AMIEU Coles Members National Newsletter - September 2016


Dear member,

When Coles want to have a little sulk they really let you know all about it don’t they?

So what are all these Coles’ memos and newsletters about?

As you know, Coles and the SDA had done a cosy deal to extinguish the meat unit agreements and take away your penalty rates and family friendly rosters. The AMIEU and Duncan Hart appealed against the approval of that deal and it was quashed by the Fair Work Commission because it ripped workers off.  (Failed the Better Off Overall Test) This brought you back under your old (now expired) meat unit agreements.  

Now Coles have refused to bargain any further because they now have to play by the rules and can’t rip people off any more. The only way we can make them come to the table to negotiate is for us to apply to the Fair Work Commission for what is called a Majority Support Determination (MSD).

What is a Majority Support Determination and what does it do?

A MSD is simply where the Fair Work Commission considers the views of workers and makes a declaration if the majority of workers (Union members and non-members both) want to negotiate a new agreement.  If successful it means that the Union can get orders to make Coles attend negotiations. It does not bind them to make concessions but it does mean they have to meet with us. That is all. There is nothing else attached to a successful MSD. It does however mean that if we can’t reach any agreement with Coles then other options are then open to us to make them negotiate harder.

Coles are encouraging workers to wait while they hold “Listening Sessions”.

Oddly enough, Coles didn’t show much concern about your views or ‘listen’ when it thought it could take away your penalty rates and family friendly rosters in the meat unit agreements via a deal with the SDA. They really aren’t interested now either. Coles simply want to have it their own way and don’t want to have to end up paying more than the award overall. Our meat agreements are better than the award and have never been in any doubt when being approved.

Treat Coles’ advice with the contempt it deserves. If asked to sign a petition to bargain with Coles, send them a message by signing it and encourage everyone else in the meat units (whether they be AMIEU members or not) to do the same.

Graham Smith
Federal Secretary