In Today's Media

Fair Work Commission ‘not fit to set wage levels’ (24/01/2017)
A former Fair Work Commission deputy president has called for the industrial umpire to be carved up and responsibility for the setting of the minimum wage and award standards, including penalty rates, to be invested in a new independent body subject to parliamentary oversight.
Source: The Australian

Part-time, projects, portfolio careers: What workers can expect in 2017 (24/01/2017)
There's an "exciting new world of work" out there, and not only is Sarah Moran embracing it, she's encouraging others to do the same. Ms Moran, 32, is chief executive of Girl Geek Academy, which builds technical and entrepreneurial skills among women. She said the lines between traditional jobs and entrepreneurship were "blurring further and further".
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Employers concerned that workers will take a sickie on Friday (24/01/2017)
More Australians than usual are expected to be ill on Friday after celebrating Australia Day, prompting employer groups to plead that workers take annual leave instead of a sickie, while unions say there are bigger issues to worry about. Paul Dundon, the managing director of Direct Health Solutions, estimates $54 million will be lost from the Australian economy on Friday.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Veterans find new careers as businesses look to shape Government program (23/01/2017)
Keri Anderson spent 15 years as a field engineering officer in the New Zealand Army, undertaking deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, before a career change saw her become a senior consultant at Canberra firm Noetic. But Ms Anderson, like many other service men and women leaving the military, had to overcome some common hurdles to get there.
Source: ABC

‘Armageddon’ threats: CFMEU fined $50,000 (23/01/2017)
The construction union has been slapped with a $50,000 penalty after the Federal Court found two senior officials threatened “Armageddon” and national indust­rial action against a head contractor. Federal Court judge Anthony Besanko yesterday highlighted the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union’s “significant record of non-compliance” with workplace laws, and its lack of contrition for the conduct on the Royal Adelaide Hospital project.
Source: The Australian

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/judge-dubious-on-union-payouts/news-story/d751803cc48c1 (23/01/2017)
The ACTU has backed Federal Court action to try to overturn a “deeply concerning” ruling by the workplace umpire, upholding the right of employers to sack legal­ly striking workers. ACTU president Ged Kearney called yesterday for changes to the federal workplace laws in the wake of the ruling that had been backed by business organisations.
Source: The Australian

Judge dubious on union ‘payouts’ (23/01/2017)
A Fair Work Commission vice-president and a prominent unionist “may well” have received substantial redundancy payments “to which they were not entitled”, a Federal Court judge has concluded. FWC vice-president Nicole Wells and former ALP Left power­broker Kevin Harkins receive­d the payouts from the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union when they were officials of the union in 2008.
Source: The Australian

Top industrial judge resigns in disgust over 'biased' system (23/01/2017)
One of the most senior members of the national workplace tribunal has resigned and launched an extraordinary attack that portrays the Fair Work Commission as a politically compromised and biased organisation that is hurting jobs and investment. Graeme Watson wrote to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove on Friday formally stepping down as a vice-president of the Fair Work Commission, an almost unprecedented move that exposes ideological fissures in the tribunal that sets the pay and conditions for millions of workers.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Centrelink cooking the books on violence against public servants, union says (23/01/2017)
Centrelink says more than 8600 reports of customer aggression towards its staff last financial year is an improvement, but its main workplace union says the welfare agency is hiding the extent of the problem. The agency's bosses insist the workplace safety situation is improving but the union says plummeting customer service standards are driving high levels of verbal and physical aggression towards frontline Centrelink workers.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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