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Supermarket workers bargain for Fair Pay Agreements

December 5, 2022

Interview by Hanna Thompson, adapted by Joe Wickins

Listen to the full interview

Supermarket workers began the initiation process for Fair Pay Agreements via their union on Thursday.

They are bargaining for wage increases as inflation continues to soar, along with wage progression and improved health and safety standards. 

While FPAs have garnered significant opposition from business associations and the Parliamentary right, the mood among supermarket workers is one of excitement, solidarity, and hope for future generations. 

Nerissa Harding, a supermarket worker and organiser with the Council of Trade Unions, told The Wire, that for supermarket workers, Fair Pay Agreements mean workers will get a better living environment in general.

“Supermarket workers are bargaining for higher wages so that they can afford the cost of inflation, and also for more health and safety for all of our workers so that we can do our jobs effectively and feel appreciated by the government and our country.”

With living costs soaring, supermarket workers are struggling to keep up with inflation.

“Personally, the living wages have really taken a toll on my financial status, and as a young person, trying to live independently while working and for some people even studying at the same time, it makes it really hard when everything you’re trying to pay for is at absurd prices,” says Harding. 

Council of Trade Unions, Te Kauae Kaimahi, President Richard Wagstaff says the initiations of Fair Pay Agreements will help lift conditions for workers across entire industries.” 

“FPAs represent a new beginning for working people, and the restoration of their rights."

Hospitality workers and Bus drivers have also begun their initiation process as well.

Public interest journalism funded through NZ On Air