The Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU) has asked the Fair Work Commission to hear a dispute in which Asciano Services Pty Ltd has been called Pacific National . The dispute concerned Pacific National`s decision to eliminate certain positions in planning units that would involve more than 30 assistance staff covered by the Pacific National Coal NSW Enterprise Agreement 2013 (agreement). Full Bench appealed to the RTBU, referring to the issue that it was in the public interest to clarify the Commission`s jurisdiction over dispute resolution that was brought by workers` organizations on behalf of their members. Under the agreement, neither party had the automatic right to appeal a Commission decision. In the application for appeal, the RTBU had to ask the Commission that it was in the public interest to grant it the right of appeal and, therefore, to grant that leave in accordance with Section 604 (2) of the FW Act. In essence, the legal objection raised by Pacific National was that the RTBU had not complied with the litigation procedure under the agreement, as the dispute resolution it presented did not explicitly name a staff member involved in the proposed change of employment. In September 2016, the RTBU filed an application with the Commission, pursuant to Section 739 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FTH) (FW Act), which alleged That Pacific National had breaches of its redeployment obligations under the agreement (application). In the application, the RTBU, as a notifying party, and otherwise in the application, stated that „the RTBU, on behalf of its members, is questioning this issue under Article A29.3 (a)“. No Pacific National staff member has been named as a party to the litigation. In particular, the Vice-President found that Pacific National had not received notification from a staff member involved in a claim or litigation form and that the request did not refer to a staff member concerned with the change of employment required by the agreement. However, if the Workers` group is not clear enough, the Full Bench of the Commission is free to give instructions requesting this additional information, instead of simply rejecting a dispute application for technical reasons.
Full Bench found that the group of Pacific National employees who would be affected by the planned layoffs was sufficiently clear, although the Board did not know the names of each employee. After an unsuccessful conciliation, Pacific National raised a legal objection to the application. For these reasons, the Commission ordered, in the first case, the dismissal of the appeal. The Commission found that the FW Act was not required, for each notification filed pursuant to Section 739, to determine the names of each worker involved in the litigation prior to the filing of an application.