#Northcote (Anti) Social Club : Pay Your Workers!

Update (October 24, 2016) :

The ASF is pleased to announce a win for Shawn in his dispute with Northcote Social Club.

On Tuesday 18 October, during a Fair Work Australia conciliation meeting, Northcote Social Club backed down and agreed to pay Shawn compensation for his unfair dismissal. While Shawn is not at liberty to disclose the details of those discussions, nor the nature of the resolution, the ASF understands he is very happy with the result.

In light of what we previously knew, we understand this to mean that Shawn feels fully compensated regarding the pro rata long service leave entitlement he would have become eligible for this October had he not been illegally sacked from his role in July.

The ASF would like to thank all of those who helped by participating in the picketing of Corner Group’s four pubs:

– The Northcote Social Club (Northcote, Vic.)
– The Corner Hotel (Richmond, Vic.)
– The National Hotel (Richmond, Vic.)
– The Newtown Social Club (Newtown, NSW).

This win would not have been achieved without the pressure exerted on Corner Group’s bosses by the ASF’s direct action methods.

For the time being, Shawn has requested that the ASF and all the people who supported him during this dispute refrain from taking any further action in his name against the company.

While the ASF will continue to support other underpaid workers from Northcote Social Club, we will be observing a 30 day hiatus of action in order not to jeopardise the agreement reached between Shawn and Corner Group.

Well done to all involved. And thank you for your support!



Apparently, the Northcote Social Club (301 High Street, Northcote), which is part of the Corner Group of venues (owners of The Corner Hotel and The National Hotel in Richmond and the Newtown Social Club in Sydney), has been screwing over some of its workers. The situation has been developing over some months and it seems that management has been intransigent in refusing to fulfill its obligations with regards at least one and possibly more workers. This is disappointing as the venues are very popular and generally well-regarded and myself and a shitload of people I know like to drink and perform there. In any case, as a consequence of management’s poor behaviour, a boycott of the Northcote has been initiated — until such time as The Corner Group agrees to do what’s right. Hopefully, this is soon, as a failure to do so will permanently scar the venue’s reputation among locals, especially unionists and music-lovers.

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (ASF) is calling upon patrons, bands, booking agents to boycott Northcote Social Club (NSC) to support Shawn, in a case of wrongful dismissal.

After reviewing the facts associated with this case, the ASF is of the opinion Shawn’s dismissal was engineered by NSC management to avoid becoming liable to pay Shawn pro rata long-service leave to which he was 3 months short of becoming entitled to under Section 58(1) and (2) of the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic.).

Five of Shawn’s fellow workers at NSC have since resigned in protest at his treatment. The ASF also believes that NSC has been illegally underpaying its employees for the last 7 years, by using their annual leave entitlements to pay certain public holidays in contravention of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Sections 114–116.

We note the cynical hypocrisy of these actions in a pub whose branding seeks to cultivate an image of working class values.

The ASF requests your assistance in boycotting NSC until these grievances are addressed.

Furthermore we encourage the boycott of all CUB products in solidarity with the CUB55 (incidentally CUB is the Northcote Social Club’s main supplier).

You can’t quench a hard earned thirst with a cold, scab beer, especially not at the NSC!

For more information and to keep up-to-date with the ongoing campaign, please see : Boycott the Northcote Social Club.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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One Response to #Northcote (Anti) Social Club : Pay Your Workers!

  1. @ndy says:

    Timeline of dispute [2016]:

    Early May
    Shawn contacts the payroll company used by Corner Group to enquire about his long service leave entitlements. He was also consulting with a former employee about applying for redundancy, as the job for which he was originally hired had been significantly changed due to structural and operational changes at the NSC.

    14 May
    Shawn and a colleague are used to promote the club on social media: they are photographed drinking beers whilst on shift (at the insistence and expense of management).

    18 July
    A new knock-off drinks policy is implemented. Not long after its implementation, it’s breached by a member of staff who helped draft it — with no repercussions from management. The policy isn’t properly understood by staff at the time of implementation.

    22 July
    Shawn is assigned the close shift. The evening didn’t go smoothly and there were some technical difficulties with the house sound system (the DJ had to get his own turntables etc. from home).

    He took a 10 minute break (the first in a 9+ hour shift) and poured the DJ and himself a drink (which he paid for using an account provided by the NSC).

    The venue was closed to the public at this time and he did so in plain view of the CCTV cameras. This occurred 45 minutes before the end of the shift.

    As far as he was aware, this action was within the scope of not only his authority but also a de-facto part of his job (and common in the hospitality industry, particularly in music venues).

    27 July
    Shawn is called into the venue manager’s office and fired on the spot for this “gross misconduct”; no warning was issued and the venue manager refused to recognise Shawn’s explanations and reasoning for his actions on the 22 July.

    Shawn hadn’t received a written warning in well over 6 years’ employment at the NSC.

    He made an appeal on the same day by phone to the general manager regarding his arbitrary, on-the-spot dismissal and requested a meeting regarding the issue. He was assured that the general manager would get back to him.

    28 July
    Shawn receives a call from the general manager expressing unwillingness to meet regarding the issue after talking to the venue manager.

    3 August
    Shawn makes an application to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.

    ASF members overhear Shawn and other former employees’ conversations about the injustice committed by NSC and report to the assembly; the decision is taken to support them by the collective.

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