Workers strike at Bunnings Nelson

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More than a dozen workers and at Bunnings are striking outside the Stoke hardware store over a proposal to put staff on a collective agreement.

Bunnings staff held strike action at stores in Auckland and the Manawatu on Friday and Nelson workers were joining staff from 16 other stores in action against the Australian-owned chain on Saturday.

Nelson-based FIRST Union organiser Rachel Boyack says Bunnings is proposing a collective agreement that will hand bosses the power to chop and change start and finish times without the worker’s agreement.

“While the company is claiming it doesn’t intent to make ‘wholesale changes’, if this is true then why are they proposing a collective agreement that will do just that?”

Bunnings issued a statement yesterday saying they have put forward what it believes to be an industry leading proposal covering wage rates and rosters.

“Bunnings’ offer will guarantee that team members will receive an absolute minimum increase of 4 per cent this year with a further guaranteed minimum of 2 per cent to be paid next year.

“Bunnings stores are generally open 7 days a week with trading hours that start at 7am and on the whole run through to 7pm, so flexibility for our team and customers is key. Bunnings is committed to supporting the needs of our valued team and providing a healthy work/life balance, as our team plays a pivotal role in providing this flexibility and delivering best service.”

But Rachel says workers in Nelson aren’t going to let Bunnings lock them into such a one-sided agreement. “Workers need certainty. What Bunnings proposals do is remove certainty and replace it with insecurity. They’re trying to hand a frightening level of power to bosses.”