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Bunnings under fire for using volunteer labour

Date of Release: 

John Campbell spoke with Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay about the ethics of paying volunteers less than the minimum wage to do work that workers usually perform. Bunnings Lyall Bay has been guilty of doing just that. 

"Bunnings workers suspended over apron actions"

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After Bunnings workers were suspended from work for removing their branded aprons in a small scale strike, John Campebll from Checkpoint went out to the Mt Roskill store to speak with some of the workers affected. 

Union welcomes Bunnings back down on in-store defibrillators

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The union representing Bunnings workers is welcoming the company’s decision to install defibrillators in five stores, including in stores where staff-owned defibrillators were removed.

“Workers in Dunedin, Nelson and Gisborne were heartbroken when the company removed their staff-owned defibrillators,” said FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“Having a defibrillator on hand can mean the difference between life and death. Bunnings decision to remove defibrillators they didn’t own and didn’t pay to maintain never made any sense.”

Disruption at Richmond Pak’n Save as workers go on pre-Easter strike

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Workers responsible for filling shelves at the Richmond PAK’nSAVE are on strike this morninig in frustration at the supermarket’s continued refusal to bargain over pay rates and lift wages for low paid workers at the store.

Workers from the Morning Fill, Bakery and Butchery teams have walked off the job right before the busy Easter trading period

Nelson-based FIRST Union organiser Rachel Boyack says the union has been trying to negotiate a collective agreement since November last year at the region’s largest supermarket but the owner refuses to bargain over pay rates.

Bunnings dispute heads to the Employment Relations Authority

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Friday, March 18, 2016

The long running employment dispute between Bunnings and FIRST Union is heading to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The development comes after Bunnings suspended hundreds of workers across the country for removing their signature aprons in a symbolic protest against the company’s repeated refusal to compromise on rostering.

“The ERA has accepted our application for facilitated bargaining. With the ERA supervising the process we’re confident we can break the deadlock on rostering,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

Bunnings workers remove their aprons in nationwide strike

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Workers from 29 Bunnings stores across the country will taking action and removing their signature aprons as part of ongoing strike action nationwide.

“Workers will replace their aprons with union stickers,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“This action will likely continue until a collective agreement is settled.”

FIRST Union and Bunnings remain locked in negotiations.

"We've had enough" - workers protest wage gap

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TVNZ's Megan Martin reports from Invercargill where FIRST Union members at Pak'n Save are fighting for equal pay with their colleagues in unionised North Island supermarkets.  

Workers plan protest against wage gap at Invercargill Pak’n Save

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Workers and supporters from the Invercargill community are taking to the protest line as the owner-operator of Pak’n Save Invercargill refuses to negotiate new pay rates for workers, nearly of all whom earn up to $2 less than their colleagues in North Island supermarkets.

“There’s no excuse for the wage gap between South Island Pak’n Save workers and North Island Pak’n Save workers,” says FIRST Union’s Invercargill-based organiser Ken Young.

Pakn’ Save Whakatane owner strikes again

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Protestors will be inflating a giant rat outside Pakn’ Save Whakatane today after owner-operator Andrew Soutar admitted to a union busting campaign in store.

“The owner of Pakn’ Save Whakatane has a history of treating staff poorly,” says FIRST Union Bay of Plenty organiser Kirstin Miller.

“But workers aren’t going to stand for it anymore.”

“FIRST Union made it an urgent priority to organise the store after it was revealed that the owner-operator was docking workers’ wages for problems that were no fault of their own.”    

Union drive a success in Invercargill

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Monday, November 23, 2015

The retail workers’ union is thrilled with the success of its membership drive at Invercargill Pak’n Save as new members prepare to meet and develop their negotiation claims for the first time, says FIRST Union South Island organiser Ken Young. 

“We’ve always had lower union density in the South Island and that’s meant poorer pay and conditions for South Island workers compared with their North Island counterparts.”


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