Mitre 10 employees win 'landmark' case

It's the first Collective Agreement in NZ history determined by the Employment Relations Act with a living wage imposed on the employer

Mitre 10 employees win 'landmark' case

Members of FIRST Union who work at Mitre 10 Mega in Dunedin and Mitre 10 Mosgiel have achieved their first collective agreement which affords a living wage.

It is the first Collective Agreement in New Zealand history that was determined by the Employment Relations Act with a living wage being imposed on the employer.

Moreover, the Employment Relations Authority determination provides a significant wage increase that will affect a substantial number of Mitre 10 workers in Dunedin and Mosgiel.

It also has widespread implications for other retail sites in New Zealand.

In particular, the settlement will see approximately 140 employees (if they join the union) at the stores receive an increase as a result of this decision.

The determination also states that an employee who has some industry experience or skill that they utilise in their roll should be paid no less than $21.00 per hour.

Further, for a worker with a trade qualification it increases to $23.00 per hour and the start rate is $19 per hour.

Anne Burridge is an ex-employee and ex-union delegate of Mitre 10, Mosgiel.

She has participated in a substantial part of the collective bargaining including giving evidence in the 2015 Employment Court case against the employer.

Burridge said the decision is a “great win” for Mitre 10 workers who have waited a long time for it.

“It’s brilliant also for other retail workers in New Zealand because the Employment Relations Authority has determined a living wage is a fair rate,” said Burridge.

“It’s a damn site more than the minimum wages that many retail workers are currently receiving.”

FIRST Union retail Secretary, Tali Williams added that the process has taken six years.

“This judgement is a vindication of the perseverance of the members who have stayed staunched throughout a period of bargaining that could have settled years ago had the company been reasonable,” said Williams.

“We now have a sensible solution for workers at Mitre 10.”

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