The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) welcomed the long-awaited decision handed down today by the majority of the Full Court of the Federal Court in Mondelez v AMWU & ors. Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, took the AMWU and two of its members to Court in a bid to strip all shift-workers of their personal leave.
The Turnbull-Morrison Government intervened to support Mondelez’s case against its employees and in support of cutting personal leave entitlements for shift workers.
Australia’s National Employment Standards (NES) mandate a minimum of 10 days paid personal leave per year. Cadbury employees work ordinary hours of 12-hour days, which means they should have access to 120 hours of paid personal leave per year to cover the hours of ten work days. Mondelez argued that workers should only receive 76 hours of personal leave under the NES, based on 10 days of 7.6 hours work each.
“Shift workers around Australia can breathe a sigh of relief today thanks to AMWU members Natasha and Brendan who stood up against Mondelez and won this case”, said AMWU Tasmania State Secretary, John Short.
“This was an appalling attempt by a very profitable multinational company to rob its workers of the leave that they are entitled to”, Mr Short said.
“If you need to take a sick day, you should be paid for your normal hours of work, it’s as simple as that. And you should be able to take ten sick days paid at your normal hours of work”, Mr Short said.
“As Australians, we can be proud that we have national minimum standards for personal leave. It’s outrageous that a multinational like Mondelez would come in and try to undercut those minimum standards for some of the hardest working, lowest paid employees in this country”, said Mr Short.
This case has far-reaching implications, with two similar cases already before the Federal Court.