Foodstuffs North Island has taken a step forward and accepted a super-wage deal for distribution workers. The new accepted terms are a refreshing stance in times of increasing uncertainty surrounding low wages.
Frist Union and Foodstuffs North Island have shown that strike action is not always necessary, and moral can be boosted by simply listening to workers requests.
The agreement will affect hundreds of workers, with all being paid a living wage of $20.55 or higher by the end of this year.
The collective agreement covers all the company’s distribution centres which includes wage increases ranging from 9.4 percent to 25.2 percent.
Breaking down the agreement shows that the Foodstuffs North Island workers with over five years or more service will have their hourly rate increased from $20 - $25 within the next 18 months.
The deal does not include Foodstuffs South Island, but First Union divisional secretary Jared Abbott says it is a matter of timing.
“This model allows for a more sustainable business that gives workers stronger spending power within their respective communities.”
This deal comes at a time when strikes are a weekly occurrence as low wages, poor working conditions and the amendments of the Holidays Act have come into light.
So far in just June and July of this year, Pack n Save, Farmers, Burger King, MBIE, IRD and select school teachers and nurses have gone on strike over low wages.
There is uncertainly around how the minimum wage is moral acceptable for large companies, who are increasing the dividends of share holders and investors rather than supplying staff with a living wage.