WOOLWORTHS/SAFEWAY National Agreement Update 4

4th June 2010

The AMIEU has previously reported on the clandestine negotiations between SDA officials and Woolworths management which resulted in the contemptible Woolworths/Safeway National Agreement.

Agreement Approved

This Agreement has now been approved by Fair Work Australia.  This simply means that the parties have complied with the legal technicalities required by the Act to have an agreement approved.

Meat Room Employees Ripped Off
The Act does not give Fair Work Australia the ability to comment on a minority within the Agreement, that is Victorian meat room employees who will have their conditions ripped off them as part of the Agreement.

Victorian Conditions Safe Until 2011
The SDA Agreement will not apply to Victorian meat rooms until the current AMIEU Woolworths Agreement runs out in September 2011

The AMIEU does not support SDA Agreement 

The SDA has issued a newsletter in which they say that the Meatworkers Union has done a “backflip” and now supports the Agreement. 

Like many other statements made by the SDA, this is not true. 
The AMIEU did not provide a statutory declaration supporting the Agreement. 
The AMIEU did not appear in Fair Work Australia and support the Agreement.

Requirements of the Fair Work Act 
The Fair Work Act requires that before an Agreement can be approved by Fair Work Australia the employer must provide a statutory declaration in which the employer undertakes that it has complied with the requirements of the Act in the making of their Agreement.

Statutory Requirements

The AMIEU signed a statutory declaration which stated that it agreed with the answers given by Woolworths in their statutory declaration, as to the procedures followed by Woolworths in the making of the Agreement. 

The AMIEU did this because it is required if the Union still wishes to represent its members. 

AMIEU Will Continue to Represent its Members
The SDA used the Work Choices legislation to hand hard won and long held conditions for Victorian meat room employees back to Woolworths.

It is important that the AMIEU participates in future negotiations involving your pay and conditions. The current legislation allows the AMIEU to participate in negotiations on behalf of its members. The AMIEU is not prepared to allow its members to be deprived of Union representation.

The AMIEU intends to continue to represent members in Woolworths meat rooms.

SDA Forfeits Conditions
The SDA cannot be allowed to be given the sole right to negotiate on behalf of meat room employees. This new Agreement is only an indication of the members’ conditions the SDA is prepared to give away to maintain their relationship with Woolworths.

For further information contact Laurie Burley 0418 103627, Bob Savine 0417 328854, or the Union office on 03 9662 3766