03 May 2010

The SDA and McDonald's do a dodgy deal. Only problem is Fair Work Australia won't have a bar of it!

On 23 April 2010 Fair Work Australia rejected the McDonald's Australia Enterprise Agreement 2009 being approved. Rejection of enterprise agreements is not uncommon. However, it normally does not involve the biggest union in Australia, where that union has argued in favour of the sub-standard agreement.

The SDA and McDonald's got together and essentially sold a dud agreement to McDonald's 80,000 employees. These employees are particularly vulnerable as over a third are from non-English speaking backgrounds and a whopping 80% are casual.

Some of the "features" of the agreement include (and to quote Commissioner McKenna directly)

  • "the Agreement contains no casual loadings at all for employees in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory"
      • “18.3 Wage Increases

      In addition to the wage rates specified in 18.1 and 18.2 employees will be paid the following increases. Provided that an employee will not be paid less than the rate otherwise applicable to that employee under the transitional provisions of the relevant modern award.

        As from 1 July 2010

        NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and NT

        FWA Annual Wage Review less $7.50


        FWA Annual Wage Review less $3.84


        FWA Annual Wage Review less $5.00

        QLD (Level 1 employees)

        FWA Annual Wage Review

        QLD (all others)

        FWA Annual Wage Review less $7.50

How generous - employees get a pay rise LESS than the minimum wage! Jeez, you've driven a hard bargain there SDA. How did you manage to get such a great deal for workers?

Funnily enough, the agreement was not approved for reasons including "the deficient application; the failure to meet pre-approval requirements; the failure to meet the no disadvantage test; and the inadequacy of some of the proposed written undertakings." This was despite the fact McDonald's was represented by the Australian Industry Group's Matt Moir, who apparently is a barrister. Clearly even he couldn't sell this lemon. I wonder how he sleeps at night, when his job is trying to ensure workers get royally fucked over by their bosses? (I often wonder the same thing about the negotiators from the SDA too).

It's good to see somebody sticking up for workers at McDonald's. Apparently the SDA has given up on looking after the rights of workers at Maccas so it's been left to Fair Work Australia.

And all of this is yet another example of how the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, a so-called union, is an absolute fucking disgrace.


The Full Bench overturned the single commissioner's decision. Seems whatever AIG says is gospel these days.