Media statement | 13 September 2017

September 13, 2017 Media Releases

The article in today’s Daily Telegraph ‘Unhappy deals’ misleads readers, falsely claiming that the McDonalds Enterprise Agreement leaves young workers worse off.

The SDA – the union for retail and fast food workers – has a long and proud history of improving the wages and conditions of younger workers.

SDA National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer said that “The SDA has worked tirelessly for many years to increase junior rates of pay in the retail and fast food sectors. The union led the historic campaign to remove junior rates of pay for 20 year olds and has been successful in increasing junior rates for 18 and 19 year olds. This has always been the first step in our campaign towards improving the wages of all younger workers.

“The SDA is also proud that McDonald’s workers are among the highest paid fast food workers in the world and enjoy strong rights and working conditions.

The Daily Telegraph fails to understand the complexity of regulation in the fast food industry and the industrial instruments that underpinned the BOOT test in 2013.

“At McDonald’s, 97 per cent of workers voted in support of having a significantly higher base rate of pay, as opposed to higher penalty rates, because in the vast majority of cases this leaves the worker better off overall.

The McDonalds Agreement has provided annual wage increases significantly higher than national Wage increases over the past 4 years.

“In the fast food sector, the ‘rolling up’ of penalty rates as part of the union negotiated EBAs has delivered significantly higher weekly wage rates than the award rate for workers. This approach also brought the value of penalty rates into those states where no penalty rates applied in the relevant state hospitality awards.
“It is important to look at wages over a period of months, rather than days in order to get an accurate overview of the benefits workers derive from specific enterprise agreements. It is also important to factor in the substantial additional benefits, such as leave benefits, and shift guarantees and annual wage increases.
“Where enterprise agreement do not meet the current interpretation of the BOOT test, the SDA has applied to have those agreements terminated.

“The SDA has always, and will always, advocate in the interests of its members, many of whom are younger workers. 13 per cent of the union’s membership are aged 18 years and under.”

Media Contact:Amelia Brock, 0430 187 161