Coles and Woolworths workers are striking this Saturday

Here's how it will affect you.
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Almost 1,000 Coles and Woolworths workers are estimated to strike this Saturday, affecting shoppers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

From 10 am till noon grocery employees will walk off the job for “secure hours, secure jobs, ongoing hours and increase poverty wages” stated federal secretary Josh Cullinan of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU).

Coles has responded that they are “committed to delivering an outcome that balances the needs of our team members, the sustainability of our business and ensures we can continue to deliver great value and experiences for our customers.”

“We have a long history of bargaining in good faith with our team and will continue to do so. However, we acknowledge and respect the right of team members to take protected industrial action,” a Woolworths spokesperson has replied.

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However, Coles has warned that strikers “are not entitled to payment and refuses to accept the partial performance of work until the team member is prepared to perform all of their normal duties.” 

The ‘partial performance of work’ they are referring to is the workers who stay but refuse to; collect trolleys, clean toilets, change price stickers, clean up vomit or bodily fluids, clean out trolleys, and collapse boxes. 

Whereas Woolworths hasn’t discussed docking pay or termination in retaliation to walking off or participating in the partial bans at the time of writing. 

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Coles and Woolworths employees will strike this Saturday. (Credit: Getty)

It’s important to note that two unions represent Australian supermarket workers, with the smaller union striking whereas the bigger union, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, is not.

The strike came about after a breakdown in negotiations between Retail and Fast Food Workers Union who asked Coles for a $29 hourly base rate for workers and an annual pay increase of up to 5 percent in March.

With Coles responding that they’ve already increased the minimum wage to 5.75 percent minimum wage which was handed down to the Fair Work Commission.

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RAFFWU members striking. (Credit: Chuffed)

The union representative Josh told 7 News“It will cause disruption at some stores.”

“In some stores that will be one or two courageous workers, but in other stores it will be half the store that walks out,” he explained further.

In summary, almost 1000 Coles and Woolworths will strike on October 7 2023 from 10 am to 12 pm.

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