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Australian RTO Operator Radio Rentals Battles Union
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In our original article, we reported that Radio Rentals was owned by Thorn Australia Pty Ltd. There are two companies doing business in Australia as Radio Rentals. The Radio Rentals in this story is a private company owned by Walker Stores Pty Ltd. Walker Stores Pty Ltd also trades under the names inRent, homeCo and Our Rental Company.

Radio Rentals is an iconic business in this state. It’s where most Adelaide people got their first television.
Janet Giles, South Australia Unions secretary

A group of employees of Radio Rentals, Australia's largest rent to own company, is attempting to unionize. The company is fighting back, offering employees Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA) in lieu of a collective bargaining agreement.

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An Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) is an individual written agreement on terms and conditions of employment between an employer and employee in Australia, under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. An AWA can override employment conditions in state or territory laws, except for occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation or training arrangements. Agreements must include a dispute resolution procedure. Agreements are for a maximum of five years and must be approved by the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA).

The Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) is crying foul. in a statement released by the union, Assistant National Secretary, Glenn Thompson, said Radio Rentals was refusing to enter into a collective agreement with its technicians and seemed determined to force workers on to AWAs. The union adimantly opposes AWAs in all forms.

The union is claiming Radio Rentals fired several "activist" employees for promoting AMWU. “The AWA is a bare-bones contract and anything not included is at the discretion of the company and can be abolished through company policy,” Thompson said.

SA Unions secretary Janet Giles added, “Radio Rentals is an iconic business in this state. It’s where most Adelaide people got their first television. They were a respected employer of good standing. It is very disturbing to see them using [Prime Minister] John Howard’s laws to stop people collectively bargaining.”

Radio Rentals is the largest electronics retailer in SA with 17 stores and 1 clearance centre in both metro and country South Australia.




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