Wagga managerial jobs at risk as Woolworths announces restructure plans

"The cut will see about 20 to 30 per cent retrenched and this could be after decades of service to the company. It's a shock to the community, shock to those with a family or mortgage especially when there had been no notice or consultation." Mr Cullinan said this restructure will not just affect those losing their jobs or taking pay cuts, but also remaining staff members. "There are 110 workers on average at a Woolies store and all will be affected as rosters will change," he said. "People who were getting penalty rates by working weekends or late shifts might get different hours, which won't only affect their pay but also outside work commitments." The union has lodged demands and claims for consultation as well as a dispute which will go to the Fair Work Commission. Continue Reading At: https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/6215549/jobs-at-risk-as-woolworths-announces-restructure-plans/

3CR Interview with RAFFWU Secretary Josh Cullinan about action at McDonalds

This week Annie interviewed Josh Cullinan from the Retail and Fast Food Worker’s Union about their ongoing dispute with McDonalds. Then we’ll go back in time with some old wharfies and hear stories of appalling conditions and how the workers unionised and fought for their rights. Listen to the interview here: https://www.3cr.org.au/sticktogether/episode-201906120830/ill-fight-my-union-til-i-die

Woolworths re-structure cuts dozens of managerial positions from Ballarat stores

There is a lot of shock, a lot of people who are upset and there is a great deal of surprise, particularly for many who have worked with the company for decades. Josh Cullinan, Retail and Fast Food Workers Union Read the full story here: https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/6204141/dozens-of-ballarat-woolworths-staff-removed-from-positions-under-re-structure/

Union shocked at Perth Donut King alleged wage theft

Retail and Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan has been representing the couple and said their alleged treatment was at the “worst end of the spectrum”. “We don’t come across many instances where workers that are older and have a bit of an understanding of the way the world works, like Karen and Ned, are treated this way,” he said. Read the full story at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/union-shocked-at-perth-donut-king-alleged-wage-theft-20190522-p51q7o.html

Huge wage boost and penalty rate win for 100,000 McDonald's workers

Retail and Fast Food Workers union secretary Josh Cullinan said that under the new proposed agreement McDonald’s had committed to paying penalty rates but had refused to pay back pay or to meet other claims such as compulsory working-with-children checks for managers and franchise owners. He estimated workers at McDonald’s were more than $100 million a year worse off because the company had not paid penalty rates and other award conditions and allowances. “McDonald’s and the SDA legalised their industrial scale wage theft by hoodwinking the Fair Work Commission into approving these disastrous deals,’’ he said. The McDonald's spokeswoman defended the existing agreement, saying it had been approved by staff and the Fair Work Commission. But Mr Cullinan's union has applied to the Fair Work Commission to end that deal, backdated to June 2017. If that argument was accepted, McDonald's would be required to "back pay more than 70 per cent of McDonald’s workers, over $250 million". https://www.theage.com.au/business/workplace/huge-wage-boost-and-penalty-rate-win-for-100-000-mcdonald-s-workers-20190510-p51lyq.html

Alberta minimum wage: A policy deep dive

Australia’s Retail and Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan has fought to eliminate different wage levels for youth since 2016. “It’s just a cynical ploy to provide cheaper labour to companies from a group of workers who don’t vote. There’s no election cost for the parties that entrench this legislation,” he told Postmedia. “It ends up being used as a mechanism to churn those workers while they are so cheap, and doesn’t actually deal with the underlying systemic issue of youth unemployment or underemployment.” Older Australians also find it tough to find work, Cullinan said, “but no one would ever propose a seniors rate to encourage employment of that age group.” Cullinan has focused on fast food giants. During Fair Work Commission hearings, he said, evidence and cross-examination of franchisees has proven a “learn or churn” system, whereby workers get fewer hours as they age, only to be replaced by younger employees (unless they’re one of the few chosen for management training). “All work is work, all work deserves a fair day’s pay, and a fair day’s pay shouldn’t be discriminatory on the basis of age,” he said.   https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/alberta-minimum-wage-a-policy-deep-dive

Big W: Woolworths Group change Enterprise Agreement clause to allow for forced redundancies

ON the same day that Big W publicly announced the impending closure of 30 stores, it also submitted a new Enterprise Agreement that allowed for staff members to be forcibly made redundant, according to the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU). Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Big W said the timing was mere coincidence and that 90 per cent of staff had voted in favour of the new agreement in a ballot held last month. Read more at: https://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/5991001/big-ws-clause-change-will-allow-for-staff-to-be-forcibly-made-redundant/

Kmart employees forced to join industry super fund

Rival union the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union is challenging the agreement on grounds the clause leaves workers worse off than the award and that workers should choose their own industry fund. “Kmart’s the only employer who’s refusing a form of choice … that’s unacceptable,” RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan said. Read more at: https://trendynewsviral.com/kmart-employees-forced-to-join-industry-super-fund/

Young McDonald's workers ‘terrified’ to ask for toilet breaks

The rally, organised by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, came after hundreds of McDonald’s employees were warned that a push to enforce their right to have 10-minute breaks on shifts four hours and longer would mean they would not be allowed to have a drink or use the bathroom at any other times. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/young-mcdonald-s-workers-terrified-to-ask-for-toilet-breaks-20190111-p50qwk.html

Retail and fast food workers get organised

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) was formed in late 2016 as a response to growing dissatisfaction among retail workers with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The Labor right-controlled SDA is notorious for negotiating enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) that contain below award wages and eroding the rights and conditions of workers. Read more at: https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/retail-and-fast-food-workers-get-organised

McDonald’s accused of exploiting young workers

MCDONALD’S has been accused of exploiting underage workers paid as little as $8.43 an hour by gradually reducing their shifts as they get older under a practice dubbed “learn and churn”. The ABC’s 7.30 spoke to employees who reported getting fewer shifts as they got older before eventually leaving the company. One manager told the program getting rid of older workers was an “unspoken rule”. Read more at: https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/mcdonalds-accused-of-exploiting-young-workers/news-story/

Action - Newsletter of RAFFWU - Spring 2017

Action - the Newsletter of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union Continue reading

Bakers Delight franchise under pressure over penalty rates, back-pay

Ava Handsley​ always wondered why she didn't get paid penalty rates. Since starting as a 15-year-old at a Doncaster East Bakers Delight she has always been paid a flat rate, at first just $8.58 an hour. Then at the turn of the year she came across a Facebook page telling her she was being underpaid. http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/bakers-delight-franchise-under-pressure-over-penalty-rates-backpay-20170923-gyndah.html

McDonald's defends not paying weekend penalty rates and shoppies union wage deal

Fast food giant McDonald's has defended not paying its workers weekend penalty rates as it came under pressure over a controversial wage deal estimated to leave nearly two-thirds of its workforce underpaid. http://www.smh.com.au/national/investigations/mcdonalds-defends-not-paying-weekend-penalty-rates-and-controversial-wage-deal-with-shoppies-union-20170826-gy4qh2.html  

$200-a-week pizza driver aims to deliver for Domino's underpaid workers

A Domino's pizza delivery driver will move to tear up an exploitative deal between her employer and one of Australia's biggest unions that has left workers underpaid tens of millions of dollars. http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/60aweek-pizza-driver-aims-to-deliver-for-dominos-underpaid-workers-20170818-gxzaac.html

'Shoppies' union face Senate probe over wages scandal

One of Labor's biggest backers, the giant shop assistants union, will be subject to a parliamentary inquiry over wage deals that have cost workers hundreds of millions of dollars. http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/shoppies-union-face-senate-probe-over-wages-scandal-20170613-gwq277.html

Coles admits much of its workforce underpaid after SDA deals

Supermarket giant Coles has admitted underpaying much of its workforce in cosy deals it struck with the conservative shop assistants union. http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/coles-admits-much-of-its-workforce-underpaid-after-sda-deals-20170608-gwnfl4.html

KFC restaurant fined $100K after worker accidentally steps into tank of hot oil

A fast-food restaurant in Adelaide's inner south-east has been fined more than $100,000 after one of its workers stepped backwards into a tank of hot oil, Safework SA has said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-09/kfc-fined-after-worker-falls-into-tank-of-hot-oil/8511580

Response to ABC 7:30 Report on Coles Decision and Enterprise Bargaining

On 4 April 2017, ABC 7:30 ran a story purporting Enterprise Bargaining was at risk. The story continued a manufactured narrative SDA has been pressing since mid 2016 when its practice of negotiating enterprise agreements which undercut the Award minimum with some of Australia’s largest retailers and fast food employers was exposed. ABC 7:30 relied on input from SDA and the Business Council of Australia. Many of the employers with whom SDA has negotiated enterprise agreements which undercut the Award minimum are the largest members of the BCA. Continue reading

Application for "zombie agreement" for IGA workers to be abolished

After working at the local supermarket for five years, Lauren Morrison, 22, discovered this week that she had been underpaid by up to $5800 each year. "It was a bit of a shock. It's a high amount of money," she said. "It's a bit devastating." http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/application-for-zombie-agreement-for-iga-workers-to-be-abolished-20170313-gux5wk.html