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Test case sets standards for unions to comply with Australian Laws

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Australia’s peak resources and energy group, AREEA, welcomes today’s High Court ruling confirming an incentive for unions to comply with Australian laws if planning strikes.

Director of Workplace Relations Amanda Mansini said the matter  was an important test case.

“This decision shows you don’t get to wreak havoc on a business if you’re not complying with the law”, Ms Mansini said.

“If the unions want the protection of our laws to organise a strike in support of bargaining claims, then the unions must comply with Australia’s laws until an agreement is struck, not just when it suits them.”

The High Court made the ruling under the provisions from Labor Government’s legislation:

“In relation to Esso’s appeal, a majority of the High Court held that the requirement in s413(5) for compliance with orders is not confined to orders that are in existence or may still be complied with at the time of the proposed protected industrial action, or which relate to that action.  The majority held that s 413(5) applies to past contraventions of orders that applied to the relevant persons and that related to the relevant subject matter,” the High Court summary stated.

“Trade unions are not above the law and if they want the important right to strike, with all of its serious consequences for business and Australian jobs, then this decision reinforces they must always comply.”

The full High Court decision can be found here.

Download AREEA’s Media Statement.


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