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Woolworths, SDA drop legal fight over Woolworths pay conditions

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) union and supermarket chain Woolworths have reached agreement over employee pay increases and subsequently withdrawn legal proceedings.

The disagreement stemmed from an unusual Fair Work Commission decision to delay an annual July 1 pay increase specified in Enterprise Agreements (EAs) for the Woolworths Supermarkets, Big W, BWS and Dan Murphy’s brands until February next year.

Woolworths has now agreed to backdate the pay increase to its original date and compensate affected workers.

“The SDA and Woolworths had disagreed on the interpretation of the wording in the EAs, but Woolworths has done the right thing by its team in bringing forward these pay increases ahead of the FWC schedule and should be congratulated for putting their team first,” said SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer.

“Our members are providing an essential service to the community through the crisis of our generation and deserve every bit of this pay increase. We call on other large retailers to follow Woolworths’ lead on this issue and push through the Fair Work Commission’s pay increases immediately.”

“We’re pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable outcome with the SDA, which will provide a much quicker resolution for our team in these unsettling times,” said Woolworths GM of workplace relations Hayley Baxendale.

“We care deeply for our team and feel that delivering these pay increases early – without lengthy legal proceedings – is just the right way to resolve the issue and move forward.

“Our frontline teams are doing an extraordinary job for our customers in the pandemic and we’re incredibly grateful for everything they do.”

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