News
27.05.16

FWC FULL BENCH REJECTS INCO SHIPS APPEAL

FWC FULL BENCH REJECTS INCO SHIPS APPEAL

See Related Report in April 2016 AMOU Industrial Monthly Report

On 26 May 2016 the AMOU and the AIMPE were before the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission ('FWC'), after Inco Ships applied for permission to appeal against the interim decision of Commissioner Cambridge who granted the Unions standing to be heard in the application for the approval of the Inco Ships Pty Ltd Officer Collective Agreement 2015 Shipping Services (the 'Agreement'). 

Vice President Hatcher, Senior Deputy President Hamberger and Deputy President Sams rejected Inco Ships appeal on the basis that the Company did not have an arguable case to demonstrate that Commissioner Cambridge erred in his decision to grant the AMOU and the AIMPE standing in the application.  While the Full Bench did not agree Commissioner Cambridge's use of the epithet "unitdy" to describe the position that had emerged in respect to the standing of registered organisations at different stages of enterprise agreement approval proceedings, they had determined that the Commissioner's analysis was consistent with current case law and did not disclose any error of law as contended by Inco Ships.

As a result of the Full Bench refusing Inco Ships permission to appeal, the application for the approval of the Agreement will be listed for hearing before Commissioner Cambridge.  The AMOU expects to receive the notification of when the hearing is to occur within the upcoming week. 

The AMOU has a number of concerns regarding the pre-approval process undertaken by Inco Ships and also whether or not the Agreement satisfies the better off overall test (BOOT).  The AMOU will be appearing in those proceedings and contesting the approval of the Agreement.

If Commissioner Cambridge refuses to approve the Agreement in the upcoming hearing, the AMOU will seek to commence bargaining with Inco Ships for a new Enterprise Agreement.

For the Full Bench's Decision please click the link below:

Inco Ships Pty Ltd v Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers and Australian Maritime Officers Union [2016] FWCFB 3370

You can also access Commissioner Cambridge's Interim Decision (Inco Ships Pty Ltd [2016] FWC 1637) issued on 16 March 2016, on the Fair Work Commission website at:

https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2016FWC1637.htm