Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Kmart Workers Leading The Way With Living Wage Offer

Retail workers across the country who are currently bargaining for new Collective Agreements with their employers will be looking to the example of Kmart, who are the first major retailer to negotiate new one-year CA for 2021-22 that includes the current living wage, FIRST Union said today.

A team of FIRST Union delegates from around New Zealand have just negotiated the new deal with Kmart. The offer is currently with FIRST Union members and will be subject to ratification over the next month.

Tali Williams, FIRST Union Secretary for Retail and Finance, said the offer was significant and set the bar for other major retail chains currently in bargaining with their workers like Bunnings, Briscoes, Cotton On and H&M.

She also noted that FIRST Union remains in bargaining with hardware chain Bunnings, which shares an owner with Kmart (Wesfarmers Ltd), but has separately avoided settling a living wage with their workers.

"Kmart have recognised that their workers are the ones who’ve kept the business afloat and profitable throughout the pandemic year, and are doing the right thing by ensuring workers are paid a living wage," said Ms Williams.

"I’m proud of our negotiating team, who made their claims clear and approached the bargaining calmly and with unity."

"Major retailers like Kmart have not experienced the drop in profitability that many predicted, and this offer shows that these companies are more than capable of paying their staff a living wage even during a year of crisis."

The new agreement would see hundreds of sales assistants moved to living wages, wage increases for longer-serving staff, a new CA allowance for union members, and a commitment to addressing the important issues of healthy staffing on a national level through a staffing review led by union delegates.

New employees at Kmart would receive at least the current living wage of $22.10 per hour after six months experience, and pay rates would also increase for Coordinators and DC Team Members as well as sales workers.

For Hayley Allen, a Kmart worker and union delegate in Papanui who helped to negotiate the new agreement, the pay increase will be meaningful to her and her colleagues.

"A living wage means a healthy work and home life balance and a lot less stress for people who work part-time like me," said Ms Allen.

"As someone who has Type-1 Diabetes, the wage increase would cover a monthly doctors’ visit, which is pretty significant."

"Kmart stepped up and set a standard - they did well during a tough year, and they know that was because of their staff."

Bargaining continues around New Zealand at other major retail brands, and FIRST Union’s Healthy Staffing, Healthy Stores campaign will continue to make safe staffing levels, insecure hours and living wages the cornerstone of these negotiations.

"A living wage is the going rate in retail - anyone paying less is behind the curve," said Ms Williams.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cancel Culture And The ‘hate Speech’ Laws

If there really is anyone out there who feels genuinely panicked about what ‘cancel culture' is doing to our precious freedoms, then maybe they should just take a deep breath, look hard at who has allegedly been ‘ cancelled’ and see if they can detect any trace of a lasting “cancellation“ effect. Chances are, the alleged cancellees will be doing just fine. By and large, they will be people who do not lack for a public platform – never have, never will – and the downstream effects of being “ cancelled” will almost invariably be trending towards zero... More>>

 

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels