Planned industrial action at Australia’s airports for Monday and Tuesday has been called off after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued an interim order preventing staff from walking off the job.
Over the weekend, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), on behalf of the federal government, applied to the FWC calling for a three-month suspension to all industrial action on national security grounds.
While the FWC is yet to hand down its decision on the Department’s application, the Commission on Sunday night issued an interim order preventing the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) from carrying out planned work stoppages that were set down for on Monday and Tuesday.
It will hear the case on Tuesday, the CPSU said in a statement on Sunday night.
“The Department of Immigration and Border Protection made an application to the Fair Work Commission at close of business Friday, 1 April to suspend all industrial action for three months on national security grounds,” the CPSU said.
“The Fair Work Commission has not yet heard CPSU evidence responding to the Department and Borders Force’s application but has issued an interim order to suspend protected industrial action/strikes until a decision on the case is made, with a further hearing on the main application on Tuesday.
“The CPSU will continue to vigorously oppose the Department’s application and will keep you across new developments as they arise.”
The CPSU said there had been multiple exemptions in previous stop work actions to ensure national security was not compromised.
“The Department has previously been able to reach agreement with the union on more than 50 exemptions for officers whose work relates to counter-terrorism and security in similar action taken by DIBP and Border Force workers over the past 10 months,” the CPSU said.
The Department noted the Commission’s order on its website on Sunday night: “The Fair Work Commission has today issued an interim suspension order for all protected industrial action, pending the outcome of a final hearing on 5 April.”