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Running head: EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSEmployment RelationsName of the StudentName of the UniversityAuthor Note
1EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSIntroductionOaky Creek was the respondent who operated a coal mine in Central Queensland. Theapplicant in the case was the union who represented most of the members. A dispute developedbetween the workers of the mine which threatened the working of the mine and some disruptionoccurred at the Oaky Creek’s operations. The Court gave an instruction to abridge the timewhich was not opposed by the union members. The order was in effect, an order to return towork and the members did not oppose to that order.The case is set at the backdrop of industrial disputes that occurred in the year 2017. Dueto the increase in industrial dispute, union members and collective bargaining has reached asharp low and has severely declined. The case revolves around the applicability of the CoalMining Safety and Health Act 1999.the case was filed by the Construction, Forestry, Mining andEnergy Union in respect of a bargaining order against Okay Creek Coal. The issue in concernwas the bargaining order of the employees who were employed at the Oaky north UndergroundCoal Mine. Since the year 2015 there was a bargain regarding replacement enterprise agreement.The CFMEU members started an action of protected industrial action in the year 2017 and once avote on the agreement that was proposed was rejected, the notice of protected industrial actionwas also rejected. Due to the withdrawal of the protected industrial action, the employees had towork and they did not protest. After the employees returned to work, they faced various troublesrelated to the work place. The work place environment was not conducive to work and thereforethey were subject to humiliation. Once they returned to work, their swipe cards stopped workingand also they were forced to stop wearing branded tshirts which they used to wear previously.The tshirts they wore had the logo of CFMEU. The tshirts held the banner of the CFMEU andasking the employees to refrain from wearing them was a violation of their freedom.
2EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSThe employees did not protest and they returned to work and resumed the protectedindustrial action. In the event the employees returned to work, the OCCPL issued letters to 21employees. The OCCPL alleged that there has been a breach of policy relating to the expectedconduct. Along with the 21members, five other members were also held to be in breach of theirduty following their social media activity. There was a social media policy in place and the 5members were held to be in breach of those policies. The CFMEU in its submission claimed thatthe behavior that the employees had to face were unfair and against business policies and it was aviolation of the code of conduct. CFMEU asserted that issuing of allegation letters was not fairand was against policy. The employees were not allowed to wear the company logo on theircloth and the restriction on clothing was against ethics and unfair. The violation was against theprinciple of collective bargaining and the freedom of association. The employees in a union havean inherent right to their choice of clothing and also they had the freedom to indulge in anyactivity they deemed fit for their association (Regan and Lee 2015). The surveillance of theCFMEU members was considered unfair and discriminatory.Since the discrimination was noted, the OCCPL had started implementing a plan toacknowledge employer’s response. The OCCPL started a programme to implement the employerresponse action. All the employees who were the members of CFMEU were locked out. Afterthe CFMEU members were locked out, the mine started to function with staff members and alsomembers who were also the employees of contractors. The outcome of the dispute was that theCommission held that the behavior of OCCPL was unjust and were against the ethics of anenterprise. It was held that it was unfair for OCCPL to treat the employees with disregard. Therestriction on clothing was against the freedom that an employee enjoys in an organization and toput a stop on that was capricious and unfair. The Commission orders in this regard keeping in
3EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSmind the fact that the behavior of OCCPL was not proportional and the members of CFMEUwere treated differently. The level of security attached was not how an enterprise should betreated and the employees should always be subject to fair treatment.The role of the commission in the above mentioned case has been very essential becausethe commission upheld the rights of the employees and also gave due recognition to the freedomof employees. The productivity commission in the year 2015 did a review of the Fair Work Actand came to the conclusion that the system of enterprise bargaining was doing well and that therehas been a steep rise in the bargaining power of the enterprises. Another view of the commissionwas that the system of collective bargaining was not conducive and that the concept was noteconomically viable (Matthews 2017). The reviews of the Commission when read together withthe intended purpose of the Fair Work Act, it can be concluded that the Act did not meet therequirements that it had envisioned and did not function up to the mark. The aim of the Act wasto ensure that there is a level playing field among the employees and that no employee shall bediscriminated. In the present case, the question of bargaining did not arise and the employeestried to indulge themselves in fair bargaining with the other union members which lead the caseto the court. The case happened when the unions were full of discrimination and the employeeswere subject to discrimination and hostile work environment. The union in those circumstancesfaced severe opposition due to bargaining and the bargaining environment was full ofdiscrimination. The employers and the union members were in a constant tussle and as a result ofthat their rights were not recognized.While the ongoing battle was going on between the union members and the employees,there was a cry for reforms in the legislation that would give more recognition to the employeesand correct the present situation. The current system needed to be reevaluated and changed