Two arrests at supermarket protest

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Two out-of-town protesters were arrested at Nelson New World this morning, at the first of four planned protests outside two supermarkets this weekend.

A little over a dozen protesters were waving signs directed at New World on Vanguard St this morning. They are planning to head to Pak ‘n Save in Richmond this afternoon before returning to the two businesses again on Sunday.

Protest organiser Rachel Boyack, of First Union, says the two protesters that were arrested weren’t from Nelson, but were inside the store at the time of their arrest.

It is not known what they were arrested for at this stage and staff inside the store refused to comment on the arrests.

The union is protesting over pay rates. “These two stores have made no attempt to bargain with the union in good faith,” says Rachel. “Instead they have played silly games with us. They say South Island workers should not be paid as much as those in the North Island because it is a different market.”

Of the 18 people counted protesting on Saturday morning, only “two or three” actually worked at the Nelson New World store but Rachel says because it wasn’t a full strike staff couldn’t leave work to protest.

She says every other protestor was a Nelsonian.

The Pak ‘n Save protest is due to start at 1.30 this afternoon and run until 3pm.