With respect to the appropriate steps that were taken to explain the terms of the agreement, Vice-President Hatcher and DP Booth stated that the OS “simply did not explain the level of pay rates for employees or new or alternative service tables, casual workers or part-time workers.” The operating contract accepts the change of position, but limits them to a maximum of four weeks. The company also failed to reach an agreement or determine whether staff supported the amendment. The CFMMEU, the CEPU and the AWU all wanted to be heard when the enterprise agreements were approved, which stated that the agreements were contrary to national employment standards (NES), had not passed the “best off-all-test” (BOOT) test and that OS had not carried out various stages of prior authorization. The simplification and acceleration of the enterprise agreement system has long been a high priority for AMMA and its members. AMMA is disappointed that the agreements on resource companies were voted on by workers and submitted to the Fair Work Commission 18 months ago, subject to delays and lingering uncertainties in the authorisation process. In January 2020, the unions submitted approval of the two enterprise agreements for several reasons, including the fact that the EPP took into account irrelevant considerations, that they were in breach of the NES agreements, that agreements that did not meet the legal conditions for authorisation, including the BOOT review and the effectively agreed review, and that the companies provided by the companies had not corrected the default of the required declaration. According to IndustriALL Global Union`s subsidiary, CFMMEU Mining and Energy, the changes are part of a continuing and progressive war of attrition against the union. Unions that organize BHP workers around the world argue that the company is undermining collective agreements to continue to instil staff. At the end of the four-week cycle authorized by the agreement, the union called for an end to the change of position.
The company refused. The labour tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, having previously ruled on this issue, the union has brought legal action. “We are very pleased that Fair Work has accepted our arguments and found that these agreements are not valid.” “We are not satisfied with the needs of … the Fair Labour Act, which the production contract or maintenance contract has actually approved by the workers covered by the agreements,” the judgment states.