The SDA has achieved a win for ALDI workers today as the Federal Court (FC) has determined in its favour in a landmark case.
The decision on the ALDI Regency Park Agreement 2015 which covers parts of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria dealt with:
- Whether the agreement should be considered Greenfields.
- Whether the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) properly determined the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT).
- Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR)
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 been quashed. The SDA are actively considering the consequences that will flow from today for ALDI workers in Regency Park.
SDA National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer said that the union was pleased that the Federal Court had determined that the Regency Park Agreement 2015 should be treated as a Greenfields agreement as maintained by the SDA.
“This will guarantee that workers’ rights to representation by unions cannot be avoided by enterprises operating in a similar way to ALDI.”
“It will also provide unions (and employers) with certainty as to how the Fair Work Act should be applied in terms of Greenfields agreements.
“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.”
Of note, the FC’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.”
“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.”
The FB of the FC provided further commentary on the need for strict compliance with the NERR.
“Today’s Federal Court decision is an excellent outcome for ALDI workers right across the country.”
“Unions and workers now have greater clarity in relation to the operation of Greenfields agreements and their rights to representation.”
“The SDA has a long and proud history of standing up for workers’ rights and we’re pleased that today we’ve been successful in this case, which will have a positive impact on the workplace conditions for ALDI employees across Australia.”