Casual printing staff from the Herald and Weekly Times (HWT) in Melbourne have received up to $100,000 in wages from their employer, remedying over six years of underpaid allowances.
AMWU organiser Nadia Machlouch reported the union first raised the issue of undercut payments with HWT 12-months ago, but credited the persistence from members and delegates to see the matter resolved.
“We believed the company wasn’t applying the enterprise agreement the way it was intended. So we lodged the dispute back in August last year. ?The company then procrastinated. But as we then prepared for the national enterprise bargaining in October, we made it clear we wouldn’t settle until the outstanding pay matter was resolved,” said? ?Nadia Machlouch.
The company subsequently agreed to back pay casual employees as far back as 6 years, up to as much almost $3,000 in some instances.
“This was down to the persistence of our delegates and the persistence of our members saying, ‘we don’t think you’ve got this right. We expect you to pay us what we are owed.’”
AMWU delegate Rick Davie revealed it was a relief to have finally secured the outstanding wages last month.
“It was a lot of hard work to get this result. HR thought we’d go away. I made a point; we weren’t going to stop. I think it just goes to show what you can achieve even when you’re up against a big company.”? ?he said.
According to Mr Davie the casual workers were delighted with the results.
“Our casuals can see that people will stand up for them and they can get representation. As a result we’ve got a lot of new members out of this,” he added.