Union workers have a win at Crown
James Packer’s Crown Resorts has caved in to a union campaign, agreeing to reinstate pokermachine technicians on union-negotiated wages and conditions and pay them compensation.
The backdown was described by Electrical Trades Union Victorian secretary Troy Gray as the biggest “capitulation” by an employer he had seen in 25 years.
Unions had threatened a social media war against Crown over its decision in July to replace 18 technicians with lesser-paid contractors employed by Amtek Corporation, chaired by former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett.
The ETU had admitted the plan, which saw the contractors each paid half the $76,000 wage of the technicians, was lawful.
Mr Gray said he recently was approached by Crown executive Karl Bitar, and a deal to reinstate the technicians on their former pay and conditions was reached on Thursday night.
He expected about 13 technicians to return, and they would be employed directly by Crown. However, the contract with Amtek would remain in place.
Sources denied the settlement was linked to claims by independent MP Andrew Wilkie about alleged poker machine tampering. Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to disclose testimony from three former workers.
“This was an industrial outcome,’’ one source said. “The horse has already bolted on the Wilkie claims as they are now with the authorities”
Crown and Mr Kennett declined to comment.