Workers at Farmers Department Stores who are members of FIRST Union are taking further strike action starting today.
Strikes will occur at various stores across Auckland, Hamilton, Masterton, Upper Hutt and Palmerston North. A picket
will commence outside Hamilton’s Chartwell Farmers shortly after 12 today.
Following from last week’s announcement that K Mart workers have achieved the living wage, Farmers workers, who have
been through two weeks of industrial action already, are taking further action to achieve the same.
FIRST Union secretary, Tali Williams said “Farmers retail workers are telling us that they have been spurred on by the
victory at K Mart and are excited to keep going until they achieve the same thing. And there is no reason why they
shouldn’t. Farmers Department Store is a New Zealand owned family brand and they need to take responsibility for paying
their workers a wage they can live and thrive on. If a department store that prides itself on low prices can pay a
living wage, then Farmers really have no excuse”.
Asides from strike action, FIRST Union members at various Farmers Department Stores will be wearing campaign stickers
and t shirts that say F for Farmers and also handing out leaflets to customers. “F for Farmers” refers to the unfair
performance pay system and the low wages that see 20% of staff living on just the minimum wage. In various stores
workers will be walking off the job. “Farmers Department Store can expect a continuation and escalation of this kind of
activity” said Ms Williams "Our members are clear and motivated in their aspiration to achieve a living wage.”
A picket will be held at Farmers Chartwell 12noon
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.