The crabby employer has responded to workers' clam and now concedes it's high tide for a pay rise.
Solidarity in action
Sea Life is the Melbourne Aquarium, owned by Merlin Entertainment. Merlin Entertainments is a multi-national company that own major brands such as SeaLife, WildLife and Madam Tussaud’s.
Wages were set at only the Award rate, even though most workers received no penalty rates under the old agreement at the Aquarium. Divers were no longer receiving an allowance in recognition of the inherent danger involved in the role, and progress through the classification structure was made unnecessarily difficult.
The cumulative result? Hard work for an extremely profitable company that was paying nothing like a living wage.
Stand together, win together
That changed when the mostly young workforce, many of who were new to unionism, worked in union to start organising strike action. Management didn't take it lying down, but every time the workers were made to feel threatened their resolve grew stronger. A very public campaign of stoppages, poor reviews and the threat of losing customers soon brought management back to the table.
Members at Sea Life can now proudly claim:
- a series of pay rises, backdated to 1 July last year
- improved pay rates
- dive allowances
- guaranteed annual classification reviews.
There is power in a union!