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Home > News > 2017 > May > Clubs seek to cut penalty rates by stealth

Clubs seek to cut penalty rates by stealth

Hands_Off_TWITTER.pngIn a cruel move to cut workers’ wages, the Clubs Association is seeking to remove the Clubs Award – a move which would force employees onto Awards which have already had their penalty rates stripped.

Workers under the Clubs Award had been spared from the recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision to cut the penalty rates of hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers.

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said that with over 1100 Clubs in Queensland alone, the employer association’s move to dissolve the Clubs Award was particularly shameful.

“It’s clear that Clubs Australia has no respect for its workers – seeking to cut their wages when their current Award was not subject to the recent FWC decision,” Mr Burke said. 

"While this isn’t a direct attack on the working conditions of our members, the impact of this shameful act will surely be felt by some of our family members including those who may be working part-time during their university studies and it will definitely affect some of our members’ children at university with their part-time employment.

“This move by Clubs Australia to cut penalty rates by stealth shows just how ruthless employers can be. 

“They could have valued and protected their workers and yet they are deliberately doing the opposite,” he said.

Queensland Council of Unions’ Assistant General Secretary Michael Clifford said the recent decision by the FWC was a direct threat to the wages and penalty rates of all workers.

“Workers in RSL, Leagues, Sports and other clubs across Queensland are on the front line. 

“While Clubs’ workers had been spared in the recent Fair Work decision, the Clubs Employer Association is attempting to cut workers’ rates through the backdoor. 

Mr Clifford said the member-driven campaign to protect penalty rates for workers in Clubs throughout Australia was more important than ever given the recent move by the employer association.

“Union members have been contacting Clubs to ensure they stand up for their workers through the website www.fairpayclubs.com – and we know this is working,” Mr Clifford said.

“Clubs are feeling the pressure and good clubs have publicly pledged to continue paying weekend penalty rates to their staff no matter what the Fair Work Commission decides.

“We need to keep to keep the pressure on clubs to support their workers and we need to support clubs that do the right thing,” he said.

Mr Clifford said union members, especially those who are members of clubs, could support the campaign by pledging to become a Weekend Warrior. 

“Weekend Warriors who sign up online at www.weekendwarrior.org.au will receive a kit to go out to their local clubs and ask them to pledge support for their workers by agreeing to not cut penalty rates,” Mr Clifford said.