Coles manager allegedly asks staff to work for pizza

by HCA20 Mar 2017

Coles supermarket has promised employees will be paid fairly after one manager posted an in-store notice asking staff to work without pay.

“I am asking team members to give me 4hrs free labour,” read the message, issued in a Western Australian Coles store. “Yes, it is a big ask and I would not be requesting this unless it was absolutely necessary.”

While employees were expected to go without additional wages or time in lieu, the manager did offer free pizza to anyone who gave up their time.

Peter O'Keeffe, state secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers Association (SDA) deemed the request “unacceptable” but admitted it was likely a one-off.

"If an employee of Coles works for the benefit of Coles or indeed for any other company they then are both entitled and required to be paid for it,” he said.

O’Keefe also told ABC Radio Perth that he had spoken to senior level staff at the supermarket’s head office and said they were “aghast” the request had been made.

“They have taken steps to make sure not only that it doesn't proceed but that it doesn't happen again,” he told the media outlet.

Coles has also released a statement in regards to the request, saying the notice was in defiance of company code and culture.

"Coles values the hard work of all of our team members and the notice in the store is completely out of step with Coles' way of working," the statement read.

"The notice, which was posted by a trainee manger, was quickly removed. Any team members working at the stated time will be paid as normal."

However, an employee who contacted the ABC asked people not to judge the manager too severely, suggesting he too was under pressure from above.

“It is not right but I wouldn't be too harsh on that person,” said the employee, who identified themselves only as Nick. “The motive for this manager would have come from pressure from the regional manager to have the work completed within a certain time frame.”

Recent stories:

Did HR head make whistleblowers redundant?

“My father said ‘walk in and be interesting’”

Former rugby star pays $35K for employment breaches

COMMENTS

  • by ex_WOW 20/03/2017 12:11:29 PM

    Whilst I have not worked for Coles, I have worked for Woolworths. the statement that Coles made this is not in line with culture I would call BS.

    Woolworths this was common practice, twice a year with stock take, restacks of stores etc. The pressure on store management to not exceed costs, yet deliver amazing change is ridiculous, the head office turn a blind eye to this behaviour.

    I do not doubt for a single second, this is a real event, encouraged by the top down, and a common practice across Woolworths and Coles.

  • by Jade Bird 21/03/2017 11:40:59 AM

    Current Working with coles and this is a common practice work for free and store manager is not responsible as previous commenter told its from top down, regional puts imense pressure upon store manager and he is the one who is victim.
    In melbourne almost all coles store had the same practice and recently within the business a complain been lodged by a team member that other team members are not clocking off and on and they not taking break and store support is managing their clock off from back .
    If you call sick they start playing cheap politics, like one of the team member will be asked to make video / face time call and all this, even if you say them you been admitted to Hospital.
    If you want to get progress it's basic norms that you had to work for free for hours and hours - like 2-3 hours all of the wage based duty managers do that or produce manager, deli manager do that.
    If you in salary business expect you too be in the shop floor atleast 10 hours every day for 5 days in a week.
    Duty Manager in salary startwork at 2 pm and finish at Night 3 am, if it's early then it's 2 pm .
    The guy every week who build the Ends suppose to work 8 hrs to change the Weey special ends but it's takes 12 hours and the store management will say business gives you 8 hours you can't do then we need a performance management.
    Daragh Whealan now Store Support previously Dry Goods Manager at port Melbourne told to team member who builds ends that you are suppose to finish building Ends in 8 hours and if you can't do it you will go under performance management.
    It's no way fair for the poor team member to be able to finish this job in 8 hours and he basically threaten him for the job and force him pathologically to do the job and now by playing this all dodgy trick he become Store Support.
    Even if you go home on time Managers give a look and play a dirty trick so you automatically stay back and do more work.

  • by Jade Bird 21/03/2017 11:41:21 AM

    Current Working with coles and this is a common practice work for free and store manager is not responsible as previous commenter told its from top down, regional puts imense pressure upon store manager and he is the one who is victim.
    In melbourne almost all coles store had the same practice and recently within the business a complain been lodged by a team member that other team members are not clocking off and on and they not taking break and store support is managing their clock off from back .
    If you call sick they start playing cheap politics, like one of the team member will be asked to make video / face time call and all this, even if you say them you been admitted to Hospital.
    If you want to get progress it's basic norms that you had to work for free for hours and hours - like 2-3 hours all of the wage based duty managers do that or produce manager, deli manager do that.
    If you in salary business expect you too be in the shop floor atleast 10 hours every day for 5 days in a week.
    Duty Manager in salary startwork at 2 pm and finish at Night 3 am, if it's early then it's 2 pm .
    The guy every week who build the Ends suppose to work 8 hrs to change the Weey special ends but it's takes 12 hours and the store management will say business gives you 8 hours you can't do then we need a performance management.
    Daragh Whealan now Store Support previously Dry Goods Manager at port Melbourne told to team member who builds ends that you are suppose to finish building Ends in 8 hours and if you can't do it you will go under performance management.
    It's no way fair for the poor team member to be able to finish this job in 8 hours and he basically threaten him for the job and force him pathologically to do the job and now by playing this all dodgy trick he become Store Support.
    Even if you go home on time Managers give a look and play a dirty trick so you automatically stay back and do more work.

Most Read