In a series of meetings with staff held around the country late last week, discount department-store chain The Warehouse reconfirmed plans to restructure store operations, likely leading to significant staff cuts according to First Union.
A further 62 stores will be subject to restructure, resulting in job cuts for many staff and reduced trading hours for others, the union said.
“Staff gathered for morning meetings and were told by store managers that reductions in store-wide hours will continue and workers will now begin the process of reapplying for roles, considering voluntary redundancies and implementing the new rosters,” said Tali Williams, First Union secretary for retail and finance, in a statement.
She criticised the company for implementing job losses and reduced incomes at a time the economy was struggling due to the impact of Covid-19, observing that it was “ploughing ahead with the corporate restructure regardless”.
“Unfortunately, the Warehouse have made it clear that it’s profit before people in terms of their future operations, and so the restructure will continue as planned, but the fight is far from over.
“Ultimately, we have to remember that this is not about reacting to Covid-19 – The Warehouse have admitted as much – and we must apply the same scrutiny and scepticism to this restructure as we ordinarily would at any other time, “ she said.
“The pandemic shouldn’t be seen as a backdrop for this restructure, and I urge other companies not to look to The Warehouse’s opportunistic example and instead invest in their workers and their communities when they need it most.”
First had launched a petition calling on the company to stop the restructuring, gathering more than 5500 signatures in less than a week. That was handed to The Warehouse Group CEO Nick Grayston last Wednesday morning