Agreement certified despite employees' boycott of vote

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Agreement certified despite employees' boycott of vote

The AIRC has found that as a majority of those voting had agreed to the proposed certified agreement it followed that the agreement could be duly certified.

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The AIRC has found that as a majority of those voting had agreed to the proposed certified agreement it followed that the agreement could be duly certified. 

The union (AMWU) called for a boycott of the vote and as a result only 25% of the workers voted.

Senior Deputy President Cartwright stated:

'The wording of s170LK(1) relevantly provides that "the employer may make the agreement with a valid majority...". 

'...It was not disputed (nor could it be) that the employer gave all of the employees a reasonable opportunity to decide whether they wanted to make the agreement.

'All of the employees were aware of the vote, and were informed clearly of what was required of them in voting (if they so desired)...I am not persuaded that any difficulty in understanding English affected whether all employees were given a reasonable opportunity to decide whether they wanted to make the Agreement. 

'On this occasion, a majority of the persons who cast a valid vote must have "genuinely decided" that they want to make the agreement.

'There was no dispute that this occurred either. On all the material before me I am satisfied that this requirement was met.

'I was not referred to, nor am I aware of any decision that has held that the genuineness of the employees who did not cast a valid vote is relevant to the determination of whether a "valid majority" exists within the meaning of s170LE.'

The Commission issued the certificate.

See: Amcor Packaging (Australia) Pty Ltd re Amcor Aerosols - Steel Can making and Component Making Certified Agreement 2002 - Cartwright SDP - 19 June 2003.

 
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