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Opera Australia accused of 'intimidation and bullying' as unfair dismissal case heads to court

Kelly Burke (The Guardian)

Opera Australia has paid out tens of thousands of dollars in confidential settlements to musicians it sacked at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unfair Dismissal
Unfair Dismissal

The country’s most heavily subsidised performing arts company is now preparing for a federal court battle with one of the musicians refusing to settle, alleging Opera Australia management has created a culture of “intimidation, bullying and antagonism”.

At least 10 of the 16 musicians who lost their full-time jobs in the Opera Australia Orchestra took the company to the Fair Work Commission late last year, alleging their dismissal had been unfair or illegal.

Guardian Australia understands that Opera Australia settled with all but one of the musicians, agreeing to additional payouts worth thousands of dollars on top of their redundancy entitlements, on the condition they signed confidentiality clauses.


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