1000 NSW Woolworths workers to strike over pay gap
About 1000 NSW Woolworths employees will be striking today because their pay is lower than their counterparts in Victoria.
The workers from the Woolworths Minchinbury Distribution Centre will strike from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday.
Since announcing the strike two mobile CCTV stations have been set up outside the distribution centre.
The strike comes as negotiations over a new enterprise agreement between Woolworths and the National Union of Workers reached a stalemate.
Woolworths offered pay increases of 4 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent over the next three years respectively. This would be an 11.25 per cent increase in three years.
"We've negotiated in good faith for more than six months and incorporated a range of improved conditions sought by bargaining representatives," a Woolworths spokesman said.
"Our proposed offer seeks to recognise the hard work and contribution of our Minchinbury team while also ensuring our business is set up for sustained success.
"This offer would see our Minchinbury team continue to earn rates of pay up to 50 per cent higher than those provided under the Award."
The union has been chasing a $6 to $7 an hour pay increase for NSW employees to bring them in line with their Victoria counterparts.
It has been asking for a 16 per cent, 6 per cent and 6 per cent pay increase over the next three years respectively.
"Woolworths Minchinbury workers have attempted to negotiate with Woolworths for a fair wage increase that keeps up with the rising cost of living in Sydney, but no such offer has been made," a union spokeswoman said.
"We will strike for 24 hours to send a clear signal that we are committed to achieving a decent wage increase, redundancy measures for workers who have been told they will eventually lose their jobs to automation, and respect for all workers on site including casuals."
The difference between what Woolworths is offering and the union wants it 16.75 per cent.
The Woolworths spokesman said there were contingency plans in place to ensure the strike did not affect shops.