We felt vindicated by the judgement handed down last month (6 March 2020), as it was clearly stated by the court that the TWU’s conduct has been misleading and deceptive.
ALDI is of the view that comments made about our business must be truthful and grounded in fact. This has clearly not been the case with the TWU’s untrue and deceptive statements. We believe in fairness for all Australians, this means where a party makes efforts to publish such untrue comments, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Justice Flick of the Federal Court found that, although the TWU had made misleading and deceptive representations, they were not prevented from doing so due to a legal technicality. The Court found that the TWU was not covered by the provisions of the Australian Consumer Law because they were not a trading corporation and the comments made were not in trade and commerce.
The terms ‘corporation’ and ‘in trade and commerce’ are in the Australian Consumer Law and are subject to interpretation by the courts. ALDI is appealing the interpretation of these terms to seek clarity about the rights of the TWU to make untrue statements in pursuit of their objectives.
It is important to note, the judgement determined that this legal action has been justified in protecting ALDI’s commercial interests and has never been about silencing Australian workers. All ALDI employees and the employees of our business partners have the right to freely join unions and are encouraged to raise issues so they can be addressed.
Please attribute to an ALDI Australia spokesperson.
ALDI has therefore appealed the decision of Justice Flick to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia.
The basis for the appeal is that:
- the TWU is a trading corporation for the purposes of the Australian Consumer Law;
- the statements the TWU made were made in trade and commerce;
- even if the statements were part of an industrial campaign, they could also be made in trade and commerce;
- the TWU sought to involve itself in trade and commerce, specifically the management and operation of ALDI’s transport supply chain
- the comments made by the TWU were not made as part of an industrial campaign to improve wages and conditions of employment for its members, but were also conduct in trade and commerce.