The Warehouse to pay thousands of employees the living wage
The Warehouse, The Warehouse, where nearly everyone earns a living wage.
The retail giant announced on Friday that the majority of team members would soon be earning a living wage.
“The Warehouse is proud to confirm that it has reached an in-principle agreement with First Union to pay the living wage to the vast majority of its team members,” it said in a statement.
Staff members would be paid at least $20.50 an hour until August 2020, when it would increase to $21.15.
* Hundreds of retail workers in protest at St Lukes mall in Auckland to fight for living wage
* Mitre 10 workers win ‘landmark’ living wage case
* Job losses likely as The Warehouse closes regional distribution centres
* Plastic bags ban anticipated well by the retail sector: expert
Chief executive Pejman Okhovat said the agreement reflects the company’s commitment to Kiwi communities.
“Our 7000 The Warehouse store team members are central to our ongoing success and this deal acknowledges the importance we place on our team members,” Okhovat said in a statement.
The agreement was not yet implemented, and was available for union members to vote on in the coming months.
Retail workers part of First Union had been calling for hourly wages to be raised to the living wage for months. In July, hundreds of workers demonstrated in an Auckland Mall, chanting about the need for a living wage.
During the protests, one retail worker, who didn’t want to be named, told Stuff: “I can’t afford to go to the doctor on these wages, I have to wait til I need the hospital.
“Two nights a week its cereal for dinner. No fresh vegies.”
Another added: “I lived in a car for four and a half years while working for this retail company. A living wage would give me a chance to not have to choose between food and rent.”
In April 2018, First Union launched its campaign aimed at getting retailers to pay workers a living wage, as well as give them enough hours of work to live on.