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Warehouse adopts living wage

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, May 8th, 2013 - 66 comments
Categories: wages - Tags:

The Warehouse has adopted a policy of paying a living wage of $18.50-$20 an hour for longer-term employees. It’s a really positive move and The Warehouse is to be congratulated. It’ll cost about $2.5m a year, or 5% of profits. As we’ve seen in the NZ Power debate, it’s a rare thing for major companies to look beyond their balancesheets to the community they exist within. Now, who’s next?

66 comments on “Warehouse adopts living wage ”

  1. Well done Warehouse.

    Auckland Council could adopt a living wage policy for its employees (as opposed to employees of its contractors) at a cost which would equate to a 0.2% rates rise.

    A chance for Len to shine?

  2. geoff 2

    I’m genuinely surprised.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      I’m not. Their reputation as a good employer is well deserved, and no, I’ve never worked there.

  3. Salad 3

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8641343/Warehouse-adopts-career-retailer-wage

    Sounds like it’s part of The Warehouse’s larger effort to become a more ‘upmarket’ retailer?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      That will have a bearing but this is an employment decision: they have some pretty good philosophy at a high level in the company.

  4. vto 4

    .
    Good on The Warehouse.

    I find it quite incredulous that employers are happy to pay less than it costs to live.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      I suspect very few are happy about it. Obviously there are the National Party fundamentalist loonies, but for the most part people feel they lack the wherewithal.

      If the Warehouse gets stronger as a result (I think it will) the reaction from other companies will be interesting. Naturally, the wingnuts will simply refuse to believe the evidence, but what of the rest?

      • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1

        heard on RNZ this morning; Nats employment amendments leading “Employers to view employees as a ‘cost’ “; wtf, just when you thought the world could not get any crazier; Annie, get your polyethylene gun!

        • infused 4.1.1.1

          Well it is a cost. What’s your problem?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.1.1

            Fucking hell. It’s a source of pride. Only a fool would regard the ability to employ people as a liability.

    • Saccharomyces 4.2

      Not really, they know that the taxpayer will take up the slack with WFF and the like, efectively subsidising their wage bill……

  5. felix 5

    Good on The Warehouse. Just how good depends how they’re defining “longer-term employees” – does this mean people with responsibility for supervising other workers etc?

    I wonder how many people assumed “longer-term employees” were already being paid a few bucks above minimum wage. The righties are always quick to tell us it’s just a starting point for students and casuals and no-one stays on it for long.

    • just saying 5.1

      …minimum wage. The righties are always quick to tell us it’s just a starting point for students and casuals and no-one stays on it for long.

      This is exactly the sort of information that the union movement and the oppostion parties need to collate and disseminate. They need the myth-busting information at their fingertips, and they need to use it to build a narrative in response to the right-wing spin.

      As for The Warehouse, when I heard it on the radio I felt kind of grateful that one business was doing better by its staff. And then I wondered if that wasn’t a kind of battered-spouse response to beatings being reduced in quantity. That we would be lauding the Warehouse for exploiting long-term staff less says a lot about where we’ve come to.
      And of course they are happy to continue to pay much of their workforce less than it costs to live.

      I won’t be joining any ticker-tape parade any time soon, but anyway, it’s a start….

    • aj 5.2

      3yrs or 5000 hours service

    • Lanthanide 5.3

      When I worked at the warehouse, the basic pay was about $1 more than the minimum wage, of course the minimum wage was lower back then and less inflation etc, so it was a reasonable amount higher.

      Anyone with official supervisory positions were generally paid at least $1/hr more than the basic rate.

      Frankly I’m surprised it’s taken the warehouse this long to roll this policy out.

  6. One Anonymous Knucklehead 6

    Well done The Warehouse. Well done the supporters of Living Wage Aotearoa. Well done the Left.

  7. Brian 7

    Well done The Warehouse – it’s a beginning.
    Let’s hope many more follow your lead.

  8. Shona 8

    I will make the effort to shop there more. Since the offspring left home the need to shop there has been less for me.Every First Aid course I’ve done in Northland has had warehouse employees attending .Their fees have all been fully paid by the warehouse.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      My parents really liked the 15% discount that extended to family members. Once I left and they stopped getting the discount, they stopped shopping there nearly as often.

  9. King Kong 9

    It’s a shame that when Labour and the Greens get in and crash the $NZ that these people will lose their well paid jobs due to the price of the imported crap they sell going through the roof.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Really, is that what will happen? It’s just that I recall them doing very well when the dollar was worth much less than it is now. Perhaps you’re full of it. Yeah, that seems more likely.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      It’s a shame that when Labour and the Greens get in and crash the $NZ that these people will lose their well paid jobs due to the price of the imported crap they sell going through the roof.

      Uhhhhh…King Kong, if the price of imported crap goes through the roof, then NZ made goods will have the advantage.

      And manufacturing jobs pay better than service/retail.

      • King Kong 9.2.1

        Are picking your nose whilst pointing customers to the aisle with the Elvis porcelain wall clocks in it and operating industrial machinery skills that are interchangable?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1

          Contrary to what you RWNJs think, people don’t stay the same thing all their life and can, and do, learn new stuff. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that a lot of people in retail are there only because it’s the only job they can get due to the economy and society not providing the job that they want.

    • prism 9.3

      King Kong
      You are definitely our Cassandra. Here’s a bit from Wikipedia on her.

      When Cassandra refused Apollo’s attempted seduction, he placed a curse on her so that her predictions and those of all her descendants would not be believed. She is a figure both of the epic tradition and of tragedy.

      • Rogue Trooper 9.3.1

        well-played prism; reminds me of another prophetic open microphone…hmmm…

    • paul andersen 9.4

      ahhh, ‘ when labour and the greens get in’,, so you have finally started to wake up and realise your johnnie boy is on the skids. acceptance is good.

  10. prism 10

    Congrats Warehouse I will definitely come and shop with you more.

    Go to Google and listen to unsquare dance available on their logo, it sounds happy bright and just right to go with forward moves for people like this. Dah dit dah dah – dah dah.

    (It is part of remembering Saul Bass graphic designer and film maker died 1996.)

  11. My daughter works there part-time as she saves for her tertiary education, I have been impressed by the support offered to their employees. We should do more to promote the good employers to shame the rest. Convex Plastics is another business that promotes union membership and is supportive of its workforce. Perhaps we should start a roll of honour for the good guys.

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      not X-Factor for a start; I cannot, repeat, cannot stand that any longer. However, one of the good guys? Andrew Donnelly “is your man” at PC X, Karamu Road, Hastings. A++

      (gave me, yes GAVE me, a power cord)

    • prism 11.2

      Dave K A roll of honour for good employers would be good. I wonder how we could do it. It would have to be an ongoing thing that everyone could access and add to, I hope.

      Perhaps each entry would start with Employer’s Roll of Honour which could then be searched for to view the lot. Adding the new one, with some information like location, and what they’ve done would bring them back for others to see as well wouldn’t it. Then after, when the comment wasn’t current, a search would bring up the list and the individual could see them all with the new one on top. I suppose there is a better way that experienced and knowledgable computer users would know – but it could be done one way or another.

      It would be good to encourage the others (employers I mean).

  12. Allyson 12

    Hi Lefties. Would anyone like to tell me what happens to low income kiwis when India and China implement similar policies. After all they’ve got our factory jobs, may as well have our policies too hey?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1

      Hi Allyson, you don’t seem to have anything substantive to say. Will you try to make a point in your next comment or will it be as vacuous as your first?

    • deano 12.2

      if India and China do this, then they’re no longer undercutting us with lower wages, which brings jobs back to NZ.

  13. Allyson 13

    Warehouse retail staff earn already many times the hourly rate of the factory workers who make the stuff they sell. I wanted to point out this anomaly as I’m not so sure we can call this a victory for the little guy.

  14. fender 14

    Good on you Warehouse!

    Until I hear the same announcement from Briscoes, Farmers, Kmart etc. the red shed will be my preferred outlet to visit.

    • Rogue Trooper 14.1

      I too am happy to support the Red shed; that is until the 3-D printing of plants becomes feasible; see the articles on the 3-D printing of Fenders, Gibsons and Reichys on the MSM tele? Blueprints for the 3-D printing of handguns may be released on the net next week…U.S wants “to ban them”; now there is some irony. Ha, freakin’ ha!

      It’s a Crying Shame 😀

      Hot, In Cleveland.

      • fender 14.1.1

        Call me old fashioned but I don’t want a plastic guitar!

        Nor will I eat plastic fruit and veges from plastic plants!

        But I look forward to trippin with Williamson 🙂

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.2

      +1, The Warehouse! ) my new first choice in outlets

  15. Saarbo 15

    Well done The Warehouse! What have the idiots in the business lobby groups got say about this?

  16. B Burton 16

    NZ is great. Well done The Warehouse. You are showing other corporations how they should behave. Thank you.

  17. BLiP 17

    Still can’t quite bring myself to shop at The Warehouse. What’s the small print in this portrayal of corporate largesse? Doesn’t apply to part-timers, gotta do 5,000 hours first . . . well, that leaves, what, about 5 percent of its workforce? Woopdeefuckingdoo.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      You want more than the minimum from an employer, then you better demonstrate that you are more than a minimum employee.

      • BLiP 17.1.1

        Yeah, suck up the minimum for three years first. That’ll weed out all those “minimum” employees.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          Actually, fuck trying to make friends with the Left and do the right thing for employees, it’s really not worth the opprobrium and back chat.

          • BLiP 17.1.1.1.1

            Ed Zackery. Why not just take pride in the fact that you are a good employer who doesn’t rely on government accommodation supplements and WFF to ensure “minimum” staff have enough to eat?

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

              yeah that’s what I thought. Not worth the effort.

              • BLiP

                Oh, I dunno. Handy PR, especially if a few useful idiots pipe up and help sell imported crap to the target market. Can’t buy that publicity.

  18. Salsy 18

    The Warehouse – Virtually no New Zealand made products, mass shipments of utter toxic rubbish – manufactured with no environmental protections and consumed by people too stupid to realise they need none of it… Except perhaps from the plant section – oh hang on you wont want those either..

    Stephen Tindall has made a fortune wiping out small businesses across the nation. The least he can do is pay a living wage.

    • Murray Olsen 18.1

      Pretty much my view of The Warehouse and the Mad Butcher as well. I used to love the small old shops where you could buy something and go back over a few years to get it fixed, instead of just throwing it out. I used to love a butcher who knew what you liked and talked to you about something that he was getting next week. I’m sure these Walmart type things employ less people directly and put a heap more out of work indirectly.
      Then we forgive them because they sponsor our favourite losing league team or pay a wage their employees can survive on? Wow, we’ve set our sights low.

  19. KJT 19

    Give credit when it is due.

    I hope that other retailers follow.

  20. millsy 20

    So how many right wingers are going to boycott TWH for paying high wages?

    Their black jeans fade after one wash though, if they can fix that…

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