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Costco Living Wage Settlement Sets New Standard For Grocery Pay

Nearly 200 FIRST Union members who work at Costco in Auckland are "setting a new standard" for the supermarket and grocery industry after ratifying the store’s first Collective Agreement, which includes starting rates above the living wage, penal rates and overtime.

Bill Bradford, FIRST Union Assistant to the General Secretary, said around two-thirds of Costco staff were FIRST Union members, and delegates had spent several months negotiating the company’s first Collective Agreement since the store's opening in Aotearoa last September. Union members voted to ratify the new agreement last week.

"We’ve enjoyed constructive bargaining with Costco and our members are hopeful about building on this positive relationship over the coming years," said Mr Bradford.

"These are demanding roles in a busy new store, and our members have been foundational in establishing good practices and relations with their communities."

The new agreement includes a starting rate of $26.50 per hour - above the new living wage of $26 - and a progressive pathway to earning $30 per hour after four years’ service with the company, as well as overtime and penal rates.

"This agreement sets a new standard for supermarket wages in New Zealand ahead of a Fair Pay Agreement," said Mr Bradford.

"It may be a cliché, but there is strength in a union, and collective action gets results."

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