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Source: First Union

Around 700 essential workers at two Countdown distribution centre sits in Auckland are taking strike action today after the supermarket chain has rejected pay increases in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during bargaining for a new Collective Agreement, FIRST Union said today.
FIRST Union represents almost all distribution workers at the two sites, which supply supermarkets around the country and have been operating throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Workers say they are seeking pay increasing in line with the CPI to cover the rising costs of living in Auckland, including spiralling rent and housing costs, and are seeking to sign a new a one-year term for this deal due to the uncertainty of the present climate.
“It’s pretty simple – these people have been busier than ever before and working harder than they’ve ever worked, and now it’s time to sign a deal, all they want is a fair pay rise that covers increasing costs of living,” said Olly Paegotau, FIRST Union organiser.
“Strike action is the last resort after negotiations have been very one-sided and workers feel they aren’t being listened to or taken seriously during the bargaining.”
“Their goal is to get the company back to the bargaining table and negotiating a fair deal, not to disrupt their operations or impact the food supply chain – but nothing will change without them standing up for themselves.”
“We know the company is making more money than ever during this crisis but it seems like they don’t want to fairly reward the people who make all that profit possible, even when they’re struggling to afford to live in the city they work in.”
The strike action will commence at midnight tonight (Tuesday 23rd November) and continue until the coming Friday at midnight.