The following article from Workplace Express outlines UNITE’s recent win against a Bakers Delight franchisee in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. See below.
Workplace Express article (subscription required)
Article can also be viewed here.
After a months long process, Fair Work Australia has finally refused to approve a Bakers Delight Enterprise Agreement. The agreement would have covered the Diamond Creek, St Helena and Laurimar stores in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
UNITE, the fighting union for fast food and retail workers, had challenged the agreement in Fair Work Australia claiming that it left the young workforce disadvantaged because it undermined many Award conditions.
by Andrew Mathieson
20th May 2010
A COURT case involving former Moorabool Street convenience store operators allegedly owing hundreds of hours in unpaid wages has been adjourned to include more workers in the hearing.
But Unite, the fast food and retail union, claims the six former 7-Eleven employees who will front Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later in the year to recoup their losses are about half the workers with underpayment complaints against the operators.
The former operators of an infamous 7-Eleven store in Geelong will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court this Wednesday May 19th at 9.30am.
UNITE members and supporters will protest against the underpayment of 7-Eleven workers outside the Court from 9am.
7-Eleven and its franchisee Eddie Chan are responsible for stealing more than $100,000 from a group of young workers in Geelong!
On Saturday May 8th UNITE organised a solidarity picket outside JB HI-FI on Bourke Street in the city.
Hundreds of leaflets were distributed to customers explaining how the company is refusing to offer its New Zealand retail staff a pay rise. Much interest was shown in our information stall as passers-by stopped to listen to speeches from UNITE organisers.
JB Hi-Fi workers solidarity action organised by UNITE:
Saturday 8th May
at JB Hi-Fi
(206 Bourke st, City – near Russell st)
JB Hi-Fi staff at the company’s Wellington (NZ) store are taking strike action as part of a Unite Union campaign to win higher wages for retail workers. These strikes are the first ever industrial action in over 27 years of the company’s history!
Labour Video of the Year
And the winner for 2010 is…
By Genevieve Gannon (The Melbourne Times 27.01.10)
The Fair Work Ombudsman has started prosecuting 7-Eleven franchisees as part of its statewide audit of the convenience stores, but the union says the probe has hardly scratched the surface of the issue of worker exploitation.
Anthony Main, spokesman for UNITE, the fast food and retail workers union, said workers were being bilked out of pay in a widespread double-hours scam.
Authorities trying to hide the full story of exploitation of international students
UNITE has been made aware today that the Fair Work Ombudsman is set to prosecute the former operators of two 7-Eleven stores in Victoria.
While this news is welcomed, UNITE remains frustrated that the Ombudsman is only scratching the surface of this case. UNITE first brought the issues of severe underpayment at these stores to the attention of the Ombudsman in January 2009. After 12 months and many protests outside these stores, only now is the case being taken to court.
Last week UNITE organized a protest out the front of the St Helena Bakers Delight to inform the local community of the dispute. Many students from the local high school came to express support for the Bakers Delight workers.
The protest was reported in the two local papers:
Say ‘NO’ to low pay, insecurity, and undermining industry standards!
Very soon Bakers Delight workers at St Helena, Diamond Creek and Laurimar will have to vote on a whether to accept a new workplace agreement. Unfortunately Bakers Delight has a history of trying to take advantage of young workers. In 2005 they were one of the first companies to use John Howard’s IR laws to undermine Award conditions. The current agreement is a legacy of this time and is one of the worst in Australia.
We don’t want to see something similar get through again. UNITE has produced this leaflet to make sure you know exactly what you are voting for.
UNITE wholeheartedly supports YUN’s upcoming National Day of Action against youth rates in Melbourne on November 21st, 1pm at the State Library.
The concept of youth rates is nothing more than discrimination on the basis of age. The simple reason that bosses pay young workers such low wages is to cut costs in order to boost profits.
The arguments used by bosses to pay young people less than a full wage are the same as the arguments used by bosses in the past in favour of paying women less than men. It was only through organising women into unions and fighting that we achieved equal pay for women. A similar fight needs to be waged today by young people.
Support Bakers Delight workers in St Helena, Diamond Creek and Laurimar!
After the positive response we have received from Bakers Delight customers and after speaking to workers, parents and other locals, we have decided to organise a community protest in support of the Bakers Delight workers who are campaigning for better wages and conditions.
Please come along. The details are: 3pm Wednesday 4th November @ St Helena Marketplace, 214 Aqueduct Road St Helena.