Nearly a thousand workers covered by collective agreements at Countdown’s distribution centres (in Christchurch, Palmerston North, and Auckland), will see their hourly wage go to a minimum of $25 this year in a new deal that sets a new bench mark for how companies engage labour-hire workers.
The move follows Foodstuffs distribution workers also receiving a conversion clause. Here, workers on triangular employment contracts must be converted to permanent work within six months to ensure employees receive the same benefits they would have rights to on a permanent contract.
FIRST Union’s Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing Secretary, Jared Abbott, says the workers are extremely proud of the deal that not only sees substantial wage increases but also includes additional allowances, an increase in paid sick leave, and a new benchmark for how companies engage labour-hire workers.
“The new agreement means not only will all labour-hire workers will be offered direct permanent employment at rates well above the living wage within six months of being engaged, but also includes a stringent auditing process to ensure labour-hire companies are engaging workers lawfully.”
“What we see time and time again in the labour-hire industry is companies not complying with the requirements of the law in their employment contracts, with the most common breach being zero hour contracts and workers having no rights when being terminated, this seeks to amend that.”