High Court of Australia

Electrolux Home Products Pty Ltd v Australian Workers' Union [2004] HCA 40

221 CLR 309; 78 ALJR 1231; 209 ALR 116

2 Sep 2004

Case Number: S245/2003 A211/2003 A212/2003

Before

Gleeson CJ, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan, Heydon JJ

Catchwords

Industrial law (Cth) – Industrial action – Whether industrial action protected action – Industrial action in support of claims in respect of proposed certified agreement – Where proposed agreement included bargaining agent's fee payable to unions – Where bargaining agent's fee to be paid by all employees including non-union members – Whether bargaining agent's fee provision about matter pertaining to the relationship between employer and employee – Whether proposed agreement an agreement about matters pertaining to the relationship between an employer and its employees – Whether "protected action" in s 170ML of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) includes industrial action in support of a proposed agreement that is not capable of certification under Div 4 of Pt VIB.

Industrial law (Cth) – Industrial action – Whether prohibition on industrial action in s 170NC of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) includes industrial action in support of a proposed agreement that is not capable of certification under Div 4 of Pt VIB – Legislative objective of s 170NC.

Statutes – Interpretation – Presumption against abrogation of common law rights – Presumption against depriving persons of access to courts – Scope of interpretative presumptions – Application of presumptions to ss 170ML and 170MT of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) – ss 170LI, 170ML, 170MT, 170NC.
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