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Workers on strike: ‘Australia’s Cheapest Chemist’ is the latest retailer to cop the heat

Chemist Warehouse. Image: Getty

Chemist Warehouse distribution centre staff have launched an indefinite strike action today in a bid to boost “declining” wages at the pharmacy giant.

Around 100 workers have participated in the action in Victoria and Queensland.

The National Union of Workers (NUW) claims the workers are striking to bring wages and conditions to the same level as industry standards, end a “toxic culture of bullying and harassment” and ensure job security, rather than a proliferation of labour hire contracts.

“This is a David and Goliath struggle,” NUW national secretary Tim Kennedy said.

“It is a struggle between haves and have-nots. Worker’s wages are declining while wealth and power continues to grow at the top end of town.”

He said it was a “matter of justice” and that Chemist Warehouse – which brands itself as ‘Australia’s Cheapest Chemist’ – should pay wages and conditions that meet the industry standard.

The NWU claims workers are underpaid by around 25 per cent, with Chemist Warehouse workers earning $23-$24 an hour versus $30 earned by workers in similar roles at rival businesses.

Yahoo Finance has contacted Chemist Warehouse for comment.

The Chemist Warehouse strike coincides with a strike by Telstra workers who are also demanding job security and better pay, and comes after a strike by NSW corrections staff last Friday.

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