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Coles and Woolworths workers will go on strike tonight

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Some Coles and Woolworths workers will strike tonight for the second time in less than a week.
Coles Woolworths Strike

Some Coles and Woolworths workers will strike tonight for the second time in less than a week.

Employees are calling for better pay and working conditions, but the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) says it has been unable to reach an agreement with the supermarkets.

Coles and Woolworths employees walked off the job for two hours on Saturday, in the first national supermarket strike in Australian history.

Background on the strike

During Saturday’s strike action, workers refused to perform tasks like unloading stock from trucks, filling freezers and updating price stickers.

The RAFFWU said about 1,000 workers took part in the strike.

However, a Coles spokesperson said around 20 of its employees participated in the strike and a Woolworths spokesperson said around 30 of its staff went on
strike.

Why are Coles and Woolworths workers going on strike again?

The RAFFWU says the supermarkets have not negotiated to improve working conditions and wages for staff.

Union members at Coles and Woolworths responded by announcing another strike from 9pm to 11pm on Tuesday night.

Union secretary Josh Cullinan told TDA the RAFFWU had not received any response from Coles or Woolworths.

“No progress has been made,” he said.

Coles’ response

The RAFFWU said that bargaining meetings have been scheduled with Coles.

A Coles spokesperson defended the current agreement that outlines its workers’ pay and rights, telling TDA it provides “above-award conditions”.

This follows the Fair Work Commission’s 5.75% annual wage increase for supermarket workers in July, which Woolworths also passed on to its employees.

Woolworths’ response

A Woolworths spokesperson told TDA it’s in regular contact with the union.

They said the RAFFWU represents “around 300 team members out of the more than 132,000 team members who are covered by the Supermarkets Enterprise Agreement.”

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