Cole reconsiders; green light for bargain fees

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Cole reconsiders; green light for bargain fees

Construction industry Royal Commissioner Justice Terry Cole is understood to be reconsidering his position on conditions he had placed on parties wishing to appear before him and has relisted hearings for those parties for later this month.

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Construction industry Royal Commissioner Justice Terry Cole is understood to be reconsidering his position on conditions he had placed on parties wishing to appear before him and has relisted hearings for those parties for later this month.

The opening of the Royal Commission on Wednesday was surrounded in controversy when Justice Cole revealed plans he had for parties to agree to detail all they knew about unlawful and inappropriate conduct before he would give them leave to appeal (see 252/2001).

Three employer groups walked out and unions yesterday argued for the preconditions to be dropped, saying they may later be held up for contempt if they neglected to outline anything which was brought up in evidence.

Justice Cole has just finished reading out his interim decision in the Commission's Melbourne hearing room, and it is believed he raised concerns about whether he had the power to set the conditions.

WorkplaceInfo will bring subscribers more information when it is available. It is understood preliminary hearings scheduled for other capital cities from next Monday will go ahead.

Bargaining fees lawful

Meanwhile, unions have the green light to collect fees against non-members they have long seen as 'freeloaders' after a full bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission today upheld the insertion of bargaining agent clauses into enterprise agreements.

The President, Justice Geoffrey Giudice, Senior Deputy President Les Kaufman and Commissioner Dominica Whelan rejected an appeal by the federal Employment Advocate, Jonathan Hamberger. He had claimed clauses in hundreds of Electrical Trades Union agreements breached freedom of association provisions under s298K of the federal Workplace Relations Act (see 41/2001).

WorkplaceInfo will bring subscribers more detail of this case at a later stage.


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