Offshore Alliance launches successful MSD Application to Fair Work Commission for EM&I Australia employees

The Offshore Alliance has members working for EM&I on the BHP Pyrenees Venture FPSO, performing inspection services. These members are not currently covered by an enterprise agreement.

In May and June 2021, the Offshore Alliance wrote to EM&I and requested that EM&I commence bargaining for an enterprise agreement to cover EM&I employees performing inspection work on the Pyrenees Venture FPSO. EM&I did not respond.

On 6 July 2021, the Offshore Alliance applied to the FWC for a majority support determination (MSD) – this application forces the employer to commence bargaining if the FWC is satisfied of a number of criteria, including that the majority of employees want to bargain.

EM&I opposed the application and engaged a legal firm to do so.

The Offshore Alliance had evidence that the majority of employees wanted to bargain in the form of signed individual petitions from members, stating that they wanted to bargain for an enterprise agreement.

Both the Offshore Alliance and EM&I made submissions regarding whether the Fair Work Commission should grant the application and make an order that EM&I must commence bargaining.

On 12 October 2021, having considered all of the submissions and evidence, the Fair Work Commission made the order in the Offshore Alliance’s favour. EM&I must commence bargaining with its employees who perform inspection work on the BHP Pyrenees Venture FPSO and the Offshore Alliance within 14 days of the decision.

The workforce covered by this application is very small – at any one time there is only a maximum of three EM&I employees on the Pyrenees Venture and the total workforce is less than ten.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your work crew is, the Offshore Alliance will represent your interests.

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