Kiwi department store Farmers has been faced with increasing strike action from unhappy employees. Workers have been speaking out against the company’s payment methods and are calling for the implementation of a living wage for all employees.
The strikes began with workers wearing stickers reading “F For Farmers, Farmers Workers Deserve a Living Wage.” However, the action has intensified to include walk-offs and picket lines. Employees have also taken up a Work-To-Rule method of protesting, with no overtime and following procedures to a fault to reduce workplace effectiveness.
Farmers currently give out promotions and pay rises on a performance basis. However, First Union has spoken out against the fairness of their system.
“We have had union members who have won sales awards, employee of the month awards and every possible accolade only to be graded down to a ‘C’ rating. This year 70 per cent of workers were graded a ‘C’,” said the organisation’s divisional secretary Tali Williams. “First Union members are understandably offended by it.”
Michael Power, the chief financial officer of Farmers, spoke previously with Apparel Magazine about the company’s disappointment in the actions taken against them.
“We are very disappointed that First Union is taking this action, particularly as we are currently arranging mediation, to which the Union has agreed, to assist us in breaking the current impasse,” he said.
Picket lines are expected to start appearing outside Farmers stores across the country.