The entire workforce at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Sydney’s Inner West has been stood down without pay for the duration of the Sydney lockdown.
The workers are employed by Belgravia Leisure, which operates the Enmore-based aquatic and fitness facility.
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.
Permanent workers are being forced to dip into leave entitlements and casual workers are facing dire financial circumstances.
The United Workers Union is demanding full pay for regular hours of work for all workers at the centre for the duration of lockdown. A public petition has been released by the union demanding management meet with employees to discuss the provision of paid pandemic leave.
Workers from the centre, who remain anonymous for fear of reprisal have said they feel insulted by the actions of management at a time when Australians are being told ‘we are all in this together’.
“Many of us have been thrown into insecurity and hardship because of this snap decision by the company to stand us all down without pay. This is no way to treat a loyal workforce,” one of the workers said.
“The disaster payment provided by the Federal government is miserably low – especially compared to JobKeeper.
“The company has no right to cry poor when they have billions in assets and hundreds of millions in profits.
“The least they could do is look after their workforce and give people a reason to come back and work for them after the lockdown.”
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
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).