Auckland Pak n Save workers at eight stores are negotiating for cost of living increases.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is currently 4.5% and expected to rise over 5% in the next three months.
Auckland Pak n Save organiser Simon Oosterman says most of the stores in negotiations are only offering between 1.8% and 2.5%. Pak n Save are individually owned and have separate collective agreements. “Workers are struggling and the companies know it,” he says.
“These stores are justifying their pathetic offers because they say last year’s measly tax cuts cover the cost of GST. Its strange because they don’t offer better pay rises when taxes go up.”
In the year to December core essentials increased by the following amounts: petrol up 14.2%, milk, cheese and eggs up 12.6%, vegetables up 15.4% and electricity up 5.8%. Some stores have already been given cost of living increases.
Pak n Save Wairau and Mill Street (Hamilton) got a 6% pay rise. Southmall New World got a 4.5% in April and will get a further increase in October.
Workers want pay rates like the new $15.90 one year rate at Wairau which is similar to rates at Glen Innes and Albany Pak n Save.
None of the owners want to be the next store to pay higher rates.
The union successfully negotiated 4.2% pay rises last year by focusing on one store at a time and it looks like we’ll be doing that again. The question is who will be first.
This year the union is negotiating eight agreements at the same time and the heavy workload has caused delays in reporting back to members and visiting stores.
The union has agreed to the employer’s giving workers an interim payment while negotiations continue, but haven’t agreed this is all workers will get.
The union is going to mediation at a number of the stores and will hold meetings starting in July to discuss bargaining process and the next step.
(Source: National Distribution Union)