Saturday, 5 August 2006,
Workers Protest at Wellington and South Auckland Supermarkets
Progressive supermarket workers will be asking customers to support their demand for “ShelfRespect.org” today at protests in Wellington at 11am, Kilbirnie Woolworths and in South Auckland at 3pm, Greenlane Foodtown, says the National Distribution Union.
Yellow-clothed supermarket workers and supporters will be seeking petition signatures and handing out yellow stickers and supermarket bags that read “I Support Supermarket Workers” to customers outside of each supermarket.
Central Regional Secretary Sheryl Cadman said that supermarket workers from across Wellington were joining Kilbirnie workers to let customers know that they have rejected Progressive’s 2.6% pay offer and are demanding a 7% pay rise, an end to youth rates, a collective bargaining allowance and the continuation of an extra weeks long-service leave.
“Kilbirnie wanted to be the first Wellington supermarket to take our bright yellow ShelfRespect.org campaign to their customers,” Ms Cadman said. “The first actions in Auckland and Palmerston North received so much positive customer support that other supermarket workers have planned to take action around Wellington and the rest of the country.”
National Secretary Laila Harré said that the Wellington and South Auckland supermarket workers were not taking industrial action but were using their time off to raise awareness of their campaign.
“Supermarket workers and especially checkout operators have a good relationship with regular and casual customers,” she said. “The formal initiation of bargaining on the 31st of July means that the company has 40 days to respond to the customer campaign before facing the risk of strike action.”
• Kilbirnie Woolworths,
Bay Rd, Wellington.
• Greenlane Foodtown, 326 Great South Rd (next to the big McDonalds.)