Bakers Delight at Low Wages, Poor Conditions

‘Bakers Delight’ is the name given to a chain of bakeries around Australia, mostly franchises. The company was established in 1980, and its co-founders, Roger and Lesley Gillespie, are now sometimes to be found on Australia’s Rich List. In September, Roger Gillespie (who last made the Rich 200 in 2004 with a fortune of $100 million) bought the Victorian discount grocery chain, NQR.

Their own corporate profile reads:

Bakers Delight is Australia’s most successful bakery franchise.

Over the past 29 years this Australian owned company, has grown to over 700 bakeries across three countries, serving 2.5 million customers each week.

Every day, in every bakery, Bakers Delight bakers create a range of traditional and gourmet breads. All products are baked from scratch, fresh daily on the premises.

Bakers Delight bakeries are distinctive in appearance, branding, product quality and customer experience.

The company’s philosophy underpins every action: Delightful Environment, Delightful Service, Delightful Product.

Also, in the case of Bakers Delight stores in St. Helena, Diamond Creek and Laurimar: No Penalty Rates, No Guaranteed Hours, No Sick Pay and No Holiday Pay.

How Positively Delightful!

The friendly sales assistants at Bakers Delight stores in St. Helena, Diamond Creek and Laurimar (Victoria, Australia) are currently negotiating a new workplace agreement. So far their employer, Wayne Price, has offered them an agreement that does away with penalty rates, guaranteed hours, sick pay and holiday pay in exchange for a tiny bit extra in the base rate. Mr. Price has also refused to include yearly pay increases to cover the cost of living. On top of this the workers are being bullied and told they are not allowed to discuss the agreement or talk to the union. They are under constant video surveillance and feel intimidated by Mr Price. They would really appreciate your support! All the workers are asking for is to receive Award entitlements like penalty rates for working nights and weekends, security of hours and sick pay and holiday pay. Currently they don’t receive these entitlements, with some workers receiving as little as $9.29 an hour! While you pay top prices for your bread, the employees are working under conditions that undermine industry standards.

Let Bakers Delight know that you will not tolerate the exploitation of young workers. The workers are fighting for:

    Penalty rates on evenings, weekends and public holidays;
    Guaranteed shifts and security of hours;
    Sick pay and holiday pay;
    Guaranteed pay rises every year to cover the cost of living;
    An end to workplace bullying and over-supervision.

These are the conditions other workers in the retail industry enjoy.

Bakers Delight’ workers deserve them too!

For more infos on this and other industrial campaigns in the retail and services sector, please see the UNITE website.

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 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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63 Responses to Bakers Delight at Low Wages, Poor Conditions

  1. Not that silly says:

    I work for a bakers delight around geelong somewhere.. No penalties at all, boss is intimidating, and i only get given weekend work with them knowing i have a family.. God forbid something happens when you can’t work, your hours get cut to the very minimum.. As much as i like the job, i hate the environment.. If worksafe were ever to come have a look at the shop, it would be shut down due to oh&s issues..

  2. Not that silly says:

    As much as the pay is actually not too bad for a sales assistant just over $22 hr as older employee.. Being the junior on close is actually quite demanding.. All the senior has to do is the till at close, then it’s left up to the junior to clean everything, even while the bread collectors are taking their time.. Then once the senior is finished, they just stand there on their phone, or watch you clean asking are you done yet, instead of helping to get the job done quicker so we can leave on time.. If we stay later, we don’t get paid any overtime unless we’re asked to stay back.

    Keep in mind, the juniors are given half hour to do all the cleaning.. What a joke!

    Oh.. But even with the workload of the junior’s, we’re expected to help the seniors with the end of day leftover count, and read it back to the senior so they can put any end of day waste in the system.

    But yet, when i talked to my supervisor about the seniors not helping once they’ve finished with the till, the supervisor actually told me “they don’t have to help you if they don’t want to” but yet i’m expected to help them?!!

    I enjoy most of the people i work with (obviously you won’t get along with everyone) but the way they operate is so unprofessional.

    I had been telling them for couple weeks, one weekend i won’t be available, they said no worries, next day there was a memo saying that the availabilities of certain people is getting ridiculous and won’t be tolerated.. Wth..

    We also have no air conditioning, so on a hot day it’s like we’re working in a sauna!

  3. neil white says:

    As a retired employee of a major communications company I can say that I am appalled and disgusted by the details presented by some of the employees of b’delight. I’m sure the fair work ombudsman would investigate and prosecute employers who fail to provide their employees with their legal entitlements. If you are a franchisee I would expect that you would pay your staff their legal entitlements or if you don’t you shouldn’t be in the business. I certainly would not want my children exploited by any employer.

  4. Nicole Howell says:

    Well I have worked at Bakers Delight for a few years now, and I can honestly say that it is an amazing company to work for. I work in Singleton, which is in the Hunter valley, and we have an awesome team of bakers and sales girls. There are lots of complaints here about nasty bosses so I guess we are lucky to have such great franchisees. Don’t think that every bad experience complained about on here is the same in every bakery. I love my job and the people I work with. Working at Bakers Delight is a lot of fun believe it or not 😊. – NH

  5. Emma-rose says:

    I am SO glad I wasn’t the only one with a bad experience at Bakers Delight! I worked there for 2 years from age 17 and the pay was ridiculous. Around $9 an hour. It wasn’t a hard job, but still deserved a little more than that!
    My manager was in love with her job but hated everyone. All the girls out the front were great. Seriously great group of shop girls. The bakers we had at the beginning were actually a good bunch, but they began to drop off and we got some crazies in.
    We were allowed to take a loaf and 4 rolls home at the end of the day. THAT’S IT! Charity only came on a Tuesday because apparently if the bread is donated, the owner couldn’t claim it on tax. We would spend each night bagging up at least 12 bags of fresh bread just to be thrown in the bin.
    The bakers would come in first thing to yesterday’s unsold bread. How motivating.
    We didn’t get any penalty rates ever, no Saturday or Sunday rates and no annual leave even though we were part time.
    Despite it being a horrible company to work for, and a crazy management system I’m glad I did work there.
    I met some lovely shop girls. We did enjoy bonding over the crazy workplace we belonged to and got some good friendships out of it.

  6. Sandy says:

    Is there a baker out there who wants a tree change? Independent bakery in Tenterfield NSW keen to employ a baker. Work in a great team for an employer who values you and your contribution. If so post your interest.

  7. K.R says:

    As the fiancé of a second year apprentice, I can definitely say that it is usually the franchisees who make most of the trouble for the employees.

    At my partner’s store, the old franchisees (also head baker and 2IC) would be constantly threatening my partner’s job. One of the first weeks he was there he became really ill, so much so he had to be hospitalised and they threatened his job and continually brought up the subject for the next year until they decided they couldn’t handle the business any more and left on a 10 month holiday.

    Since they sold the franchise back to BD, all the employees have smiles on their faces. They look forward to going to work. My partner willingly gets up an hour earlier to get more work done as opposed to sitting in the car park for two hours for fear of being a minute late despite the fact we live exactly 6 minutes away from the store.

    If you want to run a BD franchise, you better have a good sense for business and a calm, clear head on your shoulders otherwise you are just not going to cut it. If you’re going to bully your employees into working hard for you, maybe you should invest your money elsewhere.

  8. Brian says:

    What everyone here fails to notice is one simple thing, FRANCHISE OWNERS ARE NOT BUSINESS OWNERS EVEN THOUGH THEY THINK THEY ARE.

    These guys had a little spare cash and walked into an established business, promised the earth and simply cannot meet expectations. These people did not have to grow their business from scratch, no marketing skills, no bargaining skills with their suppliers, no supplier sourcing, DO NOT HAVE AN IDEA ON HOW TO GET STARTED in business… NOTHING. Us guys who start our business from scratch, hard at work growing our brands are offended at these plastic business owners who think that a little coin without any consideration to others will buy you into life, this is not humane.

    It is time that all employees who know that they are working in unfair conditions, NO MATTER IF YOUR CONTRACT STATES THAT YOU ARE NOT TO JOIN A UNION, IT IS YOUR LEGAL RIGHT TO JOIN A UNION and they cannot take it away from you. You can carve it in stone but if it is not legal, it does not stand.

    Join a union, you can do it on the side without your employer knowing, pay your dues and if they overstep the boundaries, you are not on your own but you have a team of lawyers ready to pounce at no extra cost or headaches to you. If they try to discriminate against you for union membership or action of any sort, inform your shop steward / rep, they will see the owners in court putting them in their place. OVERALL.

    Save your conditions, get them re-instated to the NES (National Employment Standards) and get job security all at once by joining a union, set these TRY HARD FRANCHISE OWNERS STRAIGHT and show them what it really takes to grow, run and make a business successful the old fashioned way without putting the small man in poverty conditions.

  9. Ania says:

    I’m studying Journalism at university, and I’m looking into this injustice that goes on at a lot of Bakers Delight stores. If anyone would like to contact me and share their stories, I’d be happy to listen.
    If you’d like your story to be heard, email me here.

    [email protected]

  10. Jacki Fisher says:

    Ania… I stopped working there in July after it got to the point I’d rather suicide than work there. I was a victim of sexual harassment from one of the bakers there, it was brushed off by head off as nothing. Another of the bakers there (a male) was sexually assaulted by this same male baker & head office said unless it’s skin on skin contact then it’s not sexual anything.

    I was told I would not have to work with the guy & yet I was constantly there working with him. The manager was totally on my side & was ready to sack him. Boss said no, head office said no. I was then punished & given a whole 5 hours a week… I was working 20+ hours a week before I reported it.

    Then when I gave notice my shits were cut to 0hrs and they were not going to pay my leave owing. They claimed I still had to work the 2 weeks notice, kinda hard with not one shift. Had to fight the whole 2 weeks for my money.

    I thanked the manager for helping me & burst into tears doing so. He saved my life by getting me a new job with a company he delivers the bread to.

    For $19hr it was not worth my life.

  11. Charlotte says:

    Seth (not 4 real)
    Are u from Midland bakers delight? Gilbert or Jason?
    I’m Charlotte, the high school dropout u describe me as.
    Yeah Seth was a prick to have as a boss sadly u ended up in one of the worst bakeries in Perth, there are better ones like Dianella where I work now.
    U forget to mention he watched us on security cameras like he was big bother watching us.

  12. Selenite says:

    I am currently working as a first year apprentice at bakers delight [redacted]. At first i thought it was an alright job and questioning “Why do we don’t have breaks?”. My longest day i worked without overtime pay was to 3pm (in my first month), mind you any overtime i do now, i don’t get paid either. They trained me for 2 weeks without pay.

    The store itself is dingy. Everything breaks all the time, i accidentally broke a knife to cut up a 30kg half frozen cheese block. The manager expected me to cut the cheese with that knife that could literally stab my hand and wound it since it was so sharp. Manager also expected me to cut up the half frozen cheese in less than 10 minutes, I’m not strong and having fibromyalgia doesn’t help either.

    We have an old prune who does sales and shes like the most nastiest woman ever. I really do hate her. Some of the bakers have arguments with her seemingly how she doesn’t acknowledge our work and expects everything to be presented and done when she first walks in around 7-8 am. I get jealous on how the sales assistants get to have breaks, i reckon thats how they get away with not having breaks for the bakers, by claiming that everyone in there store is getting a ‘break’.

    The times i thought about just killing myself or ‘accidentally’ stabbing myself with a knife just so that i can stop working there for a few days, is many.

    My physical and mental health has declined rapidly. My vision is starting to go, I’m going partially deaf. I fatigue easily and everytime i get so worn out from work, i start to hallucinate colors. My eating routine is fucked, i only have one meal a day because thats all i have time for. Sleeping is okay but i don’t have time to study, do assignments, have any entertainment or social life. It’s fucked! I just turned 20 and my health is already 👎.

    I’m also angry at the fact that i organized a fun program for that i already paid for to do on a certain day since i had that day constantly off and one of the bakers blackmailed me in working another day at another joined bakery since my certain day off turned into a working day. So the baker blackmailed me and gave me like a few weeks of that certain day off. Then easter came and now its april and i still don’t have that day off.

    Something that’s closed to me and its what i really enjoy the most but you can’t make it as a job.

    I just feel deprived from everything. I just want to quit. This job is making me depressed and suicidal. The work quality is shit.

  13. @ndy says:

    G’day Selenite,

    That sounds fucking awful — I’m really sorry yr in such a shit situation.

    Have you considered contacting the Retail & Fast Food Workers Union? They may be able to provide advice and support.

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