Amcal attacked again on penalty rates

Rob Mitchell. Image: Facebook

A federal Labor politician has lashed out at Amcal over the penalty rates debate

Labor member for McEwen Rob Mitchell is the latest politician to attack the pharmacy sector over the Fair Work Commission to cut penalty rates, citing his opposition to the cuts in supporting his response to the Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use of Worker Benefits) Bill, which he described as “another government bill designed to attack workers’ pay and conditions”.

He said that the McKell Institute Report found that his electorate will be the second-worse impacted by penalty rate cuts in Australia.

“I have heard countless stories from constituents who are affected by these penalty rate cuts,” Mr Mitchell told Parliament this week.

“At our local Amcal Pharmacy in Craigieburn pharmacists are fighting for their fair share in wages.

“Amcal turned over a $50 million profit last year. And how did it repay its staff for their hard work?

“By cutting the pay of their workers, who already earned as little as $27 an hour, thanks to this government and to big businesses ripping off hardworking employees and making it harder for them to make ends meet.

“While our local pharmacists serve our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this government sits idly by while they lose out.”

He said that this is the “worst possible time in years” to cut wages, because wages have stagnated for the last five years.

The employee pharmacists’ union recently targeted Amcal, writing to its pharmacies to demand confirmation as to whether they would cut penalty rates in a move condemned by the Pharmacy Guild.

At the time, Sigma said it was “very disappointed” that PPA had zeroed in on the banner group.

“The campaign by the PPA was not based on facts, and was intimidating for customers and the very people they purport to represent,” a spokesperson said.

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  1. stuart walker

    Typical corporate response from Sigma….. whinge on about being targeted instead of answering the question posed and defending their position.

  2. Robert King

    How surprising to see a politician to spurt out completely misleading, unfactual drivel …..

    1. PPA know from their own research that Amcal pay well over the award (an unfortunate fact which continues to lose them any credibility amongst employed pharmacists)
    2. PPA are too gutless to take on the real issue , the base award – who knows why – but I suspect its because it might require building relationships or they might end up taking on CW (who are the real beneficiaries of the current pay rates)
    3. Amcal didn’t make a profit last year of $50m – Sigma did. ( thats for their whole healthcare, wholesale, and retail operations – dont you love the size of that porky!!)
    4. The pharmacy in question is responsible for making a decision on their employees rates of pay.

    can everyone stop trying to be The Donald…..

  3. Jarrod McMaugh

    Perhaps if this politician has a lot of disadvantage in his electorate, then he isn’t doing enough in his role to represent them?

  4. Sam

    Wages are not determined by Amcal but the individual owners who are pharmacists themselves. I know for a fact that the Pharmacy in question pay well above award rates and has not passed on any pay cuts. PPA is misleading the pharmacy community.

    The pharmacy in question has already cleary stated to the PPA that they are not passing on penalty cuts and pay much more than the award. Yet the PPA has targeted a pharmacy that respects and rewards its pharmacists for the valuable work they do.

    I suggest questioning the pharmacists that work at Amcal and the pharmacy in question. You will find they are some of the most satisfied and well paid in the industry.

  5. Michael Khoo

    So AMCAL unilaterally decided to reduce penalty rates on Sundays? I thought it was the LABOR created independent umpire that cut rates!

    I seem to recall the then (Liberal) Opposition were opposed to the creation of this body on the basis that it undermined the ability of individual workers to negotiate an individual wage agreements independent of union oversight. They warned that the award system was archaic and had not changed to reflect the diversity of the modern workplace, and that blanket decisions made by a commission would not help this.

    So, having established an independent umpire despite the warnings, the Labor Party now wants to strike out any decisions that run counter to Labor Party policy. WOW that sounds like Work Choices Mark 2 to me. John Howard would be proud of the current ALP/Union position on this, as it means we can disregard the fairwork commission from here on.

    For the record – I am in favor of sunday penalty rates, for ALL workers,and I would wholeheartedly support the ALP if they had the courage to mandate the restoration of sunday penalty rates in full to all workers regardless of Awards and EBA’s – let’s not be hypocrites. If the Independent umpire cannot sell out workers rights, then unions should not be able to collude with employers to do so either.

  6. ambrose yuen

    “Amcal turned over a $50 million dollar profit last year”. How’s that to do with Amcal Craigeburn and I don’t know the owners personally but I would be pretty sure they would not be classified as “big buisness” or making those kind of profits. I am very concerned on how little this member knows before going off making these big statements

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