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Christmas may be safe, but three-year port dispute shows the IR system is full of holes

By Shae McCrystal, Professor of Labour Law, University of Sydney
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Australia’s industrial relations umpire has delayed industrial action that would have crippled Australia’s ports in the lead-up to Christmas.

But the dispute in which it has intervened – one that has dragged on since 2019 – shows the need for reform of Australia’s collective bargaining system.

The Fair Work Commission last week intervened in the protracted dispute between tugboat operator Svitzer Australia and three maritime unions after the company declared its intention to “lock out” staff in a bid to force a resolution – either by the unions caving or by the commission…The Conversation


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