Substandard agreement thrown out after union intervenes

Published: 9 Jul 2021

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has thrown out an earlier decision by Commissioner Bruce Williams to approve an agreement which would have cut workers’ pay to $200 below the minimum legal rate.

The Full Bench also found that the employer failed to provide an explanation of the wage cuts to orders when they voted on the agreement.

CFMEU Construction & General Division National Secretary Dave Noonan said:

“Only the intervention of the CFMEU stopped approval of an agreement which was clearly unlawful and which undermined the minimum legal wages and conditions.”

“The Fair Work Act is supposed to protect award standards, but increasingly we are seeing Coalition appointed Commissioners ignoring the law and waving through agreements which are contrary to the law, which in this case were facilitated by the notoriously anti-union Master Builders’ Association.”

“If it wasn’t for the union, this disgraceful deal would be in force, cutting wages and forcing down industry standards.”

“Under Morrison's failed Omnibus Bill, which the government is reportedly considering bringing back before the Parliament, the union would have been barred from intervening in this and other similar cases, allowing substandard agreements to sail through unchecked.”

“Meanwhile, the ABCC – which is meant to prevent unlawful activity in the construction industry - continues to stand by and do nothing to protect construction workers from relentless attacks on their wages and conditions.”

“The CFMEU will continue to vigorously defend minimum award standards in the construction industry.”