The ACTU's triennial Congress has endorsed a proposal for state and federal governments to enact industrial manslaughter laws, after maritime union leader Chris Cain told delegates that employers who recklessly kill workers should face $20 million fines and 20 years behind bars.
In a significant decision on out-of-hours conduct, the FWC has ruled that ALDI justifiably dismissed a storeperson for throwing a full beer glass over the heads of colleagues at an official company Christmas party.
Unions will next week consider pushing for stronger remedies for unfair dismissal by adopting measures such as removing the $73,000 compensation limit, enabling employees to pursue more than their lost income and empowering them to seek penalties against employers.
The FWC has praised Australia Post subsidiary Startrack Express for its flawless process in dismissing an employee who "crossed a line" from tolerable crudity to unacceptable racism in his remarks to colleagues.
Union calls for a return to industry-wide bargaining to boost workers' earnings have won the backing of the OECD, which says in its annual global employment report that negotiations across industry sectors can lead to "lower wage inequality".
The pitfalls of self-representation have been highlighted by an FWC full bench that found it would be "futile" to hear a former chief executive's anti-bullying case because his notice of appeal "expressly" indicated he was seeking an unnecessary order.