Crown casino workers win big pay bump under Blackstone ownership
While members have yet to finalize demands for the next round of bargaining in April or May, Mr Mujkic said talks would take place in the context of much higher inflation and that payment demands were likely to be less than 5 per cent – “they may be able to other side”.
Melbourne’s 5,500 casino workers also won fines for the first time in 30 years under the deal and will receive a $6-an-hour allowance for working nights on Friday to Sunday and $3-an-hour for working on weekend days.
Mr Mujkic said the move made sense for the business, which had struggled to get workers to work nights or weekends when they were paid the same for weekdays.
A Crown Resorts spokesman thanked the UWU “for their commitment to negotiating what is a great outcome for team members”, including enhanced personal leave.
“These agreements give us the opportunity to strengthen the strong foundations already laid, as well as help us to sustainably grow a business that encourages talented individuals to take up a career in hospitality and tourism,” said he said.
He said the agreements “build on the relationship between Crown and the UWU and lead to better outcomes for everyone as we reposition Crown for the future”.
The relationship is in stark contrast to the 2019 negotiations, which led to mass protests in Melbourne and protected industrial action in Perth.
Blackstone is a smart operator
Mr Mujkic credited Blackstone, which took over Crown in July and had a history of investing in hospitality staff, for “really good, honest and productive discussions that helped move negotiations much faster than they have historically”.
“It may sound surprising at first because it is a private equity operator, but they are a smart operator and realize that it makes good business sense to treat staff well,” he said.
“It sets up staff-management relations for a more positive future.”
Crown’s wages were the highest in the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) latest wage data for new agreements submitted from December 17 to December 30, released on Monday.
Educational services recorded the next best salary increase at an average of 4.5 percent per year for 16,192 workers, followed by manufacturing at 4.2 percent covering 1,840 workers.
The FWC real-time wage data is highly volatile, averaging 2.8 percent wage increases in the previous two weeks.
However, the latest two-week average of 4.1 percent is the highest since the wage series began in the middle of last year.