As the government’s new youth pay law comes into effect today, a large group of Auckland supermarket workers are taking action to prevent a wage cut through youth rates being introduced in their stores.
Retail secretary for First Union Maxine Gay said Foodstuffs, which operates New World and Pak'n Save, have said they would be interested in greater use of youth rates. She is calling for them to join other retail giants in the rejection of youth rates.
Supermarket operator Foodstuffs is isolating itself as a low wage employer for young workers, and should instead take the lead from the large fast food firms and others in retail who have opted out of youth rates, the retail workers’ union said today.
Kmart, Countdown, Bunnings and Farmers were some of the major chains which operated without a youth wage rate, Maxine Gay said. "They all operate completely and utterly successfully without youth rates."
A potential merger of the two North Island Foodstuffs cooperatives should be used as an opportunity to improve workplace relations and lift their very low wages, the union for workers at the company says.
FIRST Union says that while there may be a bit of leeway for getting physical on the rugby field, there is no place for it in the workplace and that shop workers should be treated with respect by both customers and management.
“Retail staff head into the Christmas season knowing it will be more difficult and stressful,” said FIRST Union Retail Sector Secretary Maxine Gay. “The number of abusive incidents increases dramatically as the shops are busier and customers are under pressure.”