Supermarket giant Coles has been accused of subjecting its workers to mandatory bag checks.
Accordingly, the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) says Coles has recently begun enforcing bag checks.
It comes as Coles employees in the union continued strike action this week. Employees are fighting for higher wages, more workplace safety, and better job security.
Bag check policy
Documents obtained by the RAFFWU show Coles implemented a policy in July 2022. It required employees to have their bags inspected at the end of every shift.
The bag-checking policy states that it will help Coles “proactively manage the risk of loss” so the store can continue to provide “lower prices for [its] customers.”
If employees refuse to have their bag checked, they could face “termination of employment”.
However, a Coles spokesperson told TDA that this policy is “standard across the retail industry” and that “it has been at Coles for many years.”
However, the RAFFWU believes that in the past, bag checks were only conducted if there was a suspicion that employees had stolen from the store.
Union workers at Coles stores in Melbourne took a full day of strike action on Friday. This coincided with the company’s annual general meeting in the city.
Shorter strikes in other states were also coordinated.
Cullinan said: “Our members cannot afford the food they sell” and if an agreement is not reached between Coles and the union, “members will be striking at Christmas.”