RAFFWU SUES WOOLWORTHS

On 4 December 2023, RAFFWU launched historic court action against Woolworths Supermarkets for its 2021 attacks on Victorian and Tasmanian overnight workers. RAFFWU is seeking compensation for all affected workers.

Read our press release.

If you are an affected worker, register for the court action.

Woolworths workers strike!

In 2023 RAFFWU members at Woolworths unanimously endorsed a list of claims that they will pursue for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). An enterprise agreement locks in core conditions like wages, penalty rates, casual loadings, leave, job security, rostering and more.

Our members at Woolworths are taking industrial action throughout 2023 in order to secure what they deserve: a living wage, safe workplaces and job security. 

Superstrike action by RAFFWU members in October and forthcoming in December 2023 is unprecedented in Australian retail history.

Click on this link for more information about Superstrike actions in December – no RAFFWU member will lose pay because our Strike Fund will compensate them.

Join your fellow workers in the fight for fair wages and conditions by joining our Union today.

A living wage at Woolworths

Our members’ claims for a new enterprise agreement include:

  • A base rate of $29/hour for all Woolworths workers, before the addition of penalty rates, casual loading or overtime;
  • The abolition of junior rates, rates, supported wage rates, trainee rates and any other poverty rates at Woolworths;
  • Abolition of the RT3 automated rostering system;
  • The right to a minimum shift length, minimum part-time contracts of 12 hours/week, and conversion rights for casual Woolworths workers

You can read the full list of claims endorsed by our members here. These claims represent our members’ determination to pursue a better deal for workers at Woolworths.

If you work at Woolworths you can take action – apply to join RAFFWU and then appoint RAFFWU as your bargaining representative. You are then protected when engaging in our industrial action.

See below for how to appoint RAFFWU as your bargaining representative at Woolworths.

In negotiating a new enterprise agreement, we represent our members at Woolworths who have appointed RAFFWU as their bargaining representative.

First of all you need to become a member of RAFFWU. Join the union by filling in a membership application.

You can then appoint RAFFWU as your bargaining representative by emailing woolies@raffwu.org.au with your name, store location and the text below:

I hereby appoint the Retail And Fast Food Workers Union Incorporated as my bargaining representative for the purposes of bargaining an Agreement with my employer and in any matter before the Fair Work Commission that relates to bargaining for the agreement.

That appointment will be given to Woolworths and they must then recognise RAFFWU as your bargaining representative in the workplace. They must not take any action against you for being represented by RAFFWU.

Two Woolworths workers and RAFFWU members standing together inside their store, wearing Superstrike t-shirts
A group of striking workers outside a shopping centre, holding the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union flag. Some workers have their fists raised in a gesture of solidarity.
Union supporters during a Superstrike action, with placards reading "Stand up fight back" and "If you don't fight, you lose".

RAFFWU fights for you

For decades, Woolworths workers were paid less than minimum Award wages. Sell-out deals between Woolworths and the SDA meant that workers were getting far less than they deserved.

RAFFWU members exposed this dodgy behaviour in 2015 and 2016. We worked for three years to overturn a rotten enterprise agreement.

Our members were the only Woolworths workers at the table during enterprise bargaining in 2018.

We forced Woolworths to give back.

Minimum penalty rates, casual loading, shift rates, overtime rates, uniform allowances and more were reinstated in 2019 because our members organised and fought for their rights at work.

But that 2019 agreement, which was rushed through by Woolworths and the SDA, should have been so much better. 

Most of all – there was no backpay to compensate for years of wage theft. Over $1 Billion ripped from workers.

We have the chance to fix that in 2023.

When your roster is bad, your workplace isn’t safe, you aren’t being paid properly, or for any other issue – fight back with RAFFWU.

Get out of the SDA

You can stop SDA deductions by clicking the red button below and sending the email which it generates. Get out of the SDA and be represented by the only fighting union for Woolworths workers – RAFFWU.

Our members win

Every day our members wage and win local campaigns, including at Woolworths Moorabbin and Woolworths Lilydale.

You can watch a short video about the Moorabbin workplace safety campaign here.

Read more below about our members’ campaigns.

In 2018 at Woolworths Moorabbin, RAFFWU members organised for their safety in the face of escalating assaults and abuse by customers.

Fed up with the bosses’ lack of action, our members letterboxed the community, held a rally and even walked off the job until a security guard was hired at the store to improve the safety of workers.

In 2020, RAFFWU members at Woolworths Lilydale also launched a campaign for improved workplace safety, including store car park lights being kept on at night when workers return to their cars.

Workers at Lilydale won this campaign, but Woolworths retaliated by targeting union activists – rotten behaviour which we exposed in a groundbreaking prosecution in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. In 2022 Woolworths admitted to its unlawful union-busting.

Why join RAFFWU?

Members need to have joined before a workplace issue arises in order for RAFFWU to help you with that issue. Be sure to join now so that you get the industrial advice and support you need, when you need it.

RAFFWU is your active, grassroots union at Woolworths – a union for workers, not bosses.

Securing the best workplace agreement with better wages, safety, job security and conditions needs many workers campaigning together. Encourage your co-workers to get involved in RAFFWU, and join the union that fights for you.

You can read more about RAFFWU and what we do on our FAQ page.

Woolworths Superstrike in Broken Hill, October 2023

RAFFWU – Fighting For Your Rights in the Workplace