web analytics

Victory for the workers at Cotton On

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, April 1st, 2015 - 29 comments
Categories: boycott, business, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

FIRST Union reports:

Workers from the Cotton On distribution centre are welcoming substantial improvements in wages and working conditions says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“This morning workers from Cotton On distribution centre in Auckland ratified the first ever collective agreement between Cotton On and FIRST Union”.

“Cotton On’s Chief Financial officer arrived from Australia for the negotiations and we managed to settle on substantial improvements to wages and working conditions” says Robert Reid.

“Not only were rest and meal breaks restored, but wages were lifted from levels around the minimum wage to levels approaching the living wage. The new collective agreement also includes a redundancy package and penal rates for overtime work”.

“Workers at the Cotton On distribution centre are pleased with the outcome from negotiations. FIRST Union also thanks the public for their generous and overwhelming support” says Robert Reid.

National may have trumpeted their employment law reforms as being about “fairness” and “flexibility” but the public are quickly seeing through that …

29 comments on “Victory for the workers at Cotton On ”

  1. Olwyn 1

    Yuss! Go First Union! Go Robert Reid! Brilliant! Another glimmer of light.

    • weka 1.1

      +1, some good news!

      What’s the significance of the Australian dude coming over?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Experience negotiating with union reps? Perhaps the local managers have right wing brain syndrome.

        • Sanctuary 1.1.1.1

          In my experience, NZ corporate managers are more often than you’d credit raving Thatcherite class warriors who have for an entire generation now grown accustomed to untrammeled workplace power. For this generation of NZ managers the idea of negotiating with a union is akin to negotiating with terrorists.

          Australian management often come from a more balanced environment, understand the social contract they have with workers and understand the role of unions, and therefore tend to treat them as legitimate negotiating partners.

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.1

            NZ managers have gotten away with cost cutting, by cutting wages, for so long now, they haven’t learnt any other management competencies.

            Aussie ones still have to look at actually managing.

  2. Rosie 2

    What an achievement FIRST, there are some great gains in that agreement. Well done for hanging on in there and persisting. Tonight you can celebrate!

    • Skinny 2.1

      +1 Collective muscle won through, helped along by the thousands ready to boycott and picket their stores.

      Another hiding for Key, must of considered wearing sunglasses in the House today, to cover up the black eye and bruises he has suffer lately.

      I see they are counter spinning on bad bosses, offering a slap with a wet bus ticket.

  3. The Real Matthew 3

    “National may have trumpeted their employment law reforms as being about “fairness” and “flexibility” but the public are quickly seeing through that …”

    This outcome would seem to be a perfect example of flexibility and fairness. Both sides brought a lot of ideas to the tables and they worked together to achieve a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

    I think this shows National has the balance about right.

    • Wynston 3.1

      Umm … wasn’t there a strong public backlash against Cotton On’s actions/proposals somewhere along the line that led to it backing down? One can hardly call that “working together” other than in respect of the union and the public!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      The outcome wasn’t achieved by National, it was achieved only when the company went over the local managers’ heads and brought in someone competent at retaining good staff.

      • Jesus Wept 3.2.1

        Do you do fencing (real?) Matthew. Think you got your bendy tip on us lefty chests huh.

        Nuh, what happened was, Postie and Cotton Off got a first taste of what happens when applying an ideology that has played on a neanderthal reaction from the kiwi darkside for too long, but actually did over something that grandad and grandma fought for (morning tea for Christ’s sake) and what do you get? That’s right, the National hack’s worst nightmare. Good press for real people supplied by an unscrupulous corporate realising that people might actually not buy their f#&king stuff. Wham bam Mutt.

        Robbie Reid you rock. Grew the economy a notch too, who’d a thunk it.

    • Skinny 3.3

      Bit slow off the mark with an April fool joke coobah. This scumbag corporate clobber outfit got a clip around the ears. Personally I was hopeful that they held firm and let us enforce a boycott, would have sent a wider message to other bosses not to mess workers around.

    • What absolute rubbish. It shouldn’t take massive public outcry and threats of a boycott for a company to give its workers basic minimum rest periods.

      Yet that’s the situation we have under National.

      • KJT 3.4.1

        I hope Unite can do something for those who have already been on zero hours contracts without breaks for some time. My daughters barista class was told that breaks do not happen in the hospitality industry.

        The worst aspect I can see, is they are expected to be on call 7 days a week without pay and then have to be at work at a few hours notice, so they cannot have holidays, even if they could afford them. Taking on a portfolio of part time jobs is also impossible because of the uncertainty of hours.

        The employers have shifted the cost sf having workers “on call” to the workers.

        So far it seems to be rampant in Hospitality, Tourism, companies that hire out casual workers and fast food joints.

        The worst is yet to come as employees will be allowed to walk out of contract negotiations and bring in scabs.

        • weka 3.4.1.1

          Yep, and it’s not just evil big employers. Small businesses run by otherwise decent people seem to think these practices are ok.

          • KJT 3.4.1.1.1

            Often it is a case of being forced to the lowest common denominator to compete.

            The big fast food companies and the Labour hirer places set the standard.

      • Skinny 3.4.2

        Yes and as you know Ms Rodgers it’s the likes of Barrnet & O’Reilly + EMA boss Kim Campbell that do these retail/fast food sweat shops bidding, by lobbying Nact for ‘more flexibility’ from workers. The cut both way diatribe is only window dressing for a gullible public. These greedy scumbags want so much flexibility workers wear leotards while working.

        While the CA is a win, it is also a lost opportunity for us to march into city’s & towns and picket and boycott Cotton On and march into every store in town making sure the slaves have support. We could have got every last one of them recruited into a Union, and the bosses would have been too shit scared to stop us. A retail sector CA. Teach the sons and daughters of the Tories (obviously not all are blue) they have been conned following mummy & daddy’s blue ribbon vote.

        • miravox 3.4.2.1

          While the CA is a win, it is also a lost opportunity for us to march into city’s & towns and picket and boycott Cotton On and march into every store in town making sure the slaves have support

          However it’s a great opportunity to stress how public censure of bad management practises and how union involvement in negotiations can produce better outcomes. Congratulations to FIRST Union, the public who supported workers’ rights, Cotton On staff and the management who negotiated in good faith.

          Shame on the current government for creating the environment for the erosion of workers rights and I hope the management who used these provisions are demoted (or lose their contracts) and have nothing whatsoever to do with negotiations – ever.

  4. Lionel 4

    Well done that’s great news.

  5. Ad 5

    Totally awesome news!
    Unions forever.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Very good news.

    Penny Bright

  7. Philip Ferguson 7

    There’s a good bit of info in the piece “Cotton On workers win pay and tea-break victory:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/workers-at-cotton-on-win-pay-and-teabreak-victory/

    Phil

  8. hoom 8

    Congrats to both sides: successful negotiation by Union & to Cotton On for coming to a more reasonable position.

  9. fisiani 9

    So the correct position is that there was never any risk to the workers tea breaks and it was just a media beat up by the Union and that a satisfactory and legal deal was completed as planned all along. Hardly a victory. Make a false claim and when it never arises claim a great victory. Do you really think we are so gullible as to fall for the Union’s claims?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago