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Supermarket Supply Chain Strikes Across Country

Supermarket Supply Chain Strikes Across Country

Five hundred distribution workers who supply the 165 Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets across New Zealand began a 48 hour strike at 5am this morning starting a weekend of industrial action against Progressive, says the National Distribution Union.

The Progressive's Supply Chain distribution center workers began their 48 hour strike at 4am this morning in Auckland, 80 Favona Rd Mangere, 6am in Palmerston North, cnr Mako mako Rd and Mihaere Dr, and 6am at the two Christchurch centres on Shands Rd and Columbo St.

Workers are striking for a single nation-wide collective agreement with equal pay rates and all existing allowances combined into a site allowance of up to $2.50, an 8% pay rise and an extra week service leave.

National Advocate and Auckland Organiser Stan Renwick said that workers decided to strike after the company hadn't responded to a week of go-slows and work-to-rule.

"Woolworths Australia has reneged on an earlier agreement to bring their four Progressive Supply Chain distribution centres into a single national collective agreement with equal pay rates and allowances," he said. "Workers on each of the sites do identical work storing, picking and dispatching dry supermarket product. They are paid the same base pay rate, but have different allowances and benefits with Palmerston North earning up to $2.50 more than Christchurch and Auckland workers earning $1 more than their South Island co-workers."

Mr Renwick said that the Auckland and Christchurch workers lost allowances and benefits after the original Woolworths distribution centers were closed in the regions 6 years ago. He said that workers were made redundant and some were rehired with new workers on lower wages without allowances and benefits.

Other ShelfRespect.org actions over the weekend:

* In Wellington, supermarket workers will picket Countdown Porirua at 11am this Saturday 26th of August.

* In Auckland, supermarket workers will join a community rally with pacific island music at the Mangere distribution centre, 70 Favona Rd at 12 noon, Saturday 26th of August.

* In Christchurch, supermarket workers will be joined by distribution and Meat Worker Union member's from Progressive's South Island meat plant at 1pm at the Columbo St Countdown on Sunday 27th of August.

ENDS

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