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Warner Village Industrial Dispute


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I won't say much since this a pretty sensitive issue (as you can imagine). Basically, managements first pay offer came months after the deal was meant to go through, and was quite a bit below what we asking. The union, took this as opportunity to recruit staff, organise stop work meetings and so forth. The thing that strikes me as odd is they haven't gone back to another meeting to negotiate for a greater increase (which is what the union is meant to do), or even put this offer to a staff vote (where we all could have voted no). What's more is they're claiming everything from bad conditions to low wages being dangerous, ultimately putting us off side with local media outlets. Now, the conditions aren't the best, but there by no means bad, and I'm buggered to know how low pay can be dangerous. Management has pointed to an improvement in conditions recently (which I have noticed and are to be applauded). The problem is that staff incentive programs like what is soon to be launched at MW and different staff events and training programs all make it nice to be at work, but don't put food on the table, and people are struggling to make ends meet. That is the message the unions were making before getting sidetracked in lots of different areas. The bad conditions that staff talk about are basically issues with rosters and supervisors, which is pretty much standard at any workplace. I support the unions trying to up the pressure so we at least get 4% (rather then the 6% we asked for or the 3% they offered), but I question their plan of attack. Still, the fact the staff stopped work does show that some are desperate, and I congratulate them for sticking to their guns. The pressure maybe starting to show as well. In the week leading up the industrial action, the offer has gone up to 4% for the staff earning the least, and 3% for those on the most, and different amounts for those in between. That's basically what's going on, I won't go into anymore detail then that, I think that's really all most people really need to know on the matter, except to say that the parks operated as normal, and disruption to the guests was fairly minimal.

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Some questions: Is the 3% increase on offer to occur immediately? Is there a back-pay component? How long will this proposed agreement run for? Is there a committment from park management to reduce waste, and consult with staff and the union further on other proposals? If MW employees were not operating under a certified agreement, they would have recently recieved a $19 a week pay increase under the relevant award. This $19 a week increase does not ask employees to work on weekends without penalty rates. Why should these employees put up with such paltry offers?

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Last time we negotiated the rise came into effect immediately when staff voted yes to the offer, so it is an immediate thing. However, since the chances of everyone voting yes on this new agreement is slim at best, its a fair way off. Also, as far as I'm aware, back pay is something that must be provided, back dated to when the new agreement was meant to go through. This new agreement is for 2 years, as of the expiry date of the old agreement. You mention an extra $19, what the unions are asking for is an extra 4% or $25, which ever the greater. The notion of penalty rates on weekends was one of the requests that was rejected right at the beginning.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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