Union targets luxury hotels over sub-standard deals

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Union targets luxury hotels over sub-standard deals

The LHMU has threatened to target hotels that try to organise non-union deals before the Fair Work Australia laws come into operation.

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The LHMU has threatened to target hotels that try to organise non-union deals before the Fair Work Australia laws come into operation.
 
Louise Tarrant, LHMU national secretary, said luxury hotels across Australia are rushing to push through non-union agreements in a last-ditch effort to get around the Fair Work Bill, which comes into effect on 1 July.
 
She said the Marriott and Starwood hotels appear to have embarked on the route of imposing non-union agreements on their workers, despite the fact that workers in two hotels have already voted down union-busting agreements.
 
‘Workers at Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and Hotel last week voted against the management’s non-union deal, overwhelmingly rejecting attempts to force through an agreement,’ she said.
 
‘Treasury must be regretting their decision to force workers to vote on a non-union deal now that a massive majority has rejected it.'
 
‘Employer tactic united workforce’
 
‘Their achievement is a workforce united, a union-busting campaign in tatters and a worker campaign to win a better agreement that’s gaining momentum.'
 
‘Hotels thinking of adopting this strategy should be aware the LHMU will focus on organising hotel workers in workplaces where sub-standard agreements have been rushed through.’
 
The LHMU has called on the Federal Government to ensure workers can access the new IR system after 1 July even if they are covered by ‘unfair, old or rushed agreements’.
 
Escape from AWAs
 
The call follows the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations recommendation that workers have the capacity to escape from AWAs and negotiate collective agreements.
 
‘The LHMU welcomes the Senate Committee’s recommendation that Fair Work Australia be given the power to terminate or vary sub-standard agreements,’ Tarrant said.
 
‘The Committee’s concern that employees should not be unfairly excluded from accessing the low-paid bargaining stream is especially timely for tens of thousands of hotel workers,’ she said.
 
‘We’re talking about an industry which has more low-paid workers than any other industry. Where 65% or workers are employed on a casual basis and where 9.7% of workers are injured every year — an injury rate that’s only marginally behind the notorious construction industry.'
 
‘Clean up your act’
 
‘Rather than attempting to get around the provisions of the new laws by racing to impose new non-union agreements before 1 July, the industry should take a long hard look at itself and clean up its act.’
 
Tarrant said that at the last federal election, Australians voted for new rights and the government is rightly proud to have delivered those laws.
 
‘The LHMU believes the bosses are treating the government and community with contempt,’ she said.
 
‘The government needs to address this sneaky attempt to retain WorkChoices.’
 
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