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‘Great to see’: Pay rise for 100,000 retail workers

Lucy Dean
·1-min read
A woman is seen shopping at a Coles supermarket in the central business district of Sydney on March 16, 2018. Australian supermarket chain Coles will be spun off into a separate entity by owner Wesfarmers, the company said on March 16, amid a shake-up in the food retail sector as new entrants threaten a longstanding duopoly. / AFP PHOTO / William WEST        (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Coles workers will receive a pay rise. WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

Coles’ decision to bring in a pay rise for 100,000 supermarket workers has been praised as “clear acknowledgement” of the role retail workers have played during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 100,000 Coles supermarket workers will receive the 1.75 per cent pay rise from 5 October, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) Union said.

“Supermarket workers are risking their health and safety every day to ensure that the rest of the community is able to put food on the table as well as other necessities for their families,” SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer.

He noted a Fair Work Commission decision to delay pay rises for retail workers scheduled for July until February 2021, after announcing an increase to the minimum wage in June.

The SDA has been lobbying major retail and supermarket employers, including Coles, to pass along the mandated wage increase earlier.

“After everything supermarket workers had done for the community, this was not good enough,” Dwyer said, saying the union has been pushing for retailers to pass along the pay rise sooner rather than in February.

“It is great to see that Coles has done the right thing by paying a wage rise now. It is well deserved recognition of the efforts of their staff.”

It comes after Woolworths agreed to pass on the annual pay rise prior to the February date, with workers to receive the wage increase backdated to 1 July.