10 September 2019

Fair Work Commission deputy president Gerard Boyce is under fire for partisan social media comments about the Labor Party and the trade union movement. He was one of six members with employer backgrounds appointed to fill a single vacancy [$] when the polls showed the Coalition was unlikely to win the next election. Boyce has a long career representing militant bosses; when he worked for the mining industry he complained that WorkChoices didn’t go far enough. He is now deciding whether it is legitimate for BHP to set up a subsidiary company, create a new EBA with 16 employees — with a margin of just one vote — that would cut wages by up to 40% and strip hard-won working conditions, and then transfer hundreds of employees into the new company. It is unlikely there will be any consequences: former Peter Reith staffer and now FWC senior deputy president Jonathan Hamberger cleared himself of bias for retweeting Michaelia Cash’s anti-union propaganda while continuing to hear cases involving the same union.