The majority of Casino Canberra workers are having to get by with JobKeeper payments. In most cases, this is significantly less than what they would normally earn.
To drive the knife in further, Casino Canberra is demanding that their staff take annual leave. Staff are being bullied and tricked into using leave entitlements they have worked for so that the Casino can use the JobKeeper payments as an annual leave subsidy scheme.
Today Casino Canberra workers tried to present management with a petition against using their annual leave, but management refused to come out and meet with their staff and hear their concerns.
Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union ACT State Secretary said: “Casino Canberra has made a direct choice to take advantage of workers’ confusion around their rights and what is allowed in the current climate, to try to catch them out.
“The company has requested staff who are receiving JobKeeper to use up their annual leave whilst they pocket the JobKeeper payments. Staff were then contacted again and given another choice – take your annual leave or take leave on half-pay. No real choice at all.
“These workers at the beginning of the crisis were told how important they were, how much they were cared for, and promised support in the form of weekly phone calls. The only communication workers have received is a demand to use up their entitlements. Workers who refused have been threatened with being taken to the Fair Work Commission and sent intimidating court case examples.
“The Casino is using JobKeeper to subsidise annual leave payments. This was not the stated intention of the scheme which was sold as a means to keep workers attached to their workplaces, not to off-set worker entitlements.
“Local businesses have been receiving a number of concessions from the ACT government in addition to assistance from the Commonwealth Government. There is simply no need for Casino Canberra to dip their hands into their employees’ pockets to extract their hard-earned entitlements.
Union delegate Bryan Kidman said: “I’m frustrated management chose not to come out and meet with us as I have a number of questions that need answering.”
Rebecca Cody, a Labor member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, was on-site and met with workers. Next Thursday, Rebecca Cody will be taking the plight of these workers to the Legislative Assembly and throwing bouquets or brickbats depending on whether Casino Canberra decides to do the right thing.