Home World Business Fast food giants want part-time work to be more flexible

Fast food giants want part-time work to be more flexible


Workers would then be given their actual hours via a flexible roster.

The country’s largest union representing fast food workers, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, or the SDA, has backed the changes, saying it would make part-time work more attractive to employers.

SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said that was a win for workers facing under-employment and insecure casual work.

“We’re pleased these improvements to the Award will encourage increased permanency and provide a guaranteed minimum income for Australia’s part time fast food workers,” Mr Dwyer said.


The AI Group’s proposed changes, negotiated with the SDA, also gave part-time workers a minimum eight hours work a week compared to no minium currently, Mr Dwyer said.

The Ai Group’s proposal also makes it possible for workers to agree to the 15 per cent overnight penalty rate to be cut off at 5am, instead of 6am. The SDA opposed this.

But the rival Retail and Fast Food Workers Union questioned in its own submission why McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s and Craveable Brands wanted to change the award conditions at all when they had their own wage agreements in place.

RAFFWU said the companies pushing to change the award faced “the very real prospect” of the Fair Work Commission terminating their EBAs – as it had Coles’ and Domino’s’ – and were trying to limit the cost of paying higher award penalty rates to casuals by employing part-time workers on a more flexible basis.

“This application has the effect of being a defensive bulwark to potential termination proceedings,” RAFFWU said in its submission.

“They seek the injustice meted out on their employees under extant instruments to be codified and applied to all fast food employees.

“They know this is the only way to guarantee they avoid the overtime (and offset the penalty rates) burden which will befall them when workers successfully terminate their extant instruments.”

The AI Group’s workplace lawyers representing the three fast food giants said a number of employers had provided evidence to support its application, and that it would present new evidence to the Fair Work Commission in response to RAFFWU’s submission.

The Fair Work Commission terminated Coles’ and Domino’s enterprise bargaining agreements, both negotiated with the SDA, last year because they left workers worse off than under the award.

Domino’s workers are now being paid under the award while a new wage deal goes before the tribunal.

Patrick Hatch

Reporter for The Age

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