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Union wins battle against high-tech manufacturer ResMed

The Federal Court has confirmed that the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is able to apply to the Fair Work Commission to represent ResMed workers in any future collective agreement negotiations.

The Court ruled that the AMWU, or any union, can do so if is it eligible to cover even one employee at the sleep disorder equipment company.

The result means that unions do not have to prove to the Fair Work Commission that their rules give them coverage of every employee or even a majority, as ResMed insisted in its failed Federal Court appeal.

ResMed had appealed a decision by a Federal Court judge last April which had already gone the AMWU’s way.

But the Full Bench found the Judge had "clearly and comprehensively dealt with” ResMed’s issue and “that it would be a distraction for us to enter upon the subject again in any detail".

The AMWU first applied for a majority support determination from the Fair Work Commission in 2013, backed by a petition signed by more than half the non-supervisory workers at the Sydney site.

“This decision further vindicates the AMWU and our members at ResMed, who have shown their determination over the past three years as the  company tries to wear them down,” AMWU National secretary Paul Bastian said in a statement.

A separate but related legal case where the union is applying to vary its rules to ensure clear coverage of all types of ResMed workers has yet to be decided by the Fair Work Commission.

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