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  Issue No 64 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 July 2000  

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News

Casino Plumps for Penalty Rates

By Andrew Casey

Sydney's Star City Casino has decided to buck the trend in the hospitality industry by re-introducing penalty rates for weekend and night work.

" They were having trouble attracting workers on weekends," Tim Ferrari, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU) Assistant National Secretary, said today.

" So the Casino plumped for a return to penalty rates after five years of a scheme in which all workers got a loaded rate - no matter what their roster.

The Casino is not just returning to the old penalty rates scheme - they have decided that penalty rates will now kick in earlier than ever - starting Friday evenings, rather than Saturday mornings.

" The initiative to reintroduce the penalty rates came from Star City Casino management . There was debate among our members as to whether we should agree," Tim Ferrari, of the Casino Union, said.

" There has been a campaign by many employers - egged on by Peter Reith - to rubbish penalty rates as a bad Australian union tradition.

" Star City was one of the hospitality organisations who joined the campaign to get rid of penalty rates.

" At the time our members questioned the validity of this, but we eventually agreed when the company offered a 20 per cent loading to buy out the penalty rates.

" The union warned management that this change could mean they would find it hard to attract staff on weekends and now, five years later, we have been proved correct," Mr Ferrari said.

The reintroduction of penalty rates is part of a new enterprise agreement negotiated by the LHMU and endorsed by a two-third majority of staff in a ballot this week.

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The new penalty rate structure at Star City Casino will provide a 50 per cent loading for workers starting at 7pm on Friday - with loadings throughout the rest of the weekend.

The 3000 workers at Star City will also receive base pay rises of 4 per cent a year - but the reintroduction of penalty rates will mean most workers can expect pay gains of between 5 per cent and 8 per cent in the first year and a further 4 per cent increase 12 months later.

As part of this agreement the LHMU has negotiated a $50 a day Olympic bonus.


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*   Issue 64 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Greg Sword Unsheathed
The NUW national secretary is set to be endorsed as ALP Federal president next week. He talks about the relationship between the two wings of the labour movement.
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*  Unions: Phone Rage, Headaches and Stress
A comprehensive survey of the call centre industry conducted by the ASU has revealed an industry workplace culture dominated by excessive monitoring and stress.
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*  Economics: And the Winner Is .... Sydney?
Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt looks at the export impact of the Sydney Olympics and asks if we'll win gold.
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*  International: Western Sahara: Referendum Or War?
A June UN referendum in Western Sahara could have provided the people of Western Sahara a chance to exercise their right to self-determination and independence. It didn't.
*
*  History: The Union's Roots in Song
We look at some of the songs that kept working people going through their darkest hours.
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*  Media: Unchaining the ABC
The ALP needs to rethink our public institutions to determine how they might better deliver the ends for which they were originally established.
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*  Environment: Motorways Fail the Pollie Test
Our daily grind of congested roads, polluted air, and frustrated motorists is putting all and sundry to the test, and not least Liberal and Labor politicians.
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*  Satire: Murdoch Launches Bid for Under-9s Netball Team
Sydney's lucrative junior league netball broadcasting market has been shaken by a bid by one of the world's most predatory entrepreneurs, Rupert Murdoch, to secure ownership of the most successful team in the league.
*
*  Review: Espionage a Trois
The Whitlams' brass section his teamed with some of the hippest cats in Sydney to make the sort of music you'll want to shoot baddies to.
*

News
»  McMeanies Skimp on Olympics Pay
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»  Lawyers Pose as Students to Nail Workers
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»  Fiji Union Protests on Wednesday
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»  Casino Plumps for Penalty Rates
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»  AWU’s Push For The Bush
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»  Inquiry Lifts Lid on "SweetShops on Wheels"
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»  Fair Traders Call for World Where People Matter
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»  Accor Makes 'Cheeky' Olympics Offer
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»  Sacking Threat Was ‘Group Therapy’
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»  Doing It For The Love Of It
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»  Deadline to Vote in ARM Poll Approaches
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»  Grief Support for Workplace Tragedies
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»  Workers Invited to Mark Federation
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Viva Eavesdropping Jonesy
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»  Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle
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»  Crappiest Music Feedback
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