union eligibility rules

Earlier this month, a unanimous Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down a decision that is set to lay the landscape for the interpretation of union eligibility rules into the future.[1] In its reasons, the Full Bench provided critical guidance on how union eligibility rules should be interpreted. In particular, the Full Bench considered that the position adopted by the appellant, the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU), during the award modernisation process was instructive.

The decision is significant, upholding long-standing industrial arrangements for the representation of locomotive drivers and rail workers in Australia’s strategically important Pilbara region and the mining industry more generally.