Union demands parity from Pak ‘n Save
A Porirua supermarket is under fire from protesters demanding pay parity for the business’ employees.
First Union representative Bill Bradford said Porirua Pak ’n Save workers deserved equal pay with supermarket workers across the street and around the country.
‘‘The workers at the Countdown across the street are getting nearly $2 an hour more than Pak ’n Save.’’
On Thursday morning men dressed as the supermarket’s ’stick man’ character handed out leaflets at the Parumoana Street store encouraging shoppers to contact the store manager in support of his employees.
Bradford said it was the beginning of a campaign that would run for the next few days.
‘‘Bargaining has broken down and Porirua Pak ’n Save has no intention of keeping up with minimum wage,’’ he claimed.
‘‘They’ve made an offer, it’s not enough, we’ve been to mediation and now we’re taking action.
‘‘They’re doing very, very well in a poor community, but they’re not paying their workers enough.’’
He said he had negotiated with other Pak ’n Save owners and the Porirua store was the only one refusing to keep pace with the increased minimum wage.
‘I’ve negotiated with Auckland, Kaitaia, Napier, Hawke’s Bay, Hastings and Kilbirnie, who all pay more than Porirua.
‘‘The minimum wage moved by 3.4 per cent and that’s our bottom line.’’
Store manager Garrod Brader couldn’t be reached for comment, but Antoinette Laird from Foodstuffs, which owned the Pak ’n Save brand, said each store set its own wages and rates varied around the country.
She said Porirua Pak ’n Save paid within the range of all the stores and rates were based on the individual skills and experience of each team member.
‘‘Like any business, the owner of the business, in this case the store, is responsible for the employment relationship with their team.
‘‘We expect our stores to pay their team fairly for a the job they do. Rates vary by store.’’
To suggest the store was not following the law and paying above the minimum wage was completely inaccurate, she said.
‘‘The store was absolutely paying above the minimum wage. As negotiations are on-going we do not feel it is appropriate to comment [further].’’
First Union says Porirua Pak ‘n Save workers deserve pay parity with workers around the country