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'Hundreds of shoppers show support for a lift in pay at their supermarket'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Pak n’ Save Picket for Decent Work at the Auckland Glen Innes store today (27/03/19) saw hundreds of customers filling out forms and handing them into checkout operators to show support for the hard work they do.

FIRST Union Organiser Mandeep Bela says the support from the public was overwhelming.

"Customers really wanted to show their appreciation. Check out staff were moved by their generosity in showing support for wages they can live off and conditions that support a healthy work/ life balance. They know Pak n Save workers are worth more. They know Pak n Save workers are worth decent wages and conditions just like everybody else."

Mr Bela says it provides hope for the workers who’re amongst the lowest paid supermarket staff in Auckland.

"On the one hand we have an owner who appears on the NBR rich list who doesn’t want to negotiate on conditions such as sick leave and redundancy and the pay in this store is one of the lowest compared to other unionised Pak’nSaves in Auckland. On the other hand, we have a community that is hugely in support of decent work that includes pay people can live off and conditions that support a healthy work/ life balance. We know all people are worth wages they can live off and it’s time this owner realised that conclusion too."

He says there seems to be a culture of keeping wages down amongst owners that needs to be addressed.

We are hearing from Pak n’ Save and New World supermarket owners that they are given flak from other owners if they do lift wages, it seems like there’s a competitive attitude between owners to keep wages down.

He says that staff enjoy their jobs and have a great team. "Many staff are the breadwinners of their households and they have a huge amount of customer service and product knowledge and many with years of experience in the job, it’s time that’s recognised."

He adds the Union is hearing from some owners that lifting wages in frowned upon amongst owners.

"We are hearing from Pak n’ Save and New World supermarket owners that they are given flak from each other if they do lift wages, it seems like there’s a competitive attitude between owners to keep wages down without considering the impact of this on the lives of low waged workers and their families."

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