Pay ac­tion threat­ens spring car­ni­val

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - LEO SCHLINK AND JAMES DOWL­ING

A UNION is threat­en­ing to take in­dus­trial ac­tion dur­ing Flem­ing­ton’s glam­our car­ni­val af­ter a months-long bat­tle over a pay deal.

The Aus­tralian Work­ers Union, rep­re­sent­ing starters, bar­rier at­ten­dants, clerks of the course and swab­bing staff, says race-day of­fi­cials could take ac­tion on Oaks Day or Stakes Day un­less Rac­ing Vic­to­ria comes back to the bar­gain­ing ta­ble. But Rac­ing Vic­to­ria says the re­main­ing Flem­ing­ton races — Cup Day, Oaks and Stakes, will be un­af­fected by the threat­ened in­dus­trial ac­tion, in­sist­ing con­tin­gency plans are in place.

The AWU says the dis­pute is over pay­ment of an al­lowance for staff to work for night­time and twi­light races.

The AWU said the ac­tion could lead to the de­lay or po­ten­tial can­cel­la­tion of races, but Rac­ing Vic­to­ria has moved to quell fears Tues­day’s Mel­bourne Cup, Thurs­day’s Oaks meet­ing and Satur­day’s “fam­ily day” fix­ture will be af­fected.

AWU state sec­re­tary Ben Davis said in­dus­trial ac­tion dur­ing the spring car­ni­val was “more than likely”.

“Rac­ing Vic­to­ria needs to un­der­stand that rac­ing has changed and our staff de­serve a lit­tle bit more to work twi­light and night-time meet­ings.

“Af­ter months of ne­go­ti­at­ing, now that in­dus­trial ac­tion dur­ing the spring car­ni­val is more likely than not, it might fo­cus the mind of Rac­ing Vic­to­ria to find a way for­ward.”

It is un­der­stood the union is seek­ing a $50 al­lowance for night-time or twi­light races. The par­ties have been in ne­go­ti­a­tions since March.

Rac­ing Vic­to­ria put out a state­ment say­ing fu­ture meet­ings would not be af­fected by in­dus­trial ac­tion. “We have been in good faith dis­cus­sions with the AWU and rep­re­sen­ta­tives as late as Thurs­day of this week,” Rac­ing Vic­to­ria said.

The AWU has ac­cused Rac­ing Vic­to­ria of greed.

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