Workers are ripped off

Union claims winery workers not getting a fair deal

NORTH East blue collar winery workers are getting a raw deal with overtime payments and correct wages, according to the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU).

NORTH East blue collar winery workers are getting a raw deal with overtime payments and correct wages, according to the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU).

The union says the region’s cellar hands, wine production workers and storemen are on average getting paid less than their Sunraysia and Yarra Valley counterparts.

This is when full-time pay rates for these job descriptions range from $16 to $22 per hour, with casual rates an extra 25 per cent.

AWU Victorian assistant secretary, Ben Davis, said workers were at risk of not getting what they were due under the Wine Industry Award, or under contract arrangements.

“We continue to see evidence that some winery workers in the North East of Victoria are not getting a fair deal,” Mr Davis said.

“Especially around harvest time workers are losing out when it comes to overtime and shift work.

“Whether it’s by ignorance or design, we know that some bosses are not playing fair.”

Mr Davis said union members tend to get $100 more on average than non-union members.

He said there are less union members at North East wineries because they are commonly family or privately owned, where larger wine companies generally have collective enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) in place.

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