Casualisation is endemic in the retail and fast food industries.

It means that many retail and fast food workers have no job security and no security of wages.

Casual workers face rosters that change all the time, and have their shifts cut or increased at short notice.

Workers shouldn’t have to feel like life has to revolve around their shift availabilities, but it’s hard to plan your life outside of work – things like study, childcare, hobbies or community commitments – when your shifts change all the time.

Insecure shifts also mean irregular pay. And for decades casual workers in retail and fast food have had their wages undermined by rotten enterprise agreements struck between employers and the SDA – agreements that have stripped casual workers of loading they would have been paid under the Award.

Rotten deals

An enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) locks in core conditions that apply to workers – things like pay rates, and job security.

Even now, the SDA continues to try and make EBAs that undermine job security, not only for casual but for part-time workers.

Rotten EBAs undermine job security by allowing employers all the power to change workers’ rosters without notice, and to strip workers of casual pay loading that should apply to them.

Casual workers are too often placed in a position where they cannot refuse a shift, or a change of shift, from their employer.

And this can go on for years and years, with casual workers having no right of conversation to permanent work.

Combat casualisation with RAFFWU

In 2018 and 2019, RAFFWU ran a major case to stop fast food employers and SDA from destroying job security in the minimum conditions Fast Food Industry Award. We won that historic case, and now part-time workers at Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s have set shifts because of our work.

In 2021, RAFFWU won landmark automatic conversion rights for casual workers through the direct action of members at the Better Read Than Dead bookshop.

In 2022 and 2023, RAFFWU has assisted many workers convert to ongoing employment where they had a regular pattern of casual employment.

Much more needs to still be done, and the way to combat casualisation is to organise with your fellow workers for an EBA that gives you job security and guarantees conversion rights for casual workers.

If you’re already a RAFFWU member, or a worker looking to join our Union and organise, contact us to discuss casualisation in your workplace and how we can fight back together.

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