Pulp Juice squeezes young workers with NoWorkChoices
Monday April 10th 2006, 8:32 am

image: smh.com.au

16 year old Amber Oswald works for a Pulp Juice kiosk in Warriewood. Last week, she was paid at penalty rates for working weekends and public holidays. Don't get squeezed by Pulp JuiceThis week, she’s been ‘made redundant’ and then ‘rehired’ under an AWA- with no penalty rates.

Her boss told the Sydney Morning Herald:

“If they don’t want to sign, they can leave,” he said. “It’s not about what’s fair, it’s [about] what’s right – right for the company.”

So what are Amber’s choices? Clearly, she doesn’t have any- but we sure do.

Boycott Pulp Juice bars.

If Pulp Juice managment thought paying workers at a fair rate was expensive, I wonder how expensive a total lack of clientele will be?

Heard any other stories of workers being screwed by NoWorkChoices? Post them here in the comments area.

-weez




Oh there are going to be plenty, plenty more like that! I don’t know of any offhand, but I do know that firing and then rehiring with inferior conditions is not the only high jinx we can expect from the employers.

People need to be made aware that they can air their grievances at a central forum which will be available to all. That way, we all learn which companies to boycott, where they are specifically located and so on.

I suggest setting up a site and also notifying sympathetic media outlets like JJJ about it.

Comment by jennifer 04.10.06 @ 1:04 pm

Yeah I agree – there needs to be a national campaign of boycott when it comes to this sort of unspeakable expoitative bullshit. And that means some national register of companies and employers to avoid.

That register could include contatct details, fax numbers and addresses to send letters of protest to etc…

I’m sure the ACTU and co. would embrace such a plan.

Comment by Marcus 04.10.06 @ 2:31 pm

According to the story, when Pulp went into liquidation it was swallowed up by Pow Juice. I doubt they’ll change the established branding, but it’s another name to watch.

That Pulp Juice website is ripe for a remix…

Comment by Flashman 04.10.06 @ 8:30 pm

Yeah… I tell u what though, how LAZY are journalists these days?. If that was my story I would FULLY be looking into the relationship between PULP! and POW!. I have a suspicion that the distinction does not extend very far beyond paper.

Comment by Marcus 04.10.06 @ 9:30 pm

Marcus, from what I can tell in this item, the SMH journos are on the job. They apparently scared the owner of Pow Juice into denying her real identity.

I’m doing a little sniffing around the ASIC & ABR databases. Marcus, I think you’re right about the paper shuffle. Will post more when I know more.

Comment by weez 04.11.06 @ 8:19 am

There’s lots of news about Pulp and its soon-to-be insolvent (past) parent company, Signature Brands. Trading in Signature shares was halted on the ASX on 16 March 2006. The value of Signature shares has plummetted from 78c to 1c.

Former Pulp Juice owner and Signature Brands non-executive board member Ian Duffell has some not-so-sparkling company performances under his belt. See this item on Duffell:

Meanwhile, Ian Duffell has become the fourth Australian retail chief to lose his job this year, after music and underwear retailer Brazin announced a shock profit warning that sent its share price down 30 per cent. The company cut its full-year earnings forecast by 65 per cent, because of “difficult” trading conditions during the March quarter for the Sanity Entertainment group in Australia and UK. The dire assessment was in stark contrast to comments Duffel made in a media report just two weeks ago, reassuring investors that Brazin would meet full-year earnings targets.

Pulp was supposed to have been bought for $2 million in January 2004, but with the number of shares issued, it wound up being closer to $5 million, raising some eyebrows. Looks like Duffell, as board member of Signature, bought Pulp from himself.

Duffell’s name appears on the domain name registration for pulpjuice.com:

Domain Name: PULPJUICE.COM
Reseller…………..: PlanetDomain
Created on…………: 11 May 2003 18:12:35 EST
Expires on…………: 11 May 2007 03:57:42 EST
Record last updated on: 12 May 2005 11:25:55 EST
Status…………….: ACTIVE

Owner, Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
Point Piper Pty Ltd
Ian Duffell (ID00039562)
1, Burran Avenue
Mosman, NSW 2088
Australia
Phone: +61.299698230
Email: iduffell@bigpond.net.au

Duffell had a financial interest in Pulp as early as 11 May 2003, per the registration. Signature bought Pulp from Duffell in 2004. Duffell was a member of the board of Signature at the time.

21 or 22-year-old Chloe Duffell is touted as the originator of the Pulp Juice biz. The Pulp website says:

WHAT’S THE STORY?
She came, she saw and she created PULP. A young Aussie girl with an eye for success, finesse and fitness, Chloe Duffell spent most of her teenage years growing up in the U.S.A. Having experienced the widely spread, ever growing juice and smoothie bars abroad, she found when returning to our shores that a product equivalent did not exist. Chloe envisioned PULP as something Australia needed, so PULP was born with the intention of making all fresh, all natural, deliciously tempting juices and smoothies that so many others fail to produce and stop the deprivation of the Australian people.

Ian Duffell is around 56-years-old… old enough to be Chloe’s father. Make of that what you will, but there’s a bit of nepotism suggested.

Signature was in dire need of a cash injection and so sold Pulp to Cherily Coad, d/b/a/ Pow Juice. Pow Juice applied for registration as a proprietary company on 27 February 2006, 10 days after Signature (and thence Pulp) were put into administration.

Seems like the accusation of an internal paper shuffle for the purpose of invalidating the employment agreements isn’t substantiable- Signature NEEDED to get rid of Pulp to remain solvent. It so happens that the timing Signature’s insolvency is rather coincidental with the introduction of NoWorkChoices.

Looking for more details on Cherily Coad and Pow, but not turning up much on the net.

Comment by weez 04.11.06 @ 10:08 am

We are now reaping what we sowed: Australians have got the government that they deserve, having elected them four times and knowing that these IR laws were coming, we now whinge about them.

Howard has trashed Australian workers’ rights and apathetic Aussies just let it happen.

Just like we blindly accepted our illegal invasion of innocent Iraq, who had never done anything to us, we also did nothing to halt Howard’s invasion OF HIS OWN COUNTRY, its workers and their rights.

This blog advocates boycotting an Australian company over this issue; but what about boycotting the bastards who caused all this at the next election?

Comment by Zog 04.11.06 @ 12:15 pm

Zog, an astute analysis.

mgk is not affiliated with any particular party (nor am I). I try not to run any party’s talking points. I poke at the Liberals as much as I do at Labor, but the Libs certainly give me many more injustices to write about.

Labor have disconnected themselves fully from the electorate. Not until Labor stops being a group of poll-driven perpetual politicians will they get any notice at the Federal level. Members of the community have to become candidates.

Labor are in deep trouble at the NSW level over former saint Bob Carr’s traffic funnelling deals regarding the Cross-City and Lane Cove tunnels. The general public doesn’t have so much trouble with the public-private partnership as they do having public roads closed or narrowed to force traffic into the user-pays tunnels.

I’ll confess to having voted Green below the line in the last elections, but my general political senses would probably be more in line with the Democrats. I thought the Greens had a better set of candidates and more potential to shake things up than did the Dems at the time. Pollsters hate people like me.

Comment by weez 04.11.06 @ 12:28 pm

below the line… its the only way to vote! ;)

Comment by Marcus 04.11.06 @ 2:19 pm

Marcus, it was quite an experience. 2004 was the first time I voted in Australia, after becoming a citizen in 2003. The ‘bedsheet’ is confronting for a new voter!

At very least, I didn’t have to be concerned that the ‘computer ate my vote.’

Comment by weez 04.11.06 @ 2:53 pm

A worker/student alliance in the streets is the answer. Ask the French.

Comment by Mike B) 04.12.06 @ 11:57 am

[...] Weez at Machine Gun Keyboard (A blog worth reading) brought this to my attention; he suggests that consumers should respond by boycotting the juice bar in question. I routinely avoid business’ that I know engage in poor work practices, however I donít think consumer boycotts will do much to protect workers from the abuses allowed by Howard’s new IR laws. [...]

Pingback by KieranBennett.com » Blog Archive » Amber Oswald (16) Sacked and Re-hired with a pay cut - NoWorkChoices 04.12.06 @ 1:58 pm

From all your comments you are on the right track.There is also a connection between Kick Juice bars and other franchises like Subway. All of these company’s have there AWA written by Enterprise Initatives in Sydney. Also Andre Dowling and MS Coade are connected, Dowling admitted that in the new 3 weeks Pulp will be re branded. Thanks for the interest

Comment by Ambers Dad 04.12.06 @ 6:19 pm

Thanks very much for dropping in – and for taking an active supporting interest in your daughter’s workplace conditions. You’d be shocked at how many dads don’t.

I’ll be following this up, watching to see if Coad plays by the rules, no matter what name she trades under. If ‘Pulp Juice’ wasn’t already a poisonous brand name via its connection with Signature, it surely is after Coad’s disastrous attempt at labour relations.

Comment by weez 04.12.06 @ 10:41 pm

Things are a foot. Looking at the transmission of business.ie obligation of a company buying the assests and staff of a company in liquidation. We will see if Andrews and his fire fighters have teeth. Cheers

Comment by Ambers Dad 04.12.06 @ 10:54 pm

All of these companyís have there AWA written by Enterprise Initatives in Sydney.

EI was launched by Robert Thompson in 1991 to provide the benefits of Australia’s first small businesses friendly employment laws.

EI Legal was launched in 2002 to provide legal services to support EI’s clients and small businesses in general.

Together EI, and EI Legal provide a unique level of employment, advice, training and legal services usually reserved for big business. The success of this ‘one stop shop’ employment consultancy can be attributed to its dedication to championing the employment rights of small businesses.

http://www.ei.net.au/about.html

They seem quite proud of the dissenfranchising and anti-union aspects of the AWA’s they promote

“protection from unwanted third party interference”

“Small businesses gain strength from dealing directly and fairly between employer and employee.”

Comment by Kieran Bennett 04.12.06 @ 11:08 pm

Andrews has murmured that if a worker is made redundant, a new contract cannot be forced on the worker until two months have passed. It remains to be seen if a business is sold, whether the new owners are obligated to the existing contracts.

If workers do have to negotiate new terms with the new owners, you can expect a raft of sales of businesses in the coming months. The corporate-paper-shuffle to force labor contract renegotiation, as suggested by Marcus earlier in the comments, will become a well travelled avenue for abuse of workers’ rights.

Indeed- I’m also waiting to see how Andrews will shore up this breach in the NoChoices levee.

Comment by weez 04.12.06 @ 11:22 pm

Quote (weezil): “Indeed- Iím also waiting to see how Andrews will shore up this breach in the NoChoices levee.”

Breach or spillway?

Comment by Marcus 04.13.06 @ 12:34 pm

[Ö] Weez at Machine Gun Keyboard (A blog worth reading) brought this to my attention; he suggests that consumers should respond by boycotting the juice bar in question. I routinely avoid businessí that I know engage in poor work practices, however I donít think consumer boycotts will do much to protect workers from the abuses allowed by Howardís new IR laws. [Ö]

Naturally it’s not a complete answer. A complete answer would involve workers having legislative power and instigating their own rules.

But it would make employers think twice if they knew that there was a risk of financial loss involved with treating their employees shoddily.

Comment by Jennifer 04.13.06 @ 12:56 pm

Today Amber represented by SDA Union had a win in the Federal Industrial Commission. Amber’s rights have been restored due to the fact that her old agreement is still legal with the new employer. The next step is for the other employees who are also covered to have their rights restored. Time will tell if she is offered continuing work as she is a casual.

Comment by Ambers Dad 04.26.06 @ 10:14 pm

That’s terrific news! Thanks for the update.

Let’s hope the new employer does right by the others without giving them the grief Amber copped.

I’ll happily buy a $5 juice from a place that treats their workers well. Unhappy, hardly-done-by workers produce poor quality.

You can tell Amber that she’s a dead-set legend for standing up for her rights. I strongly suspect others would have simply copped it sweet. Maybe she’s got a future in politics. ;)

Comment by weez 04.26.06 @ 10:30 pm

[...] You’ll recall that 16-year-old Amber Oswald was sacked from her job and ‘rehired’ the same day on an AWA, at a lower pay rate and with penalty rates abolished, when the juice stand she works for was sold. The new owners tried to invoke the worst-case scenario of the new WorkChoices industrial relations laws on all their newly inherited employees. [...]

Pingback by mgk: Machine Gun Keyboard 05.02.06 @ 8:36 am

what in the world has happened to this mess of firing young workers and re hiring them the same day? are those capitalist morons being taken to task or since it is not the flavor of the month it is brushed under the carpet, eh? especially when the owner or whoever claims she is no ?? what’s with that , mate?? can someone explain what is going on in this country of ours with these so called australians abusing the system?? hello, is someone listening ??

Comment by jason 08.14.06 @ 11:30 am

Jason, this is a problem that will have to be solved at the ballot box. It’s past due time to trow da bums out.

Comment by weez 08.30.06 @ 5:18 pm

[...] Our current FSDC/CRAD is now the Liberal candidate for Goulburn, NSW. Since that time her previous statements that showed her to be critical of WorkChoices legislation for the group of people she used to represent have been toned down to be significantly less critical and I can’t believe that we put up with this. How do we tolerate this when women of all ages (who represent a large proportion of casual and part-time workers) and the younger and older workers are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged under the WorkChoices legislation. [...]

Pingback by P-Go…the new Pru Goward » Suki Has An Opinion 10.04.06 @ 12:28 am

[...] “Work Choices” legislation was an attack on the living standards, job security and sanity of the working class. In particular it now really sucks to be unskilled or pro-union. [...]

Pingback by F u c k Skippy - » Year in Review: All the rest… 12.27.06 @ 11:50 am

Cherilyn Coad & Andre Dowlings are nothing but THIEVES and peasants. They have a $15000.00 debt with me and have never paid.
They are pathetic.. They will pay one day I am certain. I know of many Fruit & Veg suppliers that they have not paid.
Help me anyone to get my money back.
Cheers

Comment by melinda 03.04.08 @ 10:13 am