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Retail union boss failed to mention the jobs slowdown
letter published in The Australian, 7 September 2011

You report claims by the national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees union, Joe De Bruyn, that the retail sector is “wildly profitable” and that “very, very few” shop assistants have been made redundant (“Retailers are crying wolf” says union boss”, 6/9).

De Bryn fails to mention, however, that employment in retail trading has stopped increasing and has in fact fallen as a proportion of total employment from 11.5 per cent in February 2008 to 10.9 per cent in May this year.

That fall coincided with the implementation of the Fair Work Australia regulatory legislation, which has increased the difficulty for employers of making employees redundant and subjected them to penalty rates.

Perhaps De Bryn needs to check whether, instead of facing the risk of increasing employment under FWA, retailers have stepped up the introduction of new labour saving devices .

Des Moore,
South Yarra, Vic

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