Bad calls — bargaining and bingo


Bad calls — bargaining and bingo

Union bargaining letters ‘misleading’ says ABCC; Company director must pay bingo caller $6368.


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Union bargaining letters ‘misleading’ says ABCC; Company director must pay bingo caller $6368.
Union bargaining letters ‘misleading’ says ABCC
The ABCC has warned employers in the building and construction industry about ‘misleading’ letters from some unions, which imply that only unions can negotiate enterprise agreements.
In an e-Alert, the ABCC said that attached to the letters are copies of representation notices to be sent to an employer’s employees.
‘The representation notices do not accurately describe the role of a bargaining representative and the negotiation of an enterprise agreement,’ the email circular says.
‘The notices could mislead people about their rights and obligations.’
The ABCC says the unions’ version of a representation notice suggests:
  • agreements are negotiated between an employer and unions
  • an employer must give employees permission to attend meetings with union during working time
  • negotiations will be between ‘management’ and ‘the union’ with employees ‘kept informed’.
The ABCC tells employers that while employees can appoint unions as bargaining agents, they can generally appoint whomever they wish as their bargaining representative, including themselves.
‘The bargaining representative does not have to be a union,’ the ABCC said.
It also said that employers are not obliged to give employees time off during working hours to attend meetings with unions over enterprise agreement bargaining.
The ABCC said employees are entitled to be directly involved in the bargaining and not just ‘kept informed’ by the union.
It also said employers do not have to contact the union to begin enterprise bargaining.
Company director must pay bingo caller $6368
The director of a company that went into liquidation owing a bingo caller $6368 in wages has been fined that amount and must pay it to the former employee.
Raymond Bruce Snell, of Grose Vale, near Richmond, was fined in the Chief Industrial Magistrate’s Court in Sydney after he admitted being involved in the underpayment.
The fine must be paid to the bingo caller by 16 November.
Chief Industrial Magistrate Gregory Hart imposed the penalty following a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Snell is a former director of BW Marketing Group Pty Ltd and was involved in the company underpaying the bingo caller when she worked three days a week at the West Pennant Hills Sports Club.
Paid $60, but entitled to $113.50
The bingo caller was paid $60 per performance but under the relevant Award she was entitled to $113.50 per performance.
The woman won a back-payment order in the Local Court of NSW earlier this year after Fair Work inspectors assisted her to lodge a small claims application.
However, BW Marketing Group went into liquidation and she was not reimbursed.
Fair Work Ombudsman NSW Director Mark Davidson said the Agency then decided to prosecute Snell because of his central involvement in the underpayment and to recover the wages owed.
‘This case sends a message that the Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to recovering money for underpaid workers and is prepared to pursue individual directors to do so,’ Davidson said.
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