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Warehouse and Briscoe: a tale of two retail chains

Media release: FIRST Union
Friday September 7, 2012

Warehouse and Briscoe: a tale of two retail chains when it comes to workers

Despite both trading well, the contrast between two major retail chains who have announced profits this week is significant when it comes to how their workforce is treated, the retail workers’ union said today.

The Warehouse has today announced a full year net profit of $65.1m, and increased sales. Yesterday Briscoe Group also announced increased sales, and a 29% increase in half year net profit of $13.3m, and forecast an increase in full year profits.

FIRST Union Retail Secretary Maxine Gay said both chains have traded well during the economic downturn as customers sought lower cost retail stores, but the contrast was stark when it came to how their workers were rewarded for their efforts.

“Today’s results show The Warehouse can still achieve a good return while bargaining respectfully with their workers to improve wages and conditions,” she said.

“This month 2,000 union members at the Warehouse ratified a new collective agreement that ensures no one will get less than a 3% increase, and a significant number will gain more than that, together with other improvements to conditions".

“Over the road at the Briscoe Group, we are still bargaining to get any increase at all, while many of its workers are employed on or about the minimum wage.”

“Briscoe Group can easily afford to pay its workers better than the minimum wage. It is simply just being greedy. The thousands of Briscoes and Rebel Sports workers who helped Briscoe Group achieve such good profits deserve better than this,” Maxine Gay said.

Ends.

~~~~~~~~~

The National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces in October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST. The union represents over 27,000 people working in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport. http://firstunion.org.nz

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