Coles Supermarkets and Woolworths Supermarkets workers were the essential worker heroes of our pandemic. They turned up to work throughout the entire pandemic, put on the frontline and the employers were slow to put in place safety measures. They got sick, their families got sick. Their loved ones were put in harm’s way while Coles and Woolworths made mega profits.
The dirty little Coles and Woolies secret is that those workers are paid poverty wages – among the lowest in Australia. They have unsafe workplaces where abuse, assaults, threats and harassment are a daily reality and their jobs are insecure.
Through RAFFWU, now they are fighting back. Industrial action is underway at Woolworths and commences on Friday 6 October at Coles. With the employers refusing to offer anything on any claim at the bargaining table, workers are striking.
This is the first national strikes at supermarkets in Australian history.
On Saturday 7 October at 10am local time, those workers represented by RAFFWU in bargaining will stop work for 2 hours. Below is a list of sites workers will come together for the strike and continue their calls for Woolworths Supermarkets and Coles Supermarkets to pay living wages, make workplaces safe and provide secure jobs.
In retaliation to Friday’s bans, Coles has directed that it will stand down every worker who implements a ban and not pay them at all. This includes a ban on cleaning up vomit or bodily fluids, cleaning the manager’s toilet or talking to customers about our action. Coles pays poverty wages then threatens to take even those meagre wages away from any worker who dares to stand up. We need the support of the entire community in the face of such attacks. You can support our Strike Fund which supports members engaging in action at chuffed.org/project/superstrike
To avoid doubt, workers are not paid for striking and workers at Coles engaging in bans on Friday 6 October will not be pad by Coles. Refusing to pay workers while they ban limited work is a choice by Coles in its ruthless exploitation of workers. Woolworths has not made the same choice and is not currently refusing to pay workers implementing bans.
ACTION SITES – SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER 2023 – 10AM TO 12PM
Melbourne – all workers and supporters – Coles Spencer Street (near Southern Cross Station) – meet outside store
Gippsland – Coles Traralgon Central – all workers and supporters meet outside store
New South Wales
Sydney – all workers and supporters – Belmore Park, Eddy Avenue Entrance, Haymarket, NSW (near Central Station)
Broken Hill – Woolworths Broken Hill – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Brisbane – all workers and supporters – outside Myer Centre McDonald’s at Corner of Elizabeth & Albert Streets in the CBD
Northern Brisbane – Woolworths Narangba – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Charters Towers – Woolworths Charters Towers – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Gladstone – Coles Gladstone – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Perth – Coles Byford – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra – Coles Tuggeranong – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
Adelaide – Woolworths Aberfoyle Park – all workers and supporters meet outside the store
To Be Confirmed