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Protesting Workers Threatened With Trespass

Press release: National Distribution Union

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 10:20am

Workers Protesting 0% Increase Threatened With Trespass, Others Given Monopoly

Bunnings workers have been threatened with trespass if they protest over a 0% wage increase while the company's top boss got 61%, says the National Distribution Union.

Botany Downs Bunnings workers will be protesting on the corner of Burswood Dr and Ti Rakau Dr in Pakuranga from 2pm until 4pm. Workers will also be taking action at other stores around the country.

Workers at Bunnings Whangarei were given a monopoly board game after union members protested at the store last Thursday which National Distribution Union national secretary Laila Harre says is an insult to workers who can't afford houses let alone hotels.

“Instead of getting a wage increase at Christmas like union workers at other major retail brands, workers at Bunnings have been offered a 0% pay increase and only minimum legal conditions, trespass from their stores if they protest against it and have been given monopoly money up north,” she says. “Meanwhile in Australia, Richard Goyder, CEO of Australia's richest multinational and parent company of Bunnings, will be enjoying his 61% increase to six million dollars a year.”

Bunnings pay youth rates, a minimum wage starting rate of $11.25 and a qualified tradesperson starting rate of $14.60.

“This is another case of an Australian multinational treating it's kiwi workers like second class citizens. While kiwis at Bunnings start on the minimum wage of $11.25 their co-workers across the ditch have a 61% higher starting rate of NZ$18.19*, penal rates and overtime on their union collective agreement.”

Ms Harre says Bunnings have stalled negotiations since May on the basis of a new pay system which they then refused to include in the agreement at negotiations earlier this month.

The company also rejected a reduced union claim of a 75c an hour increase for six months and a joint working party to develop a proper pay system to come into affect on 1st of June 08, she says.

"While other retail workers are getting record increases for Christmas, such as Farmers union workers who received between $1 and $4 per hour increases, the Bunnings agreement would be the only national collective union agreement with minimum wage starting rates and youth rates."


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