McDonald’s slashes the wages of its 107,000 fast food employees – despite the fact they’ve been forced to work through the COVID-19 pandemic
- McDonald’s has won a bid to slash wages due to the coronavirus pandemic
- The Fair Work Commission decided the Fast Food Award could be varied
- The move hopes to ensure jobs will remain secure after the COVID-19 crisis
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
McDonald’s has won a bid to slash the wages of more than 100,000 fast food employees during the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to keep jobs secure.
The Fair Work Commission decided the Fast Food Award could be varied from May 19 due to the impact of the health crisis on businesses.
The move was opposed by Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, who argued the variation ‘undermines the minimum terms and conditions of young, vulnerable and low-paid part-time and casual employees’.
On Tuesday, Justice Iain Ross moved to temporarily change the award for businesses and workers who cannot receive JobKeeper payments.
‘We accept that the proposed variation may result in low paid employees receiving less pay than they would for the same hours under the current terms of the award,’ he said.
McDonald’s has won a bid to slash the wages of more than 100,000 fast food employees during the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to keep jobs secure. Pictured: Closed off seating area at an outlet
‘It is axiomatic that such a reduction in pay will mean that they are less able to meet their needs.
‘But, the retention of as many employees as possible in employment, albeit receiving less pay for the hours they work than they would under the current terms of the award, is an important countervailing consideration.’
The Australian Industry Group (AIG), the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) backed the award change.
Part-time workers can now have their hours reduced to a minimum of eight per week. They can also be offered additional shifts beyond their set roster without overtime.
The changes were proposed to last three months but will end on July 31.
‘We are not persuaded that the 3 month period of operation proposed is warranted.’
The Fair Work Commission decided the Fast Food Award would be varied from May 19 due to the impact of the health crisis on businesses. Pictured: McDonald’s store in Merrylands, Sydney
‘As we have mentioned, the COVID-19 restrictions on cafes and restaurants are easing.’
McDonald’s employed 107,556 people in Australia as of March 30.
Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, welcomed the decision.
‘The Fair Work Commission’s decision to vary the Fast Food Industry Award to increase flexibility for employers and employees during the COVID-19 crisis is very welcome,’ he said.
‘The COVID-19 crisis is a very long way from being over.
‘Even when the health crisis is under control, the economic crisis will be with us for a long time.
‘It is in everyone’s interests for measures to be implemented to boost employment and productivity, and to encourage investment.’