INDEPENDENT NEWS

New wage deal at Countdown distribution sets bench mark

Published: Wed 12 Sep 2018 09:44 AM
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.”
ENDS
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) Amendment Bill
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
ENDS
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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