Bakers Delight is attempting to lock workers into low pay under a new non union agreement. Workers could potentially receive no penalty rates on weekends or public holidays. A 16 year old could end up working just a 1.5 hour shift for as little as $13.35, barely enough to cover the cost of transport to and from work.
In 2010 Bakers Delight workers at the Diamond Creek, St Helena and Laurimar stores in Melbourne’s northern suburbs organised with UNITE to win Award rates of pay and penalty rates. This latest development is an attempt to circumvent these gains and to cut across the ability of workers to organise to win better pay and conditions.
Bakers Delight registered a number of state wide agreements with Fair Work Australia in July. The conditions contained in the agreement covering Victoria would be a step backwards for many workers who are already receiving sub standard pay and conditions.
Some of the worst aspects contained in the agreement are the complete absence of defined pay increases over the life of the agreement and an ‘ordinary’ spread of hours from 6am to 8pm or even 10pm, in order to avoid paying penalty rates. Secondary school students can be asked to do 1.5 hour shifts.
The agreement contains a number of ‘Minimum Wage Rate Schedules’. Bakers Delight will pick and chose which schedule employees go onto in their letter of engagement. The rates of pay under each schedule are different, with some allowing for penalty rates on weekends and public holidays while others don’t.
This means each employee could end up on a different rate of pay, with some receiving penalty rates while others get none for the same work. In reality Bakers Delight will pick and chose the schedule that works best for them, allowing them to get away with the lowest pay possible.
The only way to stop this attack is for workers at Bakers Delight to get organised and to fight for a proper union agreement that includes decent pay rises and penalty rates for working anti-social hours.