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Supermarket Workers Decide Role In Supermarket War

Press Release: National Distribution Union
Thursday, 27 July 2006

Supermarket Workers Decide Role In Supermarket Wars

Supermarket activists and delegates will leave the shop floor today to hear Progressive pay offer and decide on what action to take at the Alexandra Racecourse, the Delightful Lady Room, 10am in Auckland, says the National Distribution Union.

Media are invited to attend the meeting from 10.00am to hear the ShelfRespect.org negotiation team announce the companies offer and union members vote on what action to take.

National Secretary Laila Harre said that she expects 300 delegates and activists from Countdown, Woolworths and Foodtown to attend the stop-work meeting despite some managers attempting to limit the number of union members leaving the shop floor.

“Checkout operators, butchers, produce workers, deli workers, bakers, trolley collectors, lotto assistances and shelvers will decide today what role they will play in the Supermarket wars,” she said.

The National Distribution Union’s ShelfRespect.org campaign is seeking above-inflation pay rises, an end to youth rates, a collective bargaining allowance for union members and ongoing recognition of an extra week’s leave after 6 years service.

Ms Harre said that New Zealander’s spent $10 billion in supermarkets last year ($1 in every $10 dollars) giving supermarkets enormous economic power and making it a bigger industry than public health, she said.

Woolworths Ltd, Australia’s retail giant and owner of Woolworths, Countdown and Foodtown in New Zealand recently announced that annual sales had increased by one-fifth to A$37.6 billion, bolstered by last years acquisition of Progressive NZ.

Industrial action can legally be taken from next Monday the 31st of July when the Progressive collective agreement expires.

ENDS

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