Topic: Employment

Protest at Warehouse store in Rotorua

updated By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Around thirty people protested at The Warehouse in Rotorua in support of FIRST union which represents a group of workers at the company after rejecting their offer of a 30 cent wage increase.

Spokesperson for The Warehouse, Julia Morton says that only one Warehouse employee was actually on strike today and the rest of the group were bought in by FIRST union.

FIRST Union has been staging similar events like this in Manukau, Blenheim and New Lynn as Warehouse workers across the country are rejecting the company’s offer.

Julian Morton says"the 30 cent increase on payment only affects 13 team members out of 8,500 workers under The Warehouse. " Those workers according to Morton have accepted the 2 percent increase from the company. 

Current worker and union delegate at The Warehouse Rotorua, Albert Williams says, “the protest is to promote the fact that the living wage isn’t the be all or end all, it’s not even where we start as a company.”

The group began their chants outside the Pukeroa Oruawhata complex mall in Rotorua before making their way to the doors of the Warehouse store in the mall where they were greeted with stunned shoppers and security staff.

The union is also fighting for more secure hours for the workers as well as picking up more hours. 

FIRST Union president, Syd Keepa attended the protest and says, “if you treat your workers fairly you get more productivity out of them you get a happier work force the economic activity within the community will raise."

Te Kāea reporter, Mere McLean will have more on this at 5:30pm on Māori Television.