The treatment of loyal staff by AFL management has been described as appalling after CEO Gillon McLachlan used a video conference from his car to announce that hundreds would lose their jobs by November, with up to half of all positions impacted in some way.
The United Services Union accused the AFL of failing to meet legal requirements set out in the Fair Work Act, giving league management until the end of the week to commence a genuine consultation process and provide transparent information to staff.
While staff were told that 20 per cent of all jobs would be lost, up to half will go through a three week process to determine if they will survive, including two-thirds of those in NSW.
Staff were told in one-on-one meetings that they would receive a copy of the new structure by Thursday, then have until next Monday to apply for up to two roles.
An interview process will take place in early September, with staff notified by September 15 whether they have received a position or will lose their jobs from November 1.
“AFL management’s treatment of loyal staff is nothing short of appalling,” United Services Union organiser Troy Dunne said.
“At every turn the AFL has failed in their legal duty under the Fair Work Act to genuinely consult with staff, with today’s announcement just the latest example.
“It is shocking that Mr McLachlan thought it was appropriate to use a video call from his car to tell staff that hundreds of jobs will be gone in a matter of weeks and more than half of them will need to apply for positions in a new structure that hasn’t even been revealed yet.
“Instead of treating staff with respect and undertaking a process of genuine consultation — as required by law — the AFL have given them just a couple days to digest a new structure, find potential jobs they are suitable for, and apply for a limited number of positions.
“We understand that the league has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic — the entire sporting community has — and our members knew job cuts were coming, but that doesn’t justify management failing miserably in its legal obligations or duty of care to employees.
“The AFL can’t continue to claim a commitment to social justice and equality while at the same time failing to put those values into practice with their treatment of loyal staff.”
USU General Secretary Graeme Kelly OAM said the union was writing to the AFL demanding they commence urgent consultation with employees and their representatives.
“The AFL has obligations under the Fair Work Act to engage in genuine consultation, rather than just impose massive cuts and restructures,” Mr Kelly said.
“We have reminded the league of those legal requirements, outlined the need to urgently meet with staff and their representatives, and requested a range of additional information regarding the proposed restructure.
“There is a clear legal framework that the AFL is governed by, with avenues for undertaking legal action in the Fair Work Commission if management fails to abide by Australia’s employment laws.”
Further information: Tim Vollmer — 0404 273 313