A judge has today comprehensively rejected an FWO attempt to rewrite the way courts assess fines for unlawful strikes, ordering the CFMMEU's MUA division to pay $38,000 for a solitary contravention after the watchdog sought $3.6 million in penalties for more than 500 breaches.
The FWO is seeking to fine the CFMMEU's MUA division more than $3.5 million for unlawful industrial action against Hutchison Ports, using a novel argument that historic contraventions of the same Fair Work Act provision denies the union the benefit of the legislation's single course of conduct mechanism.
The FWC is set this afternoon to hear Patrick Stevedores' application to Commission to stop alleged planned industrial action by MUA members at its Port Botany container terminal in support of maintenance workers who are about to embark on a seven-day protected strike.
Glencore's Oaky North coal mine workers have voted to accept the same in-principle agreement that they rejected in January, with the CFMMEU crediting its successful FWC bid to pause a bitter seven-month lockout with creating the right environment to break the deadlock.
The FWO has again taken a bead on union behaviour, confirming today that it is investigating industrial action at the Oaky North mine in Queensland, where about 190 workers remain locked out after more than 200 days.
In the first test of whether Queensland's laws regulating peaceful assemblies can be used to block pickets and protests during industrial disputes, the state's Supreme Court has rejected mining company Glencore's argument that such activities can't be authorised.
The FWC's termination of industrial action in the Victorian electricity industry took into account that it could "almost immediately" affect generators that regularly meet more than half of the state's power supply.