Fair Work backs CFMEU's role as guardian of workers' rights

Published: 16 Sep 2020

The CFMEU's role as a guardian of the Award safety net for construction workers has been backed by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in a decision which reaffirmed workers' rights to be paid their full redundancy entitlements.

"All businesses are legally required to be able to cover their workers' entitlements and liabilities," said Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary.

“This decision by the Full Bench of the FWC overturned an earlier decision which would have seen a Queensland construction denied his redundancy when his employer let him go."

“The employer opposed the union from bringing the appeal but the FWC recognised the CFMEU has a legitimate role in protecting the minimum safety net for all construction workers.”

"The Commission also agreed with the CFMEU's argument that the original decision was wrong under the law and should be quashed.”

“The CFMEU has demonstrated its important role in safeguarding people's hard-won industrial rights.”

“It is significant that the ABCC and Fair Work Ombudsman were asleep at the wheel when it came to correcting the original legal error, which if allowed to stand could have significantly weakened the safety net for construction workers.”

“It is also worth noting that this worker was not a member of a redundancy fund. Redundancy funds are encouraged by the union to assist in fulfilling redundancy entitlements for construction workers.”

"The CFMEU's role as a guardian of workers' rights has been explicitly recognised in this decision by the FWC. It is a role that is at the core of who we are and what we do and one from which we will not back down."