Union membership continues to fall

Human Resources will be holding a breakfast briefing on how HR can contribute to the bottom line through learning & technology on 1 April in Sydney

Union membership levels within Australia are continuing to decline, and fewer employees are taking industrial action, according to figures from The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The latest ABS Year Book Australia 2004 revealed that union membership dropped to about 23 per cent, or 1,833,700 employees, in 2002 from 24.5 per cent the previous year. The public service was the only sector that bucked the trend, with 46.5 per cent of workers belonging to a union, compared to just 17.7 per cent in the private sector.

AIRC wants to fine luckless applicants

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) recently said it would like to fine unfair dismissal applicants who had no reasonable prospects of success. The move came after a worker who was employed as an LPG tank driver lodged an application for unfair dismissal (Mihajlovski v I R Cootes Pty Ltd AIRC (PR943954)). He was dismissed after he sped at 89km per hour in a 60km per hour zone, drove on the dirt so he could cut a corner by heading onto the wrong side of the road, then rolled his tanker, causing $100,000 in damage. He had also been counselled for a series of prior speeding offences. The AIRC said that if it had the power, it would seriously consider awarding costs against representatives who encourage groundless applications.

Learning & technology breakfast briefing

Human Resources will be holding a breakfast briefing on how HR can contribute to the bottom line through learning & technology on 1 April in Sydney. Sponsored by Microsoft and Click2learn, speakers include Mark Newton, director of human resources A&NZ for Microsoft, Katy Butler, technology & product solutions manager for Click2learn Asia-Pacific, and George Loiterton, business productivity advisor for Microsoft Australia. The briefing will be held at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel from 7.30am, with a 9.30am finish.

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