Concern builds over proposed removal of meal and tea breaks

updated By Te Kāea

Labour MP Kelvin Davis says concerns raised by First Union NZ in regards to tea and meal breaks for staff at Cotton On will not be the last.

According to First Union representatives in negotiations with Cotton On, a submission was made to remove tea and meal breaks.

Kelvin Davis told Te Kāea that Labour was in strong opposition to the changes due to concerns that some employers would take advantage of the changes.

However according to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Woodhouse, if employees do not agree to proposed changes they do not have to accept them.

Meanwhile Cotton On posted a response to reports on its official Facebook page which states;

“In response to recent comments made by First Union NZ, the Cotton On Group would like to make it clear that no changes have been made to our workers' rights in any of our distribution centres. Negotiations are currently in place between the Cotton On Group and First Union with no agreement having yet been made.”

Following our story Cotton On Group Communications Manager Greer McCracken has given this response saying:

“The Cotton On Group will, and has always intended to, maintain paid tea breaks for all New Zealand Distribution Centre employees as part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our team members.”