Woolworths EBA - Vote NO

August 2012

Dear members,

As you would be aware, since October 2011 the AMIEU have been involved in negotiations with Woolworths regarding your enterprise bargaining agreement.

AMIEU Officials from Victorian Branch attended these negotiations and were present for each and every meeting. Members would be aware from previous correspondence that the AMIEU collated your log of claims and presented them to the company in which we made some significant gains.

The AMIEU also informed members that at the end of negotiations the wage offer that was finally presented to the Unions we believe, did not reflect the effort you had given to the company and the profits you had generated for them. The AMIEU informed the company we could not agree until we had spoken with our members.

Unfortunately the SDA did agree to the 3% wage increase. The SDA accepted on behalf of their members, knowing that it was less than what they had agreed to with Coles.

Some weeks ago the AMIEU received a draft copy of the proposed agreement. On reading the proposed agreement it was discovered that the company had inserted a clause into definitions of a grade 5 employee (Tradesperson Butcher and Baker).

This clause states “Employees at this grade will also perform Grade 2 & 3 duties when required”.

These duties may include: checkout operator, service at delicatessen, dairy stock replenishment, grocery stock replenishment, fresh produce replenishment to name just a few.

On seeing this clause the AMIEU immediately contacted the company and the SDA. The AMIEU pointed out that this clause was never discussed during negotiations and questioned how it came to be part of the proposed draft.
The SDA agreed, albeit temporarily, and together with the AMIEU wrote to the company to seek an explanation.

The company said they would consider the Unions’ concerns.

As of yesterday the company sent the final draft of the proposed EBA.
In this EBA the same clause exists!

While This Clause won’t affect Butchers in Victoria or Tasmania YET! As they have separate classifications in the EBA under section 1.7, rest assured this action by the company goes to show the underhanded lengths they are willing to go to, to get what they want.

In the next EBA, the Company WILL target Butchers in Victoria and Tasmania. We need to take a stand NOW, to ensure that your rights and conditions are protected into the future.

The AMIEU is now writing to all members so that they are aware of this. The AMIEU is concerned that the rollout of the agreement will not inform all butchers and bakers of the proposed classification change.

The AMIEU wants to assure all its members that we will be doing everything we can to contest this clause.

The AMIEU does not believe the company, by this action, has acted in good faith in negotiations.

The company never tabled the wish to have a clause in the new agreement where it could direct qualified tradespeople to work at checkouts or in any other areas of the store.

The AMIEU is currently contacting the company and the SDA to formally protest.

This clause obviously will not be of concern to other employees who are not trade qualified.

As the vote includes everyone, it would not matter if every butcher and baker in the country voted no as their no vote would be absorbed by the other employees. The AMIEU believes this is grossly unfair.

The AMIEU encourages ALL members to become active and inform your fellow tradespeople who may not be in the Union (or a member of the
SDA) so they may be aware of this significant change in the proposed agreement. We would encourage all members to vote NO!

The SDA proudly boasts that they have many members who are tradespeople.

Encourage them to contact the SDA and to ask them if they are going to support the practice of tradespeople working on the checkouts or departments other than your trade area.

THE AMIEU STRONGLY SUPPORTS ALL QUALIFIED TRADES PEOPLE.

YOU SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO WORK ON CHECKOUTS OR IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS.

The AMIEU is looking into all available avenues to dispute this clause being included into the proposed agreement.

There also appears to be some misinformation currently being given out by Store Managers.

One member contacted the AMIEU and stated that he had been told by a store manager that the new agreement meant that the Meat Union could no longer represent workers - THAT IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE

The AMIEU has the legal right to:
• Represent you in negotiations regarding your wage and conditions
• Represent and support you in all disciplinary matters
• Give support and advice on any workplace issue
• Give support and advice on workplace injury and safety concerns
• Visit your workplace

The AMIEU will keep you updated.

Remember voting starts from the 27/08/12 to 24/09/12 via a secret ballot, so make your vote count. It’s in your hands

VOTE NO!

And force them back to the negotiation table

THE 3% WAGE INCREASE PUTS YOU WELL BEHIND THE COLES WORKERS!!!

COLES SUPERMARKET MEAT PAY RATES  from 29/11/2011

38 hours with no RDO Weekly @ 38 hrs
Base Rate

Saturday 175%

Saturday Part-Timers 125% Sunday 200% Public Holiday 250%
Meat Manager $900.75 $23.70 $41.85   $47.40 $59.25
Butcher $857.85 $22.58 $39.52 $28.23 $45.16 $56.45
Meat Trades Assistant $772.05 $20.32 $35.56 $25.40 $40.64 $50.80
Packer/ Cabinet Attendant $757.00 $19.92 $34.86 $24.90 $39.84 $49.80
Apprentice 1st year $557.60 $14.67 $25.67   $29.34 $26.68
Apprentice 2nd year $643.39 $16.93 $29.63   $33.86 $42.33
Apprentice 3rd year $772.05 $20.32 $35.56   $40.64 $50.80
Apprentice 4th year $814.96 $21.45 $37.54   $42.90 $53.63

COLES WORKERS CONTINUE TO RECIEVE PENALTY RATES ACROSS WEEKENDS, PAID ON ALL LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS INCLUDING SICK LEAVE!

They enjoy the benefit of a rostered day off once a month.

Woolworths wants this to be a National Agreement for all workers. It is time for workers across all departments in all stores to stand up and be counted

We urge you to spread the word to your fellow workmates about how poor this current agreement is. Stand together as one to tell the company that we are not happy with it.

Many workers outside the Meat Rooms don't understand that they too once got: penalty rates across weekends; RDOs; and other conditions that the Meat Workers have enjoyed for 20 years.

Don't let the company take away what is yours

Vote NO!!

Let's send them back to the negotiation table