Townsville pizza delivery driver Casey Salt and the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) are taking Domino's to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in the latest challenge to unfair agreements struck between big retail and fast food employers and the conservative Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA).
Salt will ask the FWC to terminate an exploitative agreement her employer made with the SDA that has left workers underpaid tens of millions of dollars
The Domino's agreement is one of the worst in Australia. Under the agreement, Domino's delivery drivers receive no casual loadings, no penalty rates, a limited driving allowance and work minimum shifts of just two hours. If they were paid the award minimum, a full-time worker would be paid, on average, at least 20% more a year.
RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan said the application exposed a "national scandal of underpayment" at Domino's. Every driver covered by the 2005 agreement had been paid less than the award minimum for many years.
He estimated drivers across Domino's 600 stores, working an average 10 hours a week, could be losing more than $20 million a year.
In anticipation of a challenge to the agreement, Domino’s has started paying a 25% penalty rate on Sundays, which is still significantly lower than the award. Hourly rates were also raised, but are still below the casual rate in the award.
Hours after the RAFFWU application to terminate the deal, the SDA, which negotiated the agreement and has been a party to it for 12 years, said it would also apply to terminate the agreement, admitting it was "deficient".
Domino’s has been hit by another wage scandal, with some of its stores paying even less than required under the second-rate SDA agreement. It announced it had recovered almost $1 million for workers from a total of 29 franchisees.
But $1 million is miniscule compared with the cost of paying workers award rates. Deutsche Bank has put the cost to Domino's of paying award penalty rates at more than $30 million a year.
The sub-standard agreements between the SDA and big employers are now the subject of a Senate inquiry.