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.”

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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 Leah 18/06/2017 5:50:20 PM

    Ive worked for coles for almost 6 years in the produce department and have never once been asked to work for free. At our store , We are always treated well and paid correctly and on time. Ive found them a great company to work for

  • by 20/08/2017 10:28:30 PM

    Underpayment is common practice too. When questioned they blame "pay office woman". How can you be underpaid when you clock in and out electronically with a PIN number.

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