To commence Industrial Action, a list of proposed actions has to be formulated, served on the employer and lodged with the Fair Work Commission. All industrial Action must be protected by an order of the FWC, otherwise it is illegal. Once the proposed actions have been before the FWC a ballot of members must be held to authorise such action. Half of all AFPA members would have to vote in the ballot and half those votes must be in favour of taking the action.

The FWC when considering whether to order a protected action ballot, must be satisfied that the bargaining representative of the employees seeking the ballot have been genuinely trying to reach agreement. The FWC may suspend or terminate industrial action even if it is protected in certain circumstances and in our case, if it threatens to endanger the life, personal safety, health or welfare of the population or of part of it.

Our alternative to taking protected industrial action, which is to engage in activities otherwise illegal but for the protection of the Fair Work Commission, is for members to demand their entitlements as they currently exist under the EA and to stop working for free.