Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Coles & SDA working to slash penalty rates

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In the 6 months leading up to December 2014 supermarket giant Coles made $895,000,000 in pure profit. Despite this Coles are trying to impose a workplace agreement that would ‘standardise’ conditions and see newly employed butchers, meat packers and cabinet attendants paid up to $12,500 less a year.

By Meredith Jacka, Socialist Party

Perhaps worst of all these moves are being supported by the right-wing Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The SDA is in reality a ‘yellow union’ that is in the pocket of the big retail firms.

In exchange for sweetheart deals with the employers the SDA gets a large passive membership that allows them to exert undue influence in the Labor Party.

The meat workers union in Victoria is correctly opposing the Coles/SDA deal. They have been engaging in industrial action and calling on SDA members to vote no to the proposed agreement.

The meat workers union is instead demanding that shop attendants get the higher penalty rates in order to standardise conditions upwards. Coles could easily afford to such a modest pay rise. All Coles workers should vote no to the dodgy wage cutting agreement and fight for a real living wage.


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