Greens move to ensure treatment of Hutchison Ports employees not repeated

Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said the Greens supported the 97 Hutchison Ports Australia employees who were dismissed late at night by text message and email. Mr Bandt will today give notice of a motion in the House of Representatives that calls on the government to amend the Fair Work Act so that unfair actions from employers in the future do not require the Fair Work Commission to issue orders against employees.

“The Greens stand in support of the 97 people who have been dismissed by Hutchison Ports Australia,” Mr Bandt said.

“It is outrageous that these employees received text messages and emails late at night telling them not to come into work the next day, or even at all. It adds insult to injury to these people and their families.”

“As the current law stands, the Fair Work Commission is required to issue orders against employees, even if their employer has acted unfairly and instigated a dispute.”

“The Liberals have changed the Fair Work Commission from an umpire to a policeman.”

“Today I will introduce into the House of Representatives a motion calling on the Government to amend the Fair Work Act so that this situation is not repeated and the Fair Work Commission has full power to fairly settle disputes like this.”

“I urge all MPs to support this motion.”

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

Full text of the motion (to be seconded by Cathy McGowan, Member for Indi) is below:

THE MEMBER FOR MELBOURNE: I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move— That this House

a) Notes that the on Thursday August 6th 2015 Hutchison Ports Australia terminated 97 of its workers via text message and email late at night
b) Recognises that the termination of these employees may violate Fair Work laws and that the manner in which they were terminated represents disrespectful and harsh business practices that are unwelcome in Australian workplaces
c) Acknowledges the significant impact that this will have on the workers and their families
d) Calls on the Government to amend the Fair Work Act so that the internationally recognised right to strike is protected and the Fair Work Commission is not required to issue orders against employees if their employer has acted unfairly and instigated a dispute

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