Bokklur Pty Ltd was a producer of steel products which it supplied to the local building industry. The company had a workforce of 2000 personnel in companies dispersed throughout Queensland and South Australia. The company had succeeded in reducing union density in its workplace several years ago when it introduced individual employment contracts. Since that time it had undermined all union initiatives to increase its membership in the company and had steadfastly refused to employ any worker who was or had been a union member.
A certified non-union agreement existed between the company and a large number of its employees. Two months prior to the end of this agreement, the employees presented a log of claims to the company. The claims included a demand that no collective agreement be entered into without union approval. It was also demanded that the new agreement provide that no employee could be unfairly dismissed. Management of the company found the claims ludicrous but nevertheless had a discussion with representatives of the workers. Management representatives refused to consider any proposals put by the workers. After 15 minutes they terminated the meeting and summoned security to escort the workers off the plant, from which they were then locked out.
Furious at these developments, the workers immediately picketed the plant. The local branch of a union joined the picket in order to show worker solidarity and as a political gesture against the company for its anti-union policies. Several local building companies complained to Bokklur that they were unable to obtain their contracted supplies of steel for their ongoing building work and were facing legal action from their customers for breach of contract.
1. Outline an industrial tort action that might be available against the picketing workers. Give reasons for your answer.
2. Is the industrial action taken by the employer and that taken by the workers protected? Give reasons for your answer, with reference to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
3. Briefly comment on Bokklur’s policies with respect to freedom of association.
The question belongs to Law and it is about Labor Unions. The question is about an engineering company which dismissed its workers’ demands about no labor union policy. As a result the company is facing legal action from its customers for breach of contract. An industrial tort has to be outlined against the workers as well as the employer for taking action against workers.
Total Word Count 781
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