Thursday, May 25, 2006

My 2 cents worth in reply to Spotlight's 2 cents offer to staff

I try and keep my knitting and union passions separate as I don't want to put off people who are not into both things. But sometimes there is a cross-over that simply can't be ignored - like Spotlight's decision to employ new staff on AWA's that up the hourly rate by 2 cents an hour (from AU$14.28 to AU$14.30) but remove all shift and overtime penalties for staff working nights and weekends. The relevant union involved , The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employee's Association, estimates that this means that new employees will earn $90 less a week than the current employees able to remain on the award. Read more here.

Call me a cynic but I don't think that $90 per week taken from some of the lowest paid people in Australia is going to translate into cheaper yarn for us knitting addicts. Spotlight has already reduced the amount of quality Australian natural yarn on the shelves and replaced it with pricier and poorer-quality imports (to any American readers, yes we in Australia now finally understand what you were all going on about re: Redheart yarn and totally agree). I suspect that $90 will be going straight into the bottom line of the people who own the store.

And who are Spotlight's staff anyhow? Well, according to their own website, people like you and me:

Are you interested in a job with Spotlight Stores?

Spotlight is constantly in need of new staff. Each Store is responsible for their own recruitment and will employ on an as needs basis. Exisiting customers are some of our best new employees!

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