INDEPENDENT NEWS

Whakatane Pak n Save workers go on strike over minimum wage

Published: Wed 12 Sep 2018 10:37 AM
Pak n Save Whakatane staff will not be at work this afternoon (12/09/2018) as they strike over dismal, minimal pay rates.
Around 30 employees will instead be picketing the store from 2:30pm with the strike lasting until 4:30pm. Media are invited to attend; King St, Whakatane 3120.
The store pays well below the rates offered by collective agreements at other Pak n Saves around the country with a majority of staff on the minimum wage despite their skills and experience. Supervisors are on a pay rate of just 50 cents above the minimum wage.
Retail organiser Marleina Kerapa says workers have tried multiple times to communicate to their employer that their skills and experience require a fair pay rate.
“We all need decent pay to cover life’s necessities and live with dignity. The Union has had multiple bargaining sessions and attended mediation with the employer but the offer is still significantly less than what other Pak N Save employers are offering. The minimum wage shouldn’t be what a majority of workers are on, that’s not what it’s for, it’s a minimum, not a target for all.”
She says workers aren’t asking for charity, they’re asking for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
“This is about the fact that workers cannot survive on the wages paid at Pak N Save Whakatane. The minimum wage is supposed to be a starting rate for workers with low skills and experience - these workers have families to feed and have been loyal to their employer over the years. It’s time they got a fair share of his profits.”
First Union
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000 workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.
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