||Issue No. 257||01 April 2005|
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
Dirt Cheap Right On Money
Advocate Pours Salt on Wound
Channel Seven reality program, My Restaurant Rules, exposed the truth about AWAs when it broadcast an episode in which Pink Salt boss, Evan Hansimikali, tried to use the non-union individual contracts to impose massive wage cuts on staff.
Stunned sous chef, Stewart, confronted Hansinmikali, on prime time television.
"No one has talked to us. No one has shown us where our pay slips are. No one's shown us our tax, no one's shown us our super," he protested.
"I'm getting the forms so you can sign the AWAs," the Manly restaurant boss replied.
The sous chef estimated that after the AWA-driven pay cut of $300 a week, he would be working for a flat rate of around $10 an hour.
Hansimikali tried to placate him by saying he could make extra in tips.
A NSW Office of Industrial Relations inspector visited the restaurant to brief owners on their obligations, and said he would return to examine time and wages records.
Minister, John Della Bosca, said the episode pointed out how workers could be hurt if the Federal Government succeeded in its bid to over-ride state IR systems.
"Although AWAs are supposed to be an agreement, staff didn't get the opportunity to agree or disagree, they simply opened their pay packets and found they were $300 short," Della Bosca said.
But bullish Employment Advocate, Peter McIlwain, publicly urged Hansimikali to press on with his AWA plans.
McIlwain used a newspaper letters column to offer taxpayer backing.
"AWAs are popular in the restaurant business because they offer flexible working arrangements which benefit both employers and employees," McIlwain wrote. "That is why 37,000 AWAs have been approved for restaurants and cafes in the last three years.
"I hope Pink Salt does offer its staff AWAs my office would be glad to help them with the process."
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