Four unions tried to challenge the validity of the vote on the staff agreement and to annul their agreement of the workers concerned within the Commission. The particular circumstances in which the agreements were concluded (given that the Queensland Aurizon Government has committed to providing guarantees to workers as part of this privatisation process and to formalising these guarantees in its company agreements) were influenced by Full Bench`s finding. Full Bench also noted that the law requires that, at the request of the data subject, an agreement exceeding its nominal expiration date be terminated when the circumstances referred to in Section 226 are met and that productivity gains can also be achieved through the termination of an agreement that has exceeded its nominal expiration date. On the same day, Commissioner Spencer approved by the Commission the Aurizon Traincrew Agreement, the last of three company agreements approved by Aurizon staff and approved by the Commission. Aurizon Holdings Limited is an ASX-listed company that provides rail and road freight and infrastructure solutions in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Aurizon is Australia`s largest rail freight operator and the world`s largest rail carrier of coal from the mine to the export port, which transports around 200 million tonnes of metallurgical and thermal coal products each year. On 12 May 2014, Aurizon submitted to the Commission an application under section 225 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) seeking the termination of all fourteen expired company agreements. After the dismissal request, Aurizon continued to negotiate with the unions in order to reach an agreement on replacement company agreements. At the time Aurizon filed its application, there was an existing line of authority, defined by Vice President Lawler`s decision at Tahmoor Coal Pty Ltd  FWA 6468 (Tahmoor Coal) and subsequent cases where the focus on productivity promotion would be achieved primarily through bona fide collective bargaining and not by other means. (z.B termination of an expired enterprise contract.
To successfully implement it, Aurizon had to convince the Commission to repeal this existing power. In April 2013, Aurizon began negotiating with the affected unions to replace the company agreements that would expire. Aurizon also claimed that a number of „old provisions” (e.g. B non-forced dismissal) caused significant inefficiencies, restricted Aurizon`s activities and had a negative impact on Aurizon`s productivity, so that the removal of these restrictive provisions would improve Aurizon`s capacity, through its network of coal railways competing for orders. freight, intermodal business and maintenance services. Aurizon`s business has been seriously affected by these and other inefficiencies in company agreements. In addition, Aurizon`s ability to respond to changes in its key markets and secure new employment opportunities and retain existing work when it has been tendered has been seriously reduced. However, the unions` approach to the negotiations has been very different. The unions no longer insisted on rollover agreements. Instead, Aurizon had reached an agreement in principle with the railway unions on the terms of the traincrew deal in just two weeks. As far as the C&M deal is concerned, negotiations have also progressed and Aurizon and the unions have moved closer to a more agreed position than ever. The trade unions also requested a review of the Commission`s decision on the grounds that the Commission had not taken into account a `relevant recital` in the public interest opinion within the meaning of Article 226(a) of the Law, in so far as it had not taken into account the consequences of the termination of the company agreements on a draft access obligation issued by Aurizon under national competition law.
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