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Woolworths pays up – no excuse for other retailers to delay paying their workers

17 June 2021

Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food warehouse and online retail workers

The SDA welcomes Woolworths’ decision to increase their workers’ pay by 2.5 percent without delay.

This means that 120,000 lower paid workers in Woolworths’ supermarkets and 35,000 in Big W stores will get the increase in the minimum wage from July 1, two months earlier than required by the Fair Work Commission.

This proves there is no excuse for other major retailers for any delay in passing on the increase.

Retail workers must not be penalised for the Morrison government’s failure to manage the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

In making its decision to increase the minimum wage by 2.5 percent the Fair Work Commission noted that “the pace of vaccine rollout also remains a risk”.

That is no justification for punishing low paid retail workers by making them wait two months to receive their pay increase, as the Commission decreed.

Major retailers and supermarket chains increased their profits during the worst of the pandemic in 2020 and that trend is continuing as the recovery gathers pace with many revealing record results this year.

As the Commission noted in its decision “the current performance of the economy has exceeded expectations and the economic recovery is well under way” with the retail sector specifically outperforming official expectations, stating that “…every industry had higher profits in 2020 compared to the previous three years except for Finance and insurance services…”

The SDA is engaging with all major retailers, insisting they pass on the increase in the minimum wage from July 1 as had always been the case until the pandemic struck last year.

Contact: Jim Middleton 0418 627066