The Fair Work Commission`s approval comes after Woolworths workers voted overwhelmingly (93%) in favour of the new deal. AMIEU had two meetings with Woolworths in which Woolworths made it clear that they were not prepared to remove workers from the Victorian or Tasmanian meat rooms from the agreement and continue to negotiate their agreement separately, nor to change the terms of the agreement they had reached with the SDA. In the meantime, Woolworths is likely to move on to a vote on their new SDA national agreement. Up to around 95,000 Woolworths workers across Australia will be eligible to vote. Most of these workers will only be affected by the wage increase in the agreement, for which they will undoubtedly vote. They have reached an agreement that effectively removes most of the Victorian terms listed above, although it tries to hide behind a “savings clause” which is a popular trick of the SDA when it abandons the terms of its members. Race against legislation Rudd The supermarket giant is not passing on wage increases for company agreements to more than 100,000 employees this year despite strong sales growth, after cited the Group`s decision on the minimum wage to postpone until February 1 a 1.75% wage increase for retail and other hard-hit sectors. SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer argued that the decision to raise the minimum wage on and from July 1 “provides the trigger for this wage increase to all employees covered by the Woolworths supermarket deal.” The SDA has been continuously negotiating a new supermarket deal with Woolworths since February, and we continue to work hard to reach a new deal that says, “Woolworths workers deserve fair wages and conditions, and this new deal certainly offers that,” Dwyer said. However, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees` Association (SDA) claimed the company was violating its contractual obligations and this week filed an urgent lawsuit in Federal Court for retrocedated payment and penalties. While the minimum wage traditionally covers employers for industry rewards, many retail and fast food giants link their annual wage increases to the decision rather than setting fixed increases. “Senior Vice President Richards: So it`s more the time frame that was the question, what was the explicit reason for trying to get the deal up to 30. June 2009? SDA National Industrial Officer Ms Burnley: So that it can be dealt with under the WorkChoices legislation.” As reported in our previous newsletter, Woolworths and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) were involved in secret negotiations on an Australian deal covering all non-employees of Woolworths supermarkets across Australia.