy Yang power plant (17/01/2017)
A bid by energy company AGL to force workers at its Gippsland power plant to work overtime to ensure the site can operate fully has been dismissed by the industrial umpire, as the relationship between the company and the union further deteriorates.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Pie Face receiver says business is close to profitability and sale (17/01/2017)
Fast-food chain Pie Face is heading towards profitability for the first time in a long time, as its receiver flags the business will be sold shortly. But the one-time, high-flying, hot-pie business has left behind a trail of destruction.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

HESTA sets up investment committee, restructures executive team (16/01/2017)
HESTA has become the latest superannuation fund to increase oversight of its investments, setting up an investment committee and revising the structure of its executive team. Following a review by investment consultant Willis Towers Watson, HESTA is set to implement a new, five-year strategy whereby it will add new resources at both the board and executive level.
Source: Australian Financial Review

SA’s ICAC head blasts lengthy paid public-sector suspensions (16/01/2017)
Almost 100 public servants in South Australia facing serious allega­tions have been indefinitely suspended on taxpayer-funded wages during the past three years. Workers from the Department of Communities and Social Inclusi­on make up the bulk of the suspensions. Since 2013-14, the department has suspended 79 employees, just one without pay, documents show. In 2013-14, 18 workers were suspended on full pay; 27 the following financial year, and 33 suspended with pay in 2015-16.
Source: The Australian

States face power threat as EBA axed (16/01/2017)
Electricity supplies in three states could be hit by significant industrial action at one of Australia’s biggest power plants after energy giant AGL won a battle to abolish an enterprise deal. A decision by the Fair Work Commission yesterday to terminate an expired enterprise bargaining agreement at the Loy Yang A power plant in Victoria from January 30 has infuriated the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.
Source: The Australian

AGL victory at power plant serves up massive pay cut to workers (16/01/2017)
Hundreds of workers at one of Australia's largest power plants will have their pay drastically slashed by up to 30 per cent, after energy giant AGL won a bid to abolish a long-standing agreement. The Fair Work Commission on Thursday agreed to tear up the existing pay and conditions for all employees working at the massive Loy Yang power plant in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. The plant supplies about 30 per cent of Victoria's power and is an important part of the national energy system.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Give ombudsman more tools to tackle no-name wage fraud (16/01/2017)
It's the big names that stick in the mind. 7-Eleven, Appco, Caltex, major companies caught out allowing underpayment of workers under their banners and in their names. These failures are a disgrace. But at least when things go wrong, there's a target to swing at, a brand to be saved and a wallet to be prised open.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald