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Warehouse disappointed with negotiations outcome

Media statement

10 December 2009

 

The Warehouse disappointed with negotiations outcome


The Warehouse is today disappointed that the National Distribution Union (NDU) brought mediated negotiations to a close, as the company sought to agree on a new collective employment agreement. 

Negotiations broke down when the NDU introduced a new monetary claim demanding a one-off payment for its members this Christmas.  NDU membership constitutes around 1,800 of The Warehouse’s 7,500 in-store team members.

The Warehouse’s HR Director, Paul Walsh, says, “We are disappointed that, after reaching resolutions on matters raised by the NDU last week, their claims have shifted focus and they have introduced a new monetary claim that, despite the best efforts of the independent mediator, we were unable to agree on.”

In this year’s tough economic environment, many retailers have offered minimal or no pay increases. The Warehouse has awarded a three percent pay increase to all waged employees from 1 August this year, offering a starting wage of no less than $12.88 per hour and most moving to $14.19 within 12 months.  The Warehouse has also increased its staff retention rates from 65.2% in the year ended July 2007 to 77.6% in the year ended July 2009. 

Walsh says during the negotiations, “The Warehouse listened carefully and attempted to address all the NDU’s issues relating to employee workloads. We agreed to establish two working parties, one to further explore the issue of workloads and one regarding the appraisal system for all waged employees. 

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“Today, we also offered additional ongoing benefits to our team members, including increases in sick leave and bereavement entitlements, and these offers were rejected by the NDU.

“We feel very let down by the union, as last week they stated their concerns were not monetary, and now they have drastically changed course,” says Walsh.

Walsh has again reassured shoppers that it is business as usual at The Warehouse, and with an additional 1,700 team members already recruited to cover busy Christmas trading, customers should still expect the same great service at all 86 stores nationwide.


ENDS

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