||Issue No. 266||03 June 2005|
An Act of Faith
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
The Locker Room
Remembering Workers In Cairns
Fair Go For Injured Workers
A Question Of Choice
Galahs Up The Cross
Weight Watchers Raise Scales
The staunchly anti-union weight loss multinational has changed tack from criticising activists in workplace memos to making an offer heralded as a great start by the LHMU.
According to LHMU state president Jim Lloyd the company has gone from refusing to even meet with the union to this week offering its workers a new deal for the first time recognising their right to be paid for meeting preparation and attending compulsory events.
"Weight Watchers was adverse to dealing with the union in the early stages and they didn't make it easy for the people who became active," Lloyd said.
"They sent out a memo to everyone saying they were disappointed about the fact these guys had formed a group and were agitating. It named people who had become involved.
"But these women remained brave and strong and stuck to their guns. They won the current offer through an extensive campaign of lobbying, legal support, media interviews, meetings with other Weight Watchers leaders and actions at seminars."
The company's proposal introduces access for the first time to sick leave, annual holidays, and other entitlements. It also increases minimum pay for each meeting held from $27 to $44.70 and locks in an annual pay rise according to award movements.
Despite the good inroads that have been made in the bargaining process, Lloyd said he did not expect members to accept the offer and said more was needed.
While the company agreed for the first time to pay its workers for time taken to prepare presentations, it has proposed to do this through a flat $8.94 each week regardless of the number performed and the fact preparation can take several hours.
Commissions, bonuses and an hourly rate of pay also needed to be discussed.
Lloyd said the workers were also waiting for confirmation they would be getting a collective agreement and were writing to their employer requesting it be in the form of an award.
"They've been saying the right things but the union and its members are looking forward a getting a collective agreement."
He said they expected to get an answer within the week.
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