||Issue No. 293||20 December 2005|
Waves of Destruction
Interview: Back to the Future
Unions: A Real Page Turner
Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
International: Around The World In 365 Days
Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
Politics: The Year That Was
Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
The Locker Room
Free to Rat
Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
Proportion, Not Distortion
Bank Pays on Dodgy Contracts
The CBA has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a record $750,000 in fines for inducing hundreds of Premium Financial Services employees, who look after some of the Bank's wealthiest clients, to resign from jobs protected by CBA agreements and sign individual contracts with subsidiary CommSec.
These individual contracts gave the Bank the option of paying those employees up to 30 per cent less for doing exactly the same job.
The penalty was also for discriminating against CBA employees who did not wish to be forced onto contracts by closing off career opportunities and for CBA's deliberate failure to consult with FSU.
The fine follows the scheme being declared illegal in early September. The judge hearing the case described the CBA's plan to force hundreds of its employees onto individual contracts as "reminiscent of the tax avoidance schemes of the 1970s."
"We believe the severity of last week's fine, combined with the order to offer employees the opportunity to be reinstated as CBA employees shows management that our members will not tolerate unfair treatment," says FSU assistant national secretary Sharron Caddie.
When handing down the punishment, Justice Merkel said that the bank had been "flagrant and deliberate" in its breach of the law and that the bank had operated "solely in pursuit of its self interest and profit ... without proper regard for the legality of its conduct."
"We hope this experience will prompt the Bank to finally do the right thing and enter into good faith negotiations with the FSU for a proper award to cover all CommSec employees and new collective agreements for EBA staff," says Caddie, adding the fine is 10 times bigger than any penalty handed down by a court for similar offences.
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