Saturday April 6, 2013
Pak n Save & New World sticking out like a sore thumb over youth rates
Supermarket operator Foodstuffs is isolating itself as a low wage employer for young workers, and should instead take the lead from the large fast food firms and others in retail who have opted out of youth rates, the retail workers’ union said today.
Yesterday McDonalds confirmed that it would join Restaurant Brands in not extending youth rates when the government’s recent law change comes into force in May.
Retail chains The Warehouse, Farmers, Kmart, Bunnings and the other major supermarket operator Countdown have all committed to not extending youth rates within their businesses, but Foodstuffs, operator of New World and Pak n Save, this week said it would be interested in greater use of youth rates.
Maxine Gay, Retail Secretary for FIRST Union said Foodstuffs was sticking out as a bad employer.
“The government has brought in a law to cut young workers’ pay, but this doesn’t mean companies need to drop to this new low bar, as many others in retail have shown,” she said.
“Foodstuffs is a very profitable business. Their signal this week that they are interested in greater use of youth rates is driven simply by an opportunity to get away with paying young workers less,” she said.
“Young workers are expected to work just as hard as older colleagues. They don’t get to work 20 per cent slower – yet the government thinks it is okay that employers can pay them less.”
“Well done the companies who have made a stand against age based discrimination in wages.”
“Among the large retail chains, Foodstuffs are now sticking out like a sore thumb,” Maxine Gay said.