Spotlight protest in the Port
A very vocal community protest took place outside Spotlight’s Port Adelaide store last Saturday morning. It was organised by Western Workers Fight Back Committee (a group formed to support the ACTU’s Your Rights at Work campaign) and brought the attention of shoppers to the appalling cuts in pay and conditions contained in the Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) being given to new Spotlight employees.
In South Australia, Spotlight staff were previously employed under the state Shop Conciliation Award which includes Sunday penalty rates and a host of other modest conditions, now being axed under the WorkChoices-inspired AWA. A senior worker used to receive $14.97 an hour. That will be reduced to $14.30 an hour on any day, including Sunday. A 15-year-old junior (Spotlight relies heavily on younger workers) will have her/his pay cut from $7.48 an hour to $5.72 an hour and the $7.30 meal allowance will be scrapped for all staff.
Committee members are planning other protests at Spotlight stores and hope to co-ordinate their efforts with the three other community union support groups in Adelaide. Like other groups, the western suburbs committee has been leafleting neighbourhoods and a recent Port Adelaide Magpies game to help maximise the turnout for the June 28 rally to be held at 12pm in Victoria Square.