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May 31, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Stingy Australians Exposed

JB Hi-Fi workers screwed over?

New Zealand-based employees of JB Hi-Fi have begun picketing in protest against a decision from the Australian retail giants not to give their workers a pay increase.

Currently JB Hi-Fi’s employees receive 75 cents above the minimum wage in New Zealand, approximately $8 an hour less than their Australian counterparts doing the same job. Earlier this year, JB Hi-Fi refused to give their New Zealand-based workers a pay increase despite reported profits of around $120 million Australian dollars.

Unite Union’s Wellington spokesperson Omar Hamed says last week’s strikes in Wellington were only the beginning.

“It’s having an effect. It disrupts their business when we have 8 or 9 people leaving the floor for an hour and we will continue to escalate around the country until we win.”

When asked about JB Hi-Fi’s reasoning behind rejecting a pay increase, Hamed pointed towards the retailer’s desire to maximise profits.

“There is one reason and one reason only, and that’s to keep profits high.”

A former JB Hi-Fi employee says his experience of working as a full-time employee in the Wellington branch on Willis Street was “fine”, but there were problems in other departments.

“In other parts of the store there were severe issues of bullying and an ill manner between management and staff that was inappropriate.”

However, he says he was “effectively kicked out” after trying for three months to shift to a part-time position before starting back at uni.

He says the current pickets were foreseeable from a staff point of view.

“The action was pretty much inevitable when you have people in Australia doing the same job but getting $8 more an hour.”


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  1. Liam says:

    What are the profits from the New Zealand stores?

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