Woolworths New Zealand and FIRST Union have signed a new Collective Employment Agreement to see Woolworths New Zealand’s Primary Connect ambient distribution centre team receive an average wage increase of more than 12 percent over the next two years.
The new Collective Agreement will see Primary Connect team members receive a 7.1 percent wage increase backdated to 8 May 2023 and a 5.2 percent increase in the second year.
It also introduces a range of new benefits, including double-time pay rates on public holidays, a premium for hours worked over the weekend, increases to bereavement leave, pandemic leave and a significantly higher starting rate for new team members.
Woolworths New Zealand Managing Director, Spencer Sonn, said it was an important agreement to have signed.
“Our Primary Connect team is critical to our complex, national logistics network. We rely on their important work to keep our shelves stocked, and I’d like to thank them for showing up every day to do just that. This agreement is in recognition of the vital role that our Primary Connect team play in our business, and I trust they will see it as exactly that,” said Sonn.
Sonn continued that Woolworths was pleased it had reached this agreement. He added that he wanted to thank FIRST Union for its constructive approach to these negotiations on behalf of its members, which has been invaluable in creating a robust and meaningful process.
FIRST Union’s Lead Advocate for Distribution Centres, Olly Paegotau, described the collective bargaining outcome as an outstanding result for members across the motu and reiterated the negotiations were carried out productively and constructively.
“FIRST Union members have accepted a record high percentage of 7.1 percent increase followed by a further 5.2 percent in 12 months. Our members were committed to achieving this settlement to provide better pay and conditions to help support their families during this time of high inflation,” said Paegotau.
“This year, our negotiating team also found a renewed confidence in the negotiations with Woolworths New Zealand.”
The new Collective Employment Agreement includes a 7.1 percent wage increase backdated to 8 May 2023 and a further 5.2 percent increase in the second year. Double-time pay rates on public holidays, a premium for hours worked over the weekend, increases to bereavement leave, the addition of pandemic leave, and a significantly higher starting rate for new team members.
The new Collective Employment Agreement is effective immediately.