Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sign AWA, lose third of pay!

A new government-funded report released today confirms that Australia's 1.7 million retail and hospitality workers have been hit the hardest by the introduction of the WorkChoices IR laws, with some workers losing up to a third of their incomes.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:

“This report is further proof that ordinary working Australians have suffered massive cuts to their pay and conditions under the WorkChoices IR laws and it underlines the importance of voting to get rid of the Coalition Government at the coming federal election.”

The study by the University of Sydney's Workplace Research Centre found that some liquor store employees had lost up to 31 per cent of their take home pay, while many who work in bakeries and fast food outlets had seen their wages fall by up to 25 per cent.

The report analysed all 339 collective agreements in hospitality and retail from Victoria, NSW and Queensland that were lodged with the Office of the Employment Advocate between ‘WorkChoices’ taking effect on March 27 last year and December 8.

It found the big losers under WorkChoices were workers on non-union job contracts in the retail and hospitality sectors, with:
  • 80 per cent of these agreements removing annual leave loadings,
  • 79 per cent dropping laundry allowances
  • 76 per cent no longer containing Saturday penalty rates
  • 71 per cent removing Sunday penalty rates.
  • 68% removing overtime rates,
  • 60% axing public holiday penalty rates
  • 55% removing paid meal and rest breaks.
The study found that workers in retail had their pay cut by between 2% and 18% on average and hospitality workers lost between 6% and 12% on average.


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