Hotels sign up 5000 workers to non-union agreements

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Hotels sign up 5000 workers to non-union agreements

Unions have accused luxury hotel owners of exploiting workers by signing them up to non-union wage deals just days before the new IR system is due to begin.

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Unions have accused luxury hotel owners of exploiting workers by signing them up to non-union wage deals just days before the new IR system is due to begin.
 
In the last six weeks, 5000 workers at 40 hotels have been signed up and union frozen out until 2012.
 
ACTU president Sharan Burrow urged workers not to be bullied into signing any agreements before Fair Work Australia begins on Wednesday.
 
‘Why would those employers, wealthy hotel owners, seek to get agreements with workers without their unions representing them, without the benefit and the rights of the new laws which are just two days away from implementation?’ she asked.
 
Question motivation
 
‘You'd have to question the motivation.’
 
AHA national chief executive Bill Healey denied there had been a rush to pre-empt the new industrial relations regime.
 
‘A number of companies have looked at their options facing the new laws coming into effect later this week,’ he said.
 
‘[They] have looked at developing enterprise agreements across their properties in accordance with the laws that have been amended since the Labor Government came into power.’
 
‘We're very concerned because the union have indicated that they're going to use the new laws to introduce pattern bargaining across the sector,’ he said.
 
‘AHA doing pattern bargaining’: union
 
However, LHMU national secretary Louise Tarrant said: ‘If anyone is doing pattern bargaining, it's the AHA.'
 
‘They have put a non-union template agreement throughout the industry,’ she said.
 
‘How can they accuse us of pattern bargaining when they are doing it themselves?'
 
‘The AHA should look in the mirror. What they have done is very crudely and cynically abuse the trust of the Australian community and the luxury hotel workforce by pushing through non-union agreements in the most tawdry way, stopping employees getting the benefits of the new legislation for the next three years.’
 
She said the union would consider using the low-paid bargaining stream but ‘we're not out there in the industry with a five-point template that everyone should sign up to’.
 
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