By Daniel Y. Teng Epoch times
The major decision last week by Australia’s workplace tribunal to strike down a vaccine mandate by mining giant, BHP, has opened the door for other unions to consider challenging similar orders in their sectors.
The Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineer’s Association (ALAEA) said it would consider challenging vaccine mandates handed down by national carrier Qantas.
“The BHP coal decision was about consultation, not vaccine mandates. A policy decision cannot be made prior to genuine consultation. Qantas has been fined before for telling us a policy decision at the first consultation meeting,” Steve Purvinas, federal secretary of the ALAEA, told The Epoch Times in a statement.
“In the case of mandatory vaccination, it is worse. We first heard about the decision on live television.”
On Dec. 3, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled that BHP’s vaccine mandate on workers at the Mt Arthur thermal coal mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, was unlawful and unreasonable.
The decision was slated to have ramifications across the country, specifically for vaccine mandates handed down by private businesses and not under government-mandated health orders.
The FWC members found that BHP did not hold proper consultations with its employees before implementing its mandate, a requirement under the union’s enterprise agreement.
BHP’s health and safety officials also admitted the word “consultation” was not used in its email on the mandate, nor was the word “mandatory” present in the company’s formal announcement.
Giuseppe Carabetta, a senior lecturer at the Sydney University Business School, said the decision did not spell “defeat for employers mandating COVID-19 vaccination.”
“Indeed, the ruling isn’t really about the overall validity of Mt Arthur’s vaccine mandate. Its focus is instead management’s failure to properly consult with its employees under work health and safety laws,” he wrote in The Conversation on Dec. 7.
Carabetta said vaccine mandates needed to be reasonable depending on the “nature of the work, established practices, industrial instruments; and consultation requirements.”
Purvinas meanwhile, conceded that the BHP decision would not apply to most airport workers, who fall under government mandates, he noted, however, that “this is not the case at all airports.”
“If a member of ours was not covered by a state mandate, we would look to defend their job based on the perfunctory nature of Qantas’ phony consultation,” he said.
The ALAEA does accept that vaccination does contribute to workplace health and safety, but objects to workers losing their positions if they are unvaccinated.
“Unvaccinated employees should be able to take leave until they are vaccinated or the threat is otherwise removed through herd immunity.”
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Letter to the Editor
Freedom of choice must be made; we the citizens have the right to Black Ban QANTAS for interfering with our democratic right of freedom of religious expression and belief. Our friends and family fought and died in wars for these freedoms and every Australian that honours what our Diggers fought for, and every Christian and other religious believer must now unite as an army of Freedom Fighters against QANTAS and refuse to use their business.
They wanted to use their financial power of sponsorship to destroy and discredit a decent man and the beliefs of millions of Australians, the people have stood behind Israel Folau to the back him with over $2 to fight for our combined freedom.
We reject the dictatorial attitude of QANTAS and their attempt to override freedom of speech and expression of religious beliefs. The entire QANTAS organisation, directors, management and staff are condemned by your unacceptable thin-skinned petty attack on our freedom. The company made the complaint, so it encompasses the entire organisation, not just one person, appearing that the complainant/s overrides the opinions and beliefs of all staff.
‘We The People’, will no long tolerate the noisy minorities of do-gooders, social engineers, bleeding hearts, professional victims, mixed genders and those of limited intelligence directing the agenda of out nation. It stops now, the people’s voice is behind Israel Folau and his beliefs of freedom of expression and the right to be heard, we will no longer tolerate the noisy rabbled overriding freedom or insulting what our diggers fought for.
Australia is the land of the free, if you do not like it please leave, feel free to migrate to China or North Korea.
G J May