Pak’n'Save Whakatane staff are taking a stand this afternoon.
Workers are taking time off, to strike over what they believe are “dismal, minimal pay rates”.
About 30 employees will be picketing the store from 2.30pm, with the strike lasting until 4.30pm.
It's alleged the store pays well below the rates offered by collective agreements at other Pak’nSaves around the country.
Retail organiser Marleina Kerapa says workers have tried multiple times to communicate to their employer that their skills and experience require a fair pay rate.
“We all need decent pay to cover life’s necessities and live with dignity. The Union has had multiple bargaining sessions and attended mediation with the employer but the offer is still significantly less than what other Pak’nSave employers are offering.
“The minimum wage shouldn’t be what a majority of workers are on, that’s not what it’s for, and it’s a minimum, not a target for all.”
She says workers aren’t asking for charity, they’re asking for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
“The minimum wage is supposed to be a starting rate for workers with low skills and experience - these workers have families to feed and have been loyal to their employer over the years. It’s time they got a fair share of the profits.”
Pak'n'Save Whakatane owner-operator Andrew Soutar says the industrial action is disappointing.
"We have been conducting good faith negotiations with First Union for quite some time and we believed we were making great progress with our third and latest offer.
"Sadly, this has not been accepted by the Union which has now notified us of industrial action.
"We do not think this is the best way forward or in the interests of our team, as we had made a competitive offer which meets the market.
"We are certainly open to continuing the conversation with our team and their union representatives.
"Pak'nSave is one the largest employers in Whakatane and makes a significant contribution in terms of wages, supplier support and community programmes."