McDonald`s has been ordered, for the first time in decades, to pay full fines for employees after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) denounced its corporate compensation agreement (EBA). The McDonald`s deal was one of many deals with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), which resulted in better base rates and other benefits, but also meant that some employees who worked on weekends were actually worse off. A member of the rival Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) challenged the Wage Agreement (EBA) in the Fair Work Commission to reinstate all penalties. The Commission announced the deal in December and employees will switch to rewarding the fast food industry on Monday. “This result benefits no one and is another example of the urgent need to fix Australia`s bargaining system for businesses.” But the union then sided with Mr Kelly when McDonalds pulled out of the improved deal. But Josh Cullinan, RFFWU`s secretary, said the company deal was only part of the problem. Steve Champion, director of consulting firm ER Strategies, said retail and fast food deals now largely replicate price and the only significant benefit for employers is flexibility over part-time plans. “I think there is still room for manoeuvre to consider and simplify the existing bargaining system for companies – which would in particular amount to giving the Commission greater discretion to ensure that certain fundamental objectives have been achieved,” he said. The left-wing Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) had opposed the franchise`s new EA and drew up a list of technical hurdlees to its approval, as it has done for other important deals in the sector. Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said Sunday that McDonald`s EBA`s resignation was the latest example of the decline in corporate negotiations in Australia. After the initial approval of the deal in 2013, the FWC said on Thursday that exchanging the deal for the industry price would result in many employees paying more and others paying the same. For decades, their wages and working conditions, including rosters, have been set by McDonald`s employees as part of collective agreements between the company and their union.
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