Workers from Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre will continue to go the distance in their campaign against being stood down without pay.
Belgravia Leisure, which runs the Inner West Council-owned facility, met with workers and the United Workers Union on Monday to discuss the provision of paid pandemic leave. The meeting, however, was not a good faith negotiation.
Despite agreeing to meet, management repeated its hard-line stance and offered no further assistance to the workforce, apart from to point their employees to a mental health service provider.
United Workers Union Allied Director Godfrey Moase said Belgravia Group was in a good enough financial position to look after its workers and had a duty to as local government contractor.
“Annette Kellerman is a piece of public infrastructure which belongs to the community of Sydney’s Inner West,” Moase said.
“Many of the workers that have been hung out to dry are an important part of that very same community.
“I question why conglomerates, like Belgravia, are allowed to profit from something that was built by the local community without giving anything back.
“I know the Inner West Council is rightly bring back these services into the council and I commend them for doing so, however Belgravia’s reach extends beyond Annette Kellerman and workers at City of Sydney facilities such as Andrew Boy Charlton and Ian Thorpe aquatic facilities are feeling the same pain.
“It is incumbent, I believe, on the City of Sydney to explain how this kind of outsourcing is beneficial to the community and ratepayers?”
United Workers Union is demanding full pay for regular hours of work for all workers at all Belgravia-run centres for the duration of lockdown. A public petition has been released by the union backing up these demands.
A worker from the Annette Kellerman site said that they will continue to fight following management’s refusal to engage the workers in good faith.
“It seemed as though management was undermining our proposal, telling us we’re a part of 5,000 Belgravia employees out of work and we’re not the only centre going through this lockdown without pay,” one worker said anonymously on fear of reprisal.
“They recognised that the government payments were not enough to get by for most employees.
“Management said they will “work with the union” – but we are yet to see any proactive steps being taken.
The United Workers Union is also running a campaign calling on Scott Morrison to do his job and reinstate Jobkeeper to its previous level, as well as take better responsibility for the bungled vaccine and quarantine programs.
The petition can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLJtsB9kJoJsiWy-GL0DADrlrIDvpV5jUS9NwQrIjz0ebpOA/viewform
Belgravia Group’s chief executive is Geoff Lord, who last year featured in The Financial Review Rich List for 2020 with a personal fortune of $569 million.
Previous statement on Belgravia Leisure can be found here.
Workers face being sacked if they speak to the media as per the extract from their employment contract below:
15 Media Contact
(a) The Employee will not speak to or contact any branch of the media with regard to any matter affecting the Employer
without the prior approval of the Employer.
(b) The Employee acknowledges that the Employer has the right to dismiss the Employee summarily and without notice
if the Employee does not comply strictly with the requirement in clause 15(a).