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Australia Furious Coles workers at crucial Sydney supply warehouse go on strike

07:40  19 november  2020
07:40  19 november  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Coles shuts major Sydney warehouse as hundreds of Smeaton Grange workers strike over redundancy conditions

  Coles shuts major Sydney warehouse as hundreds of Smeaton Grange workers strike over redundancy conditions Coles temporarily shuts one of its major Sydney warehouses after hundreds of its workers go on strike over pay and conditions. More than 350 workers are employed at the Smeaton Grange distribution centre which will now be closed for three months. It is one of the largest such facilities in NSW.The strike began after union negotiations broke down over the new enterprise agreement regarding wage increases and redundancy clauses.United Workers Union (UWU) director Matt Toner said workers were striking for job security as the facility moved towards automation by 2023.

More than 350 workers at the Coles distribution centre in Smeaton Grange, Sydney , are battling to keep their jobs in the face of automation. This has left many families with no income over the Christmas holiday period. They went on strike on Thursday fighting for their jobs and new entitlements.

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a group of people holding a sign: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Coles says industrial action at its largest NSW warehouse won't affect grocery supplies at its stores in the lead-up to Christmas.

'To ensure that our stores can continue to offer a full range of products for our customers through the Christmas and New Year period, we have made alternative arrangements for products ordinarily distributed from the Smeaton Grange distribution centre,' a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Coles had proposed a new enterprise agreement for its Smeaton Grange distribution centre in Sydney, which would deliver a 3.5 per cent increase to annual wages and monetary allowances, it said.

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Despite relatively flat wage growth across all sectors, worker representatives were demanding a 5.5 per cent annual wage increase, it said.

a group of people in a park: More than 350 workers at the distribution centre in Smeaton Grange are battling to keep their jobs in the face of automation (Pictured on strike outside the distribution centre) © Provided by Daily Mail More than 350 workers at the distribution centre in Smeaton Grange are battling to keep their jobs in the face of automation (Pictured on strike outside the distribution centre)

Coles had also offered enhanced redundancy provisions from a maximum of 52 weeks' pay to a maximum of 80 weeks' pay for involuntary redundancies resulting from the expected closure of the site in 2023.

It said workers at Smeaton Grange had rejected the offer and demanded redundancy payments up to the equivalent of two years' pay.


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working conditions.[43] On 1 April 2020 Amazon warehouse workers in Michigan planned a strike over PPE protections for the coronavirus.[44] Amazon In Memphis, Tennessee 200 workers at a Kroger warehouse went on strike after discovering that a colleague had tested positive.[54].

Workers at Chemist Warehouse have voted to endorse strike action as part of a bid to win a huge pay rise and greater job security. If they decide at further meetings to go on strike , supplies of non-prescription goods at the company's extensive chain of shops could begin running short within days.

The United Workers Union said members had voted to have rolling 24-hour stoppages from Thursday over jobs and benefits.

More than 350 workers at the distribution centre in Smeaton Grange are battling to keep their jobs in the face of automation, the union said in a statement.

Workers want improved redundancy entitlements, the right to transfer to the new Coles warehouse, job security in the form of a permanent to casual ratio and an increased wage offer.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Workers want improved redundancy entitlements, the right to transfer to the new Coles warehouse, job security in the form of a permanent to casual ratio and an increased wage offer (pictured at the protest) © Provided by Daily Mail Workers want improved redundancy entitlements, the right to transfer to the new Coles warehouse, job security in the form of a permanent to casual ratio and an increased wage offer (pictured at the protest)

'Workers at Coles Smeaton Grange are taking action today because they're fighting for the right to have a job,' the UWU Matt Toner said.

Coles was building a new automated warehouse but had refused to give workers at Smeaton Grange an opportunity to be redeployed to the new facility, he said.

'Workers want the right to keep their job at the new facility and if not want to be respected for the many years of service they have given to ensure Coles' profits, even throughout this global pandemic,' Mr Toner said.

Workers will be voting on whether to continue the 24-hour stoppages over the coming days.

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