It’s not just Tasmanian public sector workers who will be walking off the job on Wednesday afternoon. United Voice members working at Wrest Point Casino are also set to down tools as part of protected industrial action relating to their ongoing dispute with the Federal Hotels Group about their wages and conditions.
“United Voice members have been attempting to negotiate with Federal Hotels for nearly 18 months. Staff haven’t had a pay increase for over two years, and they have twice rejected the Enterprise Agreement put to them by Wrest Point management in recent months,” said United Voice Branch Secretary, Jannette Armstrong. “Staff keep voting no because Wrest Point is trying to weaken their roster security, now they’re trying to bully them into accepting an unfair deal.”
Ms Armstrong said, “That Federal Hotels is now about to put what is essentially the same offer out to vote for a third time, exemplifies just how broken our industrial bargaining system is. This is exactly why we need to change the rules. The bargaining system is weighted too far in favour of employers.”
The Farrell family is Tasmania’s biggest hospitality employer, and are worth over half a billion dollars.
Hospitality worker, and United Voice member, Simon Davis, will be speaking at the rally on Parliament Lawns. Mr Davis said, “During the recent state election campaign The Farrells seemed very concerned about their workers’ jobs and promised to look after their staff. Apparently they’re no longer so concerned, now that they’ve got what they wanted from the government.”
Mr Davis is attending the rally as part of the union movement’s national Change The Rules campaign, but also to support Tasmania’s public sector workers. His young son has a global development delay, and Mr Davis says, “Trying to navigate Tasmania’s broken and underfunded public health system in order to give our son the support he needs is a big challenge for our family. The government should be investing our tax dollars in public services and the workers that provide them, not giving millions to private employer groups like the THA.”
Casino workers will be joining hundreds of other United Voice members as part of the thousands-strong gatherings. United Voice Correctional Officers and Education Facility Attendants will be stopping work at the prisons and schools, in order to attend the meetings, calling on the Hodgman government to scrap their 2% wages cap and bargain in good faith. Members from Security, Cleaning, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Personal Services, and Early Childhood Education and Care will also be attending the rallies.
“Whilst some groups of United Voice members will be taking industrial action, many other members have taken annual leave or swapped shifts in order to attend this historic action – that’s how important this is to them,” said Ms Armstrong.