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Lush underpayment decision highlights the value of union membership

Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food, warehouse and online retail employees

The SDA acknowledges Lush’s decision to pay more than 3,000 current and former workers more than four million dollars in underpayments.

This need never have occurred.

If unions still had the right to conduct spot checks of company payrolls BB a right

withdrawn by successive coalition governments BB workers would have received their legal entitlements at the time and the company would not be facing an additional financial burden now.

This case again reveals that the system is broken with adverse consequences for workers and reputational damage for companies.

Inspection and enforcement powers must be restored to unions. Australia did not have an underpayment problem when they did.

It cost the taxpayer nothing and ensured workers got the wages to which they are legally entitled.

The case also highlights the benefit of union membership.

Unions are able to expeditiously check payroll problems for their members and ensure that any underpayments are fixed immediately.

It is worth noting that the big and long term incidents of underpayment have largely occurred among salaried and management staff, for instance, at Woolworths and Coles.

Had they been reported earlier, they would have been fixed speedily before they got out of hand.

Contact: Jim Middleton 0418 627066