Bad deal gets the boot: Fair Work Commission slams Coles dodgy deal with the SDA

David has beaten Goliath again today, with the Fair Work Commission upholding the Meat Workers Union and young Coles worker Duncan Hart’s claim that Coles and the SDA deal ripped off Coles retail workers .

Duncan and the AMIEU have been working together as part of a full-bench appeal against Coles and the SDA. We’ve been saying for months now that the new deal cooked up by Coles and the SDA will leave workers worse off – up to $15,000 a year in some cases.

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Fair Work Commission has upheld that claim and ordered Coles to do better.

Describing the loss of income under the dodgy SDA deal as “significant”, the Fair Work Commission expressed their worry that Coles employees who “work primarily at times which attract lower penalty rates” would be worse off.

Today’s ruling by the Fair Work Commission (link) follows months of embarrassment for Coles and the SDA, forced to admit under cross-examination that they deliberately kept workers in the dark about how much they would lose, as well as admitting that they copied and pasted their research from third party sources.

There was even more embarrassment for Coles and the SDA in today’s final decision, with the Fair Work Commission using the calculations provided by Coles to establish that the average worker would be $2,200 worse off each. The result here is clear: the figures don’t add up, and it’s obvious now to anybody watching that Coles and the SDA did everything they could to try to stop people from looking too closely into what could generously be called their “research”.

In the months that this fight has been dragging on, it’s also come to light that the SDA has negotiated an almost identical deal on behalf of the massive McDonalds workforce, trading away penalty rates for a slightly higher hourly rate at massive cost to its members. Similar deals are in place with the Woolworths workforce, all of whom are no doubt watching this decision very closely.

Coles Retail workers were told  this is somehow a better deal for them, but the reality is – and the Fair Work Commission agrees – that this actually takes hard earned money from workers pockets, particularly the workers who take the shifts nobody else wants.

AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW secretary Grant Courtney welcomed the news, calling again on the SDA to do the right thing and stand up for their members .

“The SDA should take this as a sign that their members are not happy with the way they’ve been acting, and the Fair Work Commission agrees,” said Courtney. “We’ve already seen how popular Duncan Hart has been with young SDA members for his refusal to lie down and accept this shonky deal, to the point where the SDA banned their members from voting for him!

“It’s time the SDA stopped trying to cosy up to massive corporations and started looking out for their members, who have clearly had enough.”

For more information, contact:

Grant Courtney
AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW
(02) 4929 5496