After years of exploiting shortcomings and loopholes in enterprise bargaining laws, Apple, one of the world’s richest multinationals, is trying to rush though a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement which would mean real wage cuts for more than 4000 Australian workers.
The proposed agreement could also see Apple employees – mostly young workers – working 60 hours in a week without overtime.
In the last month, Apple has obstructed union organisers as they sought legitimately to survey workers to prepare for negotiations on wages and conditions.
Now, the global giant is attempting to rush the bargaining process, objecting to an SDA and ASU request to extend the consultation process for a mere 2-3 weeks past Apple’s deadline of Friday 19 August.
The company’s actions have prevented the unions from meaningfully engaging Apple retail employees and are a breach of the good faith bargaining requirements outlined in s228 of the Fair Work Act.
The proposed 2.5% wage increase to “minimum rates” is well below inflation; the proposed agreement lacks rostering protections to allow Apple workers a good work/life balance and could see Apple employees working 60 hours in a week without overtime.
Apple appears to be trying to rush through an unseemly, unfair agreement ahead of a widely accepted need from unions and employers alike for prospective changes to restore enterprise bargaining to its rightful role at the centre of our workplace laws.
Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA, the union for retail, fast food, warehouse and online retail workers:
“Apple like to portray itself as a prestige company offering prestige products. It should be seeking prestige working conditions, rather than trying to sneak through an agreement that would see its Australian workers going backwards.
“With inflation above six percent and rising, this would see Apple employees already struggling with the cost of living finding it even more difficult to pay for food, fuel, shelter and the other essentials of life.
“For a company that is making at least $11b in profits annually from its Australian operations, it’s behaviour is simply un-Australian.”
Quotes from Emeline Gaske, Assistant National Secretary Australian Services Union, the union for services workers:
“The proposed agreement from Apple may be unlawful and its attempts to ram through a sub-standard agreement that would leave mostly young people working up to 60 hours without overtime is unethical.
“On the eve of the National Jobs Summit when employers and workers are supposed to be finding common ground and working together for a fairer workplace system, Apple’s actions are out of step with the community’s expectations.
“Apple’s actions show us exactly what is wrong with the process of negotiating pay and conditions for workers in Australia, which is broken giving employers far too much power.”
Media Contacts: Felix Eldridge (ASU) 0480 296 214, Jim Middleton (SDA) 0418 627 066
For workers wanting to have their say on pay and conditions at Apple please click the link below: