Some of you may recall last June, Centro stores in Lavington, Albury and Wodonga sacked a group of five trolley collectors and replaced them with contract labour, recent migrants who agreed to do the same job for less money.
The dismissed workers did nothing wrong, were given no notice of their employer’s intention to dismiss them and, thanks to workplace “reform” brought in by the Howard
junta government as part of it’s now defunct “Workchoices” legislation, had no right of appeal.
Would it surprise you to learn that at least one of the dismissed workers was out on polling day in the baking sun handing out “how to vote” cards for Howard stalwart Susan Ley, helping her attempt to roll out still further the very same legislation that allowed him to be sacked arbitrarily, without due right of appeal?
What can I say, he’s a(n ex) trolley collector, not a brain surgeon.
The other four, I feel quite badly for.
Why was this allowed to happen? Because there were fewer than 100 employees dimissed, thanks little Johnny, way to screw the truly needy to benefit the truly greedy.
Liberal party politics in its purest form.
Anyway, turns out that scurrilous unfair dismissal (however legal) was not the only abomination Centro subjected its workers to, turns out they were underpaying them too.
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission took a dim view and ordered Xidis, trading as Effective Supermarket Services to repay the workers their entitlements.
They won’t get their jobs back, EES will no doubt continue to operate in an exploitative and unethical manner whenever it feels it can get away with it, but at least, in a small way, the little guy had a win.
I’m not sure I’d call it justice, but it is something I guess.