The decision, which concerned working conditions for Aldi employers, means workers’ rights to representation by unions cannot be avoided, the Shop, Distribution and Allied Employees Association said in a statement yesterday.
The SDA said the decision would have a positive effect on workplace conditions for Aldi workers nationally.
“This will guarantee that workers’ rights to representation by unions cannot be avoided by enterprises operating in a similar way to Aldi,” said SDA national secretary, Gerard Dwyer.
“It will also provide unions and employers with certainty as to how the Fair Work Act should be applied in terms of Greenfields agreements.”
The Federal Court determined that the Regency Park Agreement in 2015 should be treated as a Greenfields agreement, as maintained by the SDA.
“The SDA has consistently raised concerns with Aldi, and in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) about the agreement’s operation, the reliance on make good clauses and capacity to ensure every worker was better off compared with the award,” said Dwyer.
“Additionally, we are pleased the Federal Court has determined that the BOOT test was not properly considered by the FWC in relation to the Regency Park Agreement 2015, and there was an unreasonable reliance on a make good clause.”
The decisions and orders of both the Full Bench (FB) and the single member of the FWC in relation to the approval of the ALDI Regency Park Agreement 2015 have now been quashed.
The court’s decision makes clear that reconciliation clauses or make good clauses “cannot reasonably be regarded as creating a right to higher payments…it does not create any entitlement to a payment under the Agreement which is superior to an entitlement under the GRIA.”
“Unions and workers now have greater clarity in relation to the operation of Greenfields agreements and their rights to representation,” said Dwyer.
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