CFMEU demands ‘bullying’ clause in agreements

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CFMEU demands ‘bullying’ clause in agreements

The CFMEU is launching a campaign to have workplace bullying clauses inserted in collective agreements, so that bullies are quickly moved away from their victims.

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The CFMEU is launching a campaign to have workplace bullying clauses inserted in collective agreements, so that bullies are quickly moved away from their victims.
 
The move comes as a result of a CFMEU member in the forestry and furnishing products division complaining of ‘horrific’ bullying at a factory in Sunbury in Victoria.
 
The worker eventually received a confidential payout and a public apology.
 
The union is seeking to take advantage of sections of the Fair Work Act 2009 that allow for the use of court injunctions, to ensure a victim (or the bully) is moved to a different part of the workplace.
 
CFMEU assistant national secretary Leo Skourdoumbis said the union would seek to have a standard clause in all agreements related to bullying in the workplace.
 
It is negotiating to have the clause in all new agreements, and will insert it in existing agreements when they are renegotiated.
 
Adequate support
 
The draft clause, endorsed by the union’s executive this week, will demand that employers provide ‘adequate support’ to victims, keep records of meetings, and develop anti-bullying policy and training.
 
Skourdoumbis said the union had received an ‘avalanche’ of complaints about bullying after the Sunbury case was reported in the media.
 
Some unions, including the Community and Public Sector Union, have references to bullying in agreements but they tend to refer to existing company policies and are far less binding that the clause demanded by the CFMEU.
 
Skourdoumbis said WorkSafe Victoria and the Fair Work Ombudsman had not done enough about bullying, with cases often ‘put into the too-hard basket’.
 
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