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Countdown Customer Care Workers To Protest Over Pay Outside Ponsonby Store

What:

Workers from Countdown’s Customer Care centre in Auckland are taking strike action today and withdrawing their labour to picket outside the company’s Ponsonby store as pay negotiations remain unresolved

Where:

Outside Countdown Ponsonby, 4 Williamson Ave, Ponsonby, Auckland

When:

Friday 11 December, 12:00-1:30 - Picket / protest

Workers have issued a full day strike notice for a withdrawal of labour between 05:00-23:00 on Friday 11 December

Why:

FIRST Union organiser and coordinator for Countdown stores, Robin Wilson-Whiting, said workers voted for this strike action as negotiations with the company had stalled over low wages that have not kept pace with comparable roles in other industries.

"Customer care centre workers are dealing with more work and stress than ever before, but their wages have not kept up with the industry standard for online service roles," said Ms Wilson-Whiting.

"This is now the fourth strike action over what should have been an easy decision for a company that has made historic profits over the last year while their workers gave their all during Covid-19 lockdowns."

"It’s a small group of workers with specialist skills and distinct responsibilities, and they have presented ample evidence of their underpayment during negotiations, but Countdown have so far refused to listen and instead have only made minor amendments to an offer with a three-year term that will keep these workers well behind the industry."

Ms Wilson-Whiting said recent offers from the company had moved backwards rather than forwards, and workers’ frustration had reached boiling point as Christmas approaches and workloads continue to increase.

"This action may impact the online shopping experience at Countdown, but workers know that’s the only way an employer so fixated on the bottom line will take note and remember their value."

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