Domino’s ditches new workplace deal

Domino's Pizza store2Domino’s Pizza has decided to abandon a new enterprise bargaining agreement for its workers.

The fast food giant said it will instead keep workers on the fast food industry award after its labour costs came in below expectations, according to AAP.

Domino’s workers went onto the fast food industry award in January in an interim measure ahead of a long-fought enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) being registered with the workplace regulator, the Fair Work Commission.

Domino’s announced last Monday it decided not to pursue approval of the new EBA but will keep its employees on the basic award after labour costs came in below expectations. Domino’s Australia/New Zealand chief executive Nick Knight said wages under the basic award were similar to those in the proposed EBA.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said Domino’s decision is likely a reflection of the difficulties employers are facing getting EBA’s through the FWC.

“Generally, the bar is now far too difficult,” he said. “This needs to change, we need to have more flexibility.”

According to AAP, the fast food giant said the move was not driven by cost but would “eliminate uncertainty”. However, retail workers union, the SDA, has criticised Domino’s withdrawal from the proposed new EBA, saying staff would miss out on additional benefits secured under the agreement.

“The proposed agreement was reached after lengthy negotiations between the parties,” SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said in a statement. “The SDA will continue to engage with Domino’s with a view to securing an enterprise agreement that delivers for Domino’s employees.”

Knight said Domino’s was prepared to negotiate the new EBA because it provided additional benefits and the company was “still strongly committed to achieving additional benefits and security for our employees”.

“But (Domino’s) believe this can be achieved more efficiently through input into the current four-yearly review of the Modern Award being conducted by the Fair Work Commission,” he said.

Zimmerman also said an ongoing dispute between the SDA and Josh Cullinan of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) was also a factor in making Domino’s EBA process more difficult.

AAP reported the new wages deal was a significant issue for Domino’s, with analysts estimating higher labour costs could affect some franchise stores’ profitability and hurt the group’s profit margin. Domino’s shares rose 75 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $41.92 on Monday.

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