Staff lose holidays, leave in contract

STAFF at Tancred Fresh supermarket in Rockhampton had lost holidays and sick leave in return for below-award wages, Federal Parliament was told yesterday.

Labor's Industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith said the Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) signed by staff at Tancred Fresh in Rockhampton was a sign of things to come. Under their AWA, the full-time supermarket workers earn almost a dollar less per hour than the maximum award rate for casual shop assistants ? yet get no paid annual leave or sick days.

They are entitled to take annual leave, personal leave or long service leave, but they won't get paid for it as "it has been incorporated into the hourly pay rate''. Mr Smith asked the Prime Minister John Howard if it was not the case that the Government's proposed changes offered no protection for employees like those at Tancred Fresh, where in a single line they lose their public holidays, penalties and loadings.

Mr Howard conceded that workers could be bullied into accepting cuts to their conditions under his industrial relations shake-up.

He refused to guarantee no worker would be worse off but said he trusted bosses to do the right thing.

"We don't live in a perfect world and I can't say to you, 'look there are no bad employers','' Mr Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting.



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