AWU’s 2nd appeal win against Alcoa

Tuesday 11th June 2019

Alcoa Pinjarra

Please see below update on the WA Branch’s latest win.

Background

On 16 April 2019 - A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission quashed Deputy President Beaumont’s decision to terminate the Alcoa World Alumina Australia WA Operations AWU Enterprise Agreement 2014, and directed the Deputy President to redetermine Alcoa’s application.

On 2 May 2019 - Deputy President Beaumont decided that for the purposes of the redetermination, the AWU could only lead evidence and make submissions about the bargaining process for a new agreement and the impact on the AWU if the current agreement is terminated. These are the areas where the Full Bench found errors in the Deputy President’s initial decision to terminate the current agreement.

The AWU filed an appeal against this decision on 6 May 2019 and a hearing was held on 6 June 2019.

On 7 June 2019 - A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld the AWU’s appeal and quashed the Deputy President’s decision and orders dated 2 May 2019.

The Full Bench confirmed the AWU was correct in submitting that the Deputy President must redetermine Alcoa’s application by considering all of the matters required by the FW Act. This includes receiving supplementary evidence relevant to those matters.

The Full Bench found the Deputy President erred in attempting to confine what evidence and submissions the AWU could rely upon in the redetermination. The Full Bench also confirmed that while evidence led in the first proceedings can be relied upon for the redetermination, the findings in the initial decision cannot be relied upon because the entire decision was quashed.

This means the current hearing dates of 27 and 28 June 2019 will be vacated and new directions will be issued regarding the conduct of the redetermination.

The Deputy President has been directed to issue new directions which allow the AWU to lead any relevant supplementary evidence.

The AWU will continue strongly opposing Alcoa’s attempts to terminate the current agreement.

The AWU will make sure the Commission is fully informed that Alcoa managed to double its NET profit to an astounding figure of $2 billion for the 2018 calendar year with the current agreement still operating.

However, this area of law remains problematic and there is no guaranteed outcome for either the AWU or Alcoa.

The AWU Allsites Committee and WA Branch will continue to remain focused on negotiating a new, fair and reasonable agreement as soon as possible by continuing to bargain in good faith with Alcoa.  

AWU WA Branch Secretary Brad Gandy thanks our Alcoa members for standing strong and also acknowledges our other AWU members who have supported this campaign through their solidarity and financial contributions.

This is an important win for ALL union members – as we are all in this together.