On Tuesday 18 August, Officeworks distribution centre workers endorsed protected action across sites in Victoria and New South Wales. On Monday 24 August, approximately 275 workers will take a 24-hour stoppage across three sites: North Rocks and Yennora NSW, and Laverton Victoria. These three distribution centres replenish the stock in Officeworks stores and fulfill online customer orders across the country.
Workers have voted to take protected action for secure jobs and redundancy provisions amid concerns about the future outsourcing of their work on inferior wages and conditions. To date, Officeworks has offered sub-inflation wage increases with cuts to overtime penalties and no protection for future job security. This comes at a time when Officeworks is recording record pandemic profits; increased sales totals of 27 per cent in the past five months.
As frontline essential workers, Officeworks distribution centre workers have continued to work throughout the pandemic even as the company recorded three positive COVID-19 cases in the distribution centres. Workers are asking Officeworks to acknowledge their hard work and dedication with a reasonable wage offer and job security assurances.
Workers are also calling for community members to support the action by not shopping at Officeworks, either online or in person, on Monday 24 August.
Quotes attributable to Matt Toner, Director of Logistics, United Workers Union
“It is absolutely unacceptable in the midst of this pandemic for massive corporations to offer negligible pay increases to their essential workers and refuse to protect their job security by ensuring that their wages and conditions will not be undercut.”
“The Managing Director for Wesfarmers, the parent company of Officeworks, thinks it’s ok to increase his salary by 7.8% in one year. It’s time that workers who are actually essential get the big pay increases in line with the contributions they make.”
“While many are struggling, business is booming for Officeworks, which has increased its profits by 41.5 per cent between 2015 to 2019 to reach $167 million. This has increased again during the pandemic and could not have been possible without the dedication of their workers. Since the company shifted to focus on online sales, the warehouse and logistics workers have been working harder than ever. We are seeking a wage increase and job security assurances that reflect the commitment workers have shown to Officeworks and the contributions they have made over the years.”