New wage deal at Countdown distribution sets bench mark for triangular employment
Nearly a thousand workers covered by collective agreements at Countdown’s distribution centres (in Christchurch,
Palmerston North, and Auckland), will see their hourly wage go to a minimum of $25 this year in a new deal that sets a
new bench mark for how companies engage labour-hire workers.
The move follows Foodstuffs distribution workers also receiving a conversion clause. Here, workers on triangular
employment contracts must be converted to permanent work within six monthsto ensure employees receive the same benefits
they would have rights to on a permanent contract.
FIRST Union’s Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing Secretary, Jared Abbott, says the workers are extremely proud of
the deal that not only sees substantial wage increases but also includes additional allowances, an increase in paid sick
leave, and a new benchmark for how companies engage labour-hire workers.
“The new agreement means not only will all labour-hire workers will be offered direct permanent employment at rates well
above the living wage within six months of being engaged, but also includes a stringent auditing process to ensure
labour-hire companies are engaging workers lawfully.”
“What we see time and time again in the labour-hire industry is companies not complying with the requirements of the law
in their employment contracts, with the most common breach being zero hour contracts and workers having no rights when
being terminated, this seeks to amend that.”
NB: Triangular employment or labour-hire: When a worker is engaged in carrying out work with an employer but their
contract is with a separate company.
Union presents the plight of labour-hire workers in a submission to the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment)
FIRST Union is presenting to the Education and Workforce Committee about the Employment Relations (Triangular
Employment) Amendment Bill today (12/9/2018), where it will be asking the government to bolster regulation around
labour-hire to afford labour-hire workers the same ability to enforce the law as other workers.
Mr Abbott said he is very proud of Countdown’s new commitments in their collective agreements and the change has already
made a positive impact on hundreds of labour-hire workers who work in the distribution centres.
“We would like to see other large companies follow the example that has been set here. There is still far too much
exploitation in this industry, fed largely by the fact that labour-hire agencies and the companies that engage them rely
on the precarious nature of work to minimise the likely hood of workers enforcing their rights.”
Date: 12 September
Time: 2.30pm – 2.45pm
Venue: Pavilion 1, Sudima Auckland Airport, 18 Airpark Drive
Airport Oaks 2022