24 November 2017
Unions calls on Foodstuffs to pull store owners into line after ERA ruling
The union representing workers at Foodstuffs South Island is calling on the co-operative’s CEO to pull rogue store owners into line after an Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ruling against Pak’n Save Invercargill.
The ERA found Pak’n Save Invercagill breached its duty of good faith during negotiations for a collective agreement.
“Our members want to negotiate a wage they can live on, but again and again the store owner insisted the collective agreement shouldn’t include a wage scale,” said FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga.
“But what kind of employment agreement doesn’t include a wage scale?”
The ERA found instead of negotiating “in a genuine and engaging manner as the duty of good faith required”, Pak’n Save Invercargill merely “went through the motions” when addressing union members request for a wage scale in their collective agreement.
This amounted to a “serious and sustained” breach of good faith which “significantly undermined bargaining,” according to the ERA.
“This ruling reinforces our view that Pak’n Save and New World owners in the South Island aren’t addressing whether their workers are earning enough to live on,” said Maga.
“Our next step is to take this ruling to the co-operative’s CEO. It’s untenable to negotiate a collective agreement without a wage scale. We shouldn’t expect workers to sign a contract covering everything except their actual pay.”
FIRST Union also applied to the ERA to fix a wage rate, but the ERA encouraged alternative options.