FIRST Union calls on Shane Jones to mediate a deal between The Warehouse and local landlords over pending closure of its Kaikohe store
The union representing The Warehouse workers is shocked and dismayed at the proposed closure of the store in Kaikohe and is concerned the iconic Kiwi brand is no longer putting people first.
60 jobs will be lost in the small town in June as The Warehouse closes shop. The company advised its workers yesterday of the impending closure, saying they could not renew the lease, but FIRST Union understands a two-year lease was offered.
Now there are concerns for the future of other Warehouse branches. It’s recently come to light the company is now using the somewhat high profile and controversial US consultancy McKinsey & Company that specializes in digitization and automation.
First Union National Coordinator for The Warehouse Kate Davis says the actions of The Warehouse are disingenuous and show they don’t seem to care if these stores continue trading, and are more interested in placing profit before people, “It’s a troubling development and I hope it’s not the start of a new trend where the company’s re-evaluating its place in the regions at the expense of the local population, especially considering Kiwi’s loyalty toward the iconic Kiwi brand.”
“The Warehouse has always said it’s more than just a store, but instead an integral part of the community. We are hoping that they will be able to illustrate their commitment to the workers and residents in Kaikohe by finding an alternate location.”
Ms Davis says FIRST Union welcomes further talks between workers, the landlord and local politicians to find an alternative solution that suits all parties.
The Warehouse is a large employer in the area and the shop itself plays an important function in the community. This is a real hit for an area already struggling with exceptionally high unemployment. It is taxpayers who eventually end up picking up the bill for aggressive company moves such as this as there are so few employment opportunities in these areas.