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Action Against Supermarkets and Big Box Retailers

International Day of Action Against Supermarkets and Big Box Retailers

NO to worker rights violations, unsustainable distribution practices and the destruction of local independent businesses!

YES to human rights, workers' rights, respect for communities and the environment!

November 17 is the International Day of Action Against Supermarkets and Big Box Retailers. The day has been called by labour, and community groups in the US following the destruction of small businesses, lowering of retail wages and conditions and exploitation of supermarket suppliers, especially the slave labour conditions in the third world. The idea of the day has now caught on globally with actions in North and South America, Europe and New Zealand.

Over the last few years, retailing has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. In the U.S. workers and communities are rising up against Wal-Mart. In the U.K. Tesco and Sainsbury’s Asda and Safeways are under increasing public scrutiny for how they treat their workers, customers and suppliers.

New Zealand has the most monopolized grocery retail trade in the world. Progressive (through Woolworths, Foodtown and Countdown) and Foodstuffs (through New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square control 43% and 57% of the grocery trade respectively. In addition the Warehouse has been an unwelcome entrant into many communities in New Zealand, forcing small shop keepers to close and leaving some main streets like ghost towns.

Also in New Zealand we have the increasing phenomena of the Mall. Owned by global property investors such as Westfield, Malls are also taking over from main streets as New Zealanders main shopping destinations. But these Malls charge huge rents to the smaller shop owners, dictate opening hours and prevent freedom of speech by banning the distribution of leaflets such as this.

The power of the big boxes and supermarket giants also extends to their suppliers. Many New Zealand suppliers have complained about their prices being slashed by the big chains. The situation is even worse for suppliers and workers in the third world where slave labour conditions exist due to the supermarkets and big boxes beating down the prices they pay for their products.

Retail Workers, mall tenants, suppliers and consumers unite! You have nothing to lose but the exploitation of the supermarkets, big boxes and mall developers!

If you are a retail worker and wish to join the National Distribution Union or a member of the public wanting to support our ShelfRespect campaign contact us through our website:

Further information on the International Day of Action can be found on the following web-sites:

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