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Industrial Law

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Industrial Law An Executive summary:
This report has sought to address a number of claims that trade unions in Armisteel Pty Ltd have made that are supposed to be included in the union and organization’s agreement. The report has examined the procedure that the unions should take in the event that it wants to take industrial action as well as the barriers that the unions are going to face. The main purpose of writing this report is to address major legal issues that have been presented by employees to the organization. Armisteel Pty Ltd is a leading manufacturing industry business that is characterized by high levels of union activities within the organization. The unions include AMFKIU, WTU and WAU. The report is going to look into the committee’s wish that the new agreement maintain existing award provisions that had already been provided by a federal award back in 1988. The report is mainly motivated by a number of claims that have been made by the unions and will seek to address their legality to the fullness of the law. The unions are also seeking to take industrial action id their claims are not met by the organization.

Introduction:
The significance of writing this report is to address and offer recommendations to the joint union committee as well as the recently appointed General Manager on the legality of some of the issues that have been presented by the workers unions. The joint union committee is mainly concerned about major changes that affect industrial laws and the potential that those laws have to the undermining of the current worker conditions at the company. This report is going to address the resolutions that have been reached by this committee on the new legislations and laws support. The report seeks to address the agreement that the committee wants to reach with Armisteel Pty Ltd on this new legislations.
In Australia and around the world Labor unions are recognized and respected as a representative of workers in many industries and businesses alike. They serve the main purpose of ensuring that the employee’s needs and wants are met so as to ensure that workers in industries are comfortable and are enjoying job satisfaction Angel (1995). They also serve as a vital link between employees and the employer so as to ensure that the employee rips maximum benefits especially in the public sector and are also responsible for ensuring that the employees and employer are having a mutually beneficial relationship. They mainly utilize collective bargaining to fight for employee rights if the employer oversteps their mandate.
Discussion:
The steps that the unions must follow before they can take any protected industrial action:
There are a number of laid out steps and guidelines that Unions must follow before they take any industrial action if they have a dispute with the employer. This are mainly from common law practices as well as acts that have been adopted that allow unions to take industrial action against an employer. Mainly industrial action occurs when members of a trade union are involved in a conflict with the employer and they cannot be able to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict Angel (1995). Once it is determined that the conflict is irresolvable then the union will ask its members to vote on whether they wish to take action over the conflict that they have with the employer. Once the vote is in and the members decide to take action the union will decide on the form of industrial action that is going to be used. In Australia the Australian labor law allows two main types of industrial action. These are: strikes and industrial actions that are short of a strike Angel (1995). Before calling for industrial action the union must also first decide which of its members who are affected by the conflict want to take industrial action. The voice of their members is very important in this process. The trade unions must hold a postal ballot to determine whether this identified group wants to take industrial action against the company or the employer. Once the balloting is completed the union must ask the members the kind of industrial action that they would like to take against the company. After the voting process the trade union must reveal to its members what the voting figures was Nicholas (2004). The call for industrial action must be made by a person or committee that has the proper mandate and authority to make such a call. The voting process must also be conducted by individuals who have the proper authority to do so. The voting process should also be free and fair and it should be in secret without any interference from the union or any union officials.
Barriers towards taking industrial action:
There are barriers that affect the ability of unions to take industrial action in relations to the claims that have been made by the unions. For a union to take industrial action majority of the employees must vote for taking industrial action. This may present the first barrier Nicholas (2004). If majority of the employees vote not to take part in industrial action then the union will face a major setback because it cannot take industrial action without the consent of the members. The union members have to work together so as to ensure that they take successful industrial action. By law trade unions are required not to discipline members who chose not to be part of industrial action. Employment tribunals are set up mainly to look into such cases where union members who decide not to take part in industrial action are disciplined for their actions.
Analysis of claims:
The two mechanisms that are available and that are appropriate to use so as to be able to deal with the claims made by the union are awards and common law agreements. Some of the claims will be awarded to the unions on the grounds of their legality and some will not be awarded on the same ground. Below is a discussion of the organizations responses if the union takes industrial action.
The first claim that the unions have made is that the existing practices at the organization that seek to in trench the union’s role in consulting with the employer on issues that affect employees such as regulating work and roster practices and also in conflict resolution be retained. This claim should be awarded to the union. This is because according to the Fair work Australia or the Fair work Act of 2009 which gives the workers the rights to have their unions represents their grievances Johan (2003). The law was established by the Fair work Australia industrial relation institution, the role of the union to be in consultation with the management of the organization is a right that is guaranteed by law since the act has enabled employed to be able to bargain collectively for their grievances. The union is thus entitled to be in direct consultation with the employer on the rights and problems that are facing the employees. This can be a subject matter for the agreement Johan (2003). The second claim that has been presented by the union is the right for union officials and delegates to be allowed to enter the work site at all times so as to enable communication with members of the union during work hours. The company’s response to this claim is that the union officials can only be allowed into the work premise under special conditions which include coming to inspect any health and safety concerns that are affecting employees at the work place this has been provided for Alonso (2003). The organization should not however allow union officials the right to entry into the organization’s workplace to speak to a union member. This will constitute disruption of work on the part of the trade unions and the organizations will not agree to this claim. This can be a subject matter for the agreement Alonso (2003).
The third claim that has been presented is that the union can prohibit the use of contractors unless the contractor has been vetted and agreed upon by the union. This claim will be awarded to the union. This is because according to the law and especially the Fair work Act of 2009 the role of trade unions has been defined as being to protect the right of the employees at the work place Michael (2005). The use of contractors directly affects the employees because the contractors will determine the wages of the employees as well as the work load. The organizations should invite the trade unions to be actively involved in the contractor selection process so as to ensure that the best contractor who has the interest of the employees at heart. The trade unions should be invited to be part of the interviewing of shortlisted contract bidders so as to eliminate a situation where the unions would prohibit the use of a contractor. This can be a subject matter for the agreement Michael (2005).
The fourth claim is that unions have a bar on the use of employees who are from labor hire companies. This claim cannot be awarded by the organization; this is because the Right-to-Work Laws have prohibited discrimination is the work place on the people who are to be employed. This claim constitutes discrimination and it contravenes the Australian Labor law which protects all citizens from discrimination in the workplace. If the organization honors this wish then it will be in support of discrimination. Furthermore under the right to work laws everyone enjoys the right to be employed at any organization. This cannot be a subject matter for the agreement David (1970).
The fifth claim is that the union is seeking a payroll deduction for union subscriptions. The company will come to a collective agreement with the union on this matter. By law the right of the unions to bargain on behalf of the employees. The union can define an efficient and appropriate bargaining unit. Under the Australian Labor laws the unions can form a bargaining unit if the employees share a sufficient “community of interest” that shares the same interests. Therefore conditions such as deduction of the union subscriptions from has been covered by this law and thus the company cannot be able to prohibit the union from being involved in the process. This can be a subject matter for the agreement.
The last claim is a requirement that the organization contribute money to a union-managed and run “training fund”. The company will not agree to this claim. According to the law Fair work Act (2009) is an act and law that has prohibited unions from extorting money from employers and organizations alike. The requirement that the organization provide money for a union training program cannot be met because it amounts to extortion on the part of the unions. If the organization wants to train employees then it will run its own programs all together. The Fair work Act (2009) has also addressed the issue of inappropriate labor practices by unions. This can be viewed as an inappropriate practice. This cannot be a subject matter for the agreement Jackson (1982). Bibliography Alonso, Custro Symposium: Global Networks, the Environment and Trade. Melbourne: University of Melbourne Law School, 2003. Angel, William. The International Law of Youth Rights: Source Documents and Commentary. Campbelltown: Martinus Nijhoff, 1995. David, Brown. Labor Law: International and Comparative Law Quarterly 19.1 (1970): 160-61. Print. Davidson, Guy. The changing Idea of Labor Law. International Labor Review 146.3-4 (2007): 311-20. Print. Farani, Martin Complete Labor Laws: Labor Code. Perth: Nadeem Law Book House, 2006. Holt, Wythe. The New American Labor Law History. Labor History 30.2 (1989): 275-93. Jackson, Michael. Trade Unions. Sydney: Longman, 1982. Print. Johan, Nelis. Directory of Labor Organizations 2006 [Fredericton, N.B.]: Industrial Relations Branch, Dept. of Post Secondary Education and Training, 2006. Michael, Rosemann. Labor Laws. Grafton: Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs, Division of Labor Relations, 2000. Nicholas, Rogers. Un-free Labor in the Development of the Atlantic World. Sydney: Frank Cass, 2004.

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