My Restaurant Rules – with pay cuts on the menu?

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My Restaurant Rules – with pay cuts on the menu?

The NSW Government says the latest episode of the TV show My Restaurant Rules has provided ‘a taste of things to come’ if the Howard Government succeeds in installing a national industrial relations system.

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The NSW Government says the latest episode of the TV show My Restaurant Rules has provided ‘a taste of things to come’ if the Howard Government succeeds in installing a national industrial relations system. 

The NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca said that in the program the owner of the Sydney restaurant Pink Salt stopped paying casual staff the State Award and instead moved to much lower wages under the Federal Government’s Australian Workplace Agreements. 

‘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 short $300,’ Della Bosca said. 

Allegations by staff

In a transcript of the show provided by Della Bosca’s office the sous chef finds out he has worked an 80 hour week for $10 an hour.  

And, he told viewers, he hadn’t seen a pay slip and not been shown what’s being paid into his superannuation.  

‘You do the hours in the week, they can’t just turn around at the end of the week and say “I’m sorry but this is what I’m going to pay you”,’ the chef says to the camera. 

Compare current system

‘When questioned, the employer explained he would provide the agreement for the workers to sign later. They sign it - or else,’ Della Bosca said. 

‘Where’s the fairness here?  Where’s the balance?  Where’s the umpire? 

‘Under the current system, NSW Office of Industrial Relations inspectors can check that employees are paid what is legally owed to them and ensure that businesses compete fairly.

‘When the Commonwealth Government gains absolute power in the Senate in July, it is threatening to strip away the wages and conditions of these workers by closing the cooperative and fair State systems. 

‘They will have no protection, no umpire and no award safety net. 

‘A strong independent umpire can settle disputes quickly and a well resourced inspectorate ensures a level playing field. 

‘My Restaurant Rules has provided Australian families with a taste of things to come: lower wages, conflict in the workplace, no recourse for employees who are short-changed and a rapid reduction in the conditions, entitlements and leave provisions that many Australians take for granted.’ 

Back under award

Viewer e-mails sent to Channel Seven have resulted in a hasty retreat by the top-rating television show. A Channel Seven spokeswoman said yesterday that as the staff hadn’t agreed to these pay changes, they have now all been put back onto the Award.  

Related 

States won't cop 'unfair' national workplace system - Labor

 

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