But first, what is an EA? Overall, the FW Act defines an EA as an instrument between one or more employers in the national system and their employees and, in certain circumstances, a trade union or association of workers, as provided for in the agreement. These agreements are negotiated through collective bargaining and it is necessary that this be done in good faith. Where a company agreement or a transitional instrument based on agreements has passed its nominal expiry date, either Contracting Party may request the Commission to terminate the agreement. In the end, the Commission approved Griffin Coal`s application for termination of the company agreement. This decision was subsequently appealed, but the Commission`s plenary upheld the original decision and found that all relevant factors had been considered in a fair and equitable manner. What is a company agreement (sometimes called an EBA)? A company agreement (“EA”) is a legally sanctioned agreement between an employer and a group of workers that, during their term, replaces an applicable industrial price. An employer is not required to negotiate an EA with workers or a union if it does not wish to do so. However, if an employer refuses to bargain formally, it is up to the workers (usually through their union) to withdraw or ask the FWC for a formal vote to support the bargaining process between the workers. If a majority of workers vote in favour of company negotiations, the FWC will adopt a majority support provision and the employer will then be required to negotiate in good faith. Employees are also allowed to request orders from the FWC authorizing the implementation of trade union actions (e.g. B strike or a work campaign as a rule).

AGL Loy Yang Decision In 2017, the FWC Full Bench confirmed the termination of a company agreement affecting the ongoing negotiations (see [2017] FWCFB 1019). The facts concerned employees who worked at the Loy Yang coal mine and the nearby power plant (which supplied 30% of Victoria`s electricity). The parties had been in negotiations for about fifteen months. During this period, the employer had requested the FWC`s assistance in accordance with Section 240 of the FW Act (which resulted in 14 conferences involving the FWC), the union had requested bargaining decisions from the FWC in good faith, and there were two union demands for approved protected action votes. There is a way for an employer, employee or union that falls under an expired company agreement to ask the FWC to terminate the agreement. Pursuant to section 225 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the Fair Work Commission must denounce an expired company agreement if it has been complied with: the FWC confirmed to Aurizon (2015) that the FWC should not expect it to compromise in good faith the negotiations on a new company agreement when reviewing the termination of an expired company agreement. . .

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