Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

Fair Work Ombudsman fails in bid for hefty fine MUA

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

ATTEMPTS by the Fair Work Ombudsman to penalise the Maritime Union more than $4m have been thrown out by the Federal Court.

The case related to a decision by Hutchison Ports Australia in August 2015 to sack 97 workers in Sydney and Brisbane.

It was alleged the MUA subsequently took illegal industrial action before a settlement ultimately was negotiated.

The MUA described the Court’s decision as a victory for common sense.

National secretary and International Transport Workers’ Federation president Paddy Crumlin said the Fair Work Ombudsman’s claim for $3.7m in penalties and $600,000 in compensation to Hutchison was “outrageous”.

“The Federal Court comprehensively rejected the FWO case for compensation and reduced the fine to 1% of what the FWO was seeking,” Mr Crumlin said.

“This decision was a win for common sense and demonstrates that the fight must go on to change the rules, so workers and their unions get a fair go from the industrial relations system.”

The MUA still will have to pay a fine of $38,000.

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