Security at big venues are set to lose dollars this Easter due to ‘zombie agreements’, with the union pointing the finger at a major security provider.
Security at big venues are set to lose dollars this Easter due to ‘zombie agreements’, with the union pointing the finger at a major security provider.

Union at war with security firm over Easter pay

SECURITY employees working at major venues around the country over the Easter holidays will potentially lose hundreds of dollars and be paid less than half of what they should be due to Work Choices-era 'zombie agreements'.


The United Workers Union claims security workers at Westfield shopping centres and other major venues will be paid less due to unfair workplace agreements, known as 'zombie agreements' - a relic of John Howard's WorkChoices reforms.


Employees of SecureCorp - Westfield's security contractor - will be paid $27 an hour for working the Easter holidays under their workplace agreement, as opposed to being paid $56 an hour which they are entitled to under the award rate, the union says.

United Workers Union Property Services co-ordinator Damien Davie. Picture: Lachie Millard
United Workers Union Property Services co-ordinator Damien Davie. Picture: Lachie Millard


United Workers Union Property Services co-ordinator Damien Davie said SecureCorp was one of many providers to exploit zombie agreements during the Easter public holidays and Westfield should axe SecureCorp as its security contractor.

 

"Zombie agreements are like the undead - they walk among us stealing wages," he said.

"This Easter long weekend, security workers at Westfield and other major venues are looking at being hundreds of dollars out of pocket despite working through the night and on public holidays to keep our communities safe.

 

"Workers employed on weekends and public holidays deserve to be paid penalty rates for missing valuable time with their family this Easter, even more so during this time of crisis and insecurity."

 

SecureCorp workers at Robina train station.
SecureCorp workers at Robina train station.

 

SecureCorp said in a statement that its employees are remunerated under the relevant Industrial Instrument - either the Security Award or the applicable Enterprise Agreement - and refuted the claim by the union.


"Employees will be paid in accordance with the Security Award or their relevant Industrial Enterprise Agreement. The Agreement provides public holiday penalty rates which may be as high as $55.65/hr," the statement read.


"Our staff are currently working at the forefront during this unprecedented pandemic event, ensuring that essential services continue to be available to all customers of our valued clients."


Mr Davie said SecureCorp will only ever pay award rates "if they're made to".

"The ludicrous part of their response is that the award rate for casuals on a public holiday is $60.23 and full-time is $54.75 (for security officers level 1) - why give a range, why refuse to state what rate guards will be paid this Easter?"
Scentre Group, which owns Westfield, said it could not comment about the claims but said all contractors were required to pay their employees in accordance with the relevant award or industrial agreement.

Originally published as Union at war with security firm over Easter pay


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