United Voice casino members have overwhelmingly voted to take protected industrial action. Tasmania’s casinos will now enter an extended period of instability, following the release of the results of the vote.
Casino members do not take this action lightly but they feel that they have no other choice. They are incredibly angry at the disrespectful way the Federal Group and the Farrell Family have treated them by offering an insulting wage offer, as well as attempting to strip away other previously hard-fought for conditions.
The Farrell family leaned heavily on its workers to engender support for their ‘We are Federal’ state election campaign to protect their pokie machine licence earlier in the year, and now they no longer need that support, they are offering an unacceptable pay deal, one that employees overwhelmingly voted ‘no’ to in January 2018.
Jessica Sanders, Tasmanian Acting Branch Secretary of United Voice, the casino union, says, “The company has made their employees so incredibly angry with their one-off wage offer of 1.8% and their refusal to budge, that they have led their workers to vote to take protected industrial action. A 1.8% wage increase is in reality a wage cut for staff as it fails to keep up with the cost of living.
“The company is also unwilling to protect the job security and home lives of its employees by wanting to make significant changes to roster and redundancy provisions.
“When did wages and conditions in Tasmania become a race to the bottom? The Farrell family have made their millions from Tasmanians and from the hard work of their staff who have been the backbone of their business, but are unwilling to offer a fair and just pay rise to their workers.
“United Voice members have attempted to resolve the wage negotiations impasse numerous times, but Greg Farrell and Federal General Managers have consistently ignored opportunities to negotiate with their supposedly ‘valued employees’. This wealthy family business has not given Tasmania’s casino workers a pay rise for nearly two years now.
“Casino members are fed up and will now start to take action. From today, the Tasmanian casinos will be entering an extended period of instability, workers will be participating in a range of actions including communicating with patrons, work bans and rolling stoppages. If you have purchased tickets to an upcoming show or plan to stay at the casino or just visit for a flutter over the coming months, patrons should be prepared for extended disruptions.”
Matt Ellett, Wrest Point Casino Employee and United Voice member says, “We were ‘valued employees’ when Federal Group needed our support during the recent state election so they could maintain their pokies in Tasmania. Now the Farrells have that security, their employees have become unworthy of respect and recognition, we are being ignored for daring to ask for a reasonable pay rise, job security and a roster that allows us to juggle a decent home/work life balance.
“We are not asking for a lot, we just want to be able to plan our lives around work and pay our bills. Why does Greg Farrell only care about his family and not about his employees and their families?”
July 2016 – Casino employees receive their last wage increase.
January 2018 – Casino employees vote ‘no’ to the one and only offer from Federal Group of 1.8% per year for three years, as well as a reduction in entitlements with Federal Group attempting to strip back redundancy clauses, move to a short-term roster cycle that would risk increasing casualization of the workforce and refusing to commit to job security for the life of the EBA.
February-March 2018 – Federal invests significant amounts of money in the recent 'We are Federal' state election advertising campaign to hold on to their gaming monopoly. The ads feature casino staff.
12 April 2018 – Negotiations break down for a second time and the process to vote for protected industrial action begins.
10 May 2018 – Australian Electoral Commission ballot on protected industrial action returned with resounding ‘yes’ vote
Media comment, Acting Tasmanian Branch Secretary: Jessica Sanders – 0424370663
Media queries, Elisabeth Bowdler – 0412 112 374