26 Sep 2015

Bunnings staff strike over roster changes

12:50 pm on 26 September 2015

Workers from 17 Bunnings stores around the country are striking in a dispute over changes to their rosters, which their union says are a slippery slope to zero hour contracts.


Bunnings workers strike over new rosters. Photo: Facebook

Hundreds of workers were on strike today after rejecting an offer which would allow the hardware chain to move from fixed to flexible rosters, First Union said.

Today's strikes follow several stores striking on Thursday and Friday and more are expected next week.

The union's retail secretary Maxine Gay said the company was attempting to make jobs insecure.

"They currently have an 'hours of work' clause where that gives them secure predictable hours of work so that they know exactly from one week to the next how many hours they're working and what days and what times they're working," she said.

"Bunnings wants to change that by putting them on to fortnightly rolling rosters. So that means that the start and finish times could change and days of the week could change

She said it would interfere with people's ability to plan ahead and would impact their home and family lives.

Ms Gay said while workers would have a set number of hours each fortnight, that might mean they could work 40 hours one week, and 20 the next.

"If the minimum hours are 10 and the maximum and the maximum are 80 over a fortnight, it's a slippery slope to zero hour contracts. People would just have their lives absolutely wrecked by these proposals."."

Close to 100 workers attended the strike in Auckland's Manukau store, and the union said there had been a big turn out at its Mt Manganui store, and its Wellington stores.

The union said despite the strikes stores remained open.

Maxine Gay said the union wanted Bunnings to come back to the table for further negotiations.

Workers at Bunnings have been involved in collective agreement negotiations with the company since June.

"The aim of these strikes is to bring it home to Bunnings that workers do not want these changes imposed upon them and they want Bunnings to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate properly."

Bunnings said it was committed to supporting its workers and "providing a healthy work/life balance".

Bunnings said it had no intention of making wholesale changes to teams' roster patterns and any and all changes that took place would do so in full consultation with the team member.