November 02, 2015
Maori workers buck Bunnings pressure
It was another disrupted weekend for DIYers who may have found their local Bunnings outlet caught up in strike action.
Maxine Gay from the First Union says workers called off a planned Labour Weekend strike because the Australian-owned company agreed to negotiate about its plans for a two week rolling roster which would give staff no certainty abut the time they had to spend with family.
Those talks broke down on Friday when the employer resumed a hardline approach and members voted to withdraw their labour.
She says store managers are pressuring staff to quit the union, but Maori and Pacific workers in particular are staying staunch.
"I think instinctively unionisation is not a strange thing for Maori and Pasifika, partly because they understand the need to act collectively and that there is a strength in numbers and you can withstand the pressure as a group much more easily than if you were in a one to one situation," Ms Gay says.
Bunnings management has agreed to come back for more mediated bargaining.
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