The SDA argues that the Woolworth agreement only provides for the acceptance of the rate of increase in the minimum wage and not the effective date for retail trade. The SDA has been negotiating continuously with Woolworths since February for a new supermarket agreement and we continue to work hard to reach a new agreement which: Woolworths argues that the clause is unclear and that its agreement within the Commission varies so that it is consistent with the intentions of the parties during the negotiations. A Woolworth spokesperson did not respond to questions directly on the rolling boards, but said they were indicative. He said the union`s claims to its 2012 agreement were “baseless and we reject them.” The spokesperson said that the 2012 agreement was supported by more than 95 per cent of the workers who voted for it and that it was “subsequently approved by the Fair Work Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Act.” The supermarket agreement stipulates that wage increases for the first wage package will be effective on July 1 or after July 1 and that the increase should be “in the percentage increase rate that will come into effect in the Fair Work Commission`s annual wage decision, which will take effect in July.” While the minimum wage is traditionally tied by employers to sector premiums, many retail and fast food giants are now linking their annual wage increases to the decision, instead of setting firm increases. However, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees` Association (SDA) said the company was violating its contractual obligations and this week filed an urgent request for additional payment and penalties from the Federal Court of Justice. Each company had negotiated employment contracts with shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association that exchanged penalty interest and other fees for a slight increase in hourly rates. For these accounts, more than half of their staff were paid under the premium, the wage security network, as indicated by an analysis of agreements based on leaks of pay slips, working tables and other documents. The retail and fast food union`s analysis shows that Woolworths changed from the rolling tables of the previous 2009 agreement as part of its presentation to the Fair Work Commission in 2012. Had they complied with the 2009 rolling tables, nine of Woolworth`s 15 workers would have been underpaid. The company`s 2012 enterprise agreement was eventually approved, resulting in tens of thousands of workers being underpaid by $1 billion, after the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) showed that Woolworths “knowingly and deliberately” misled the Fair Labour Commission.
- April 15, 2021