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Coles rewards 100,000 essential workers with pay rise

Coles has rewarded 100,000 of its supermarket workers’ hard work with a 1.75-per-cent pay rise, from October 5.

The Shops, Distributive and Allied Employees Union said the decision was an acknowledgement of supermarket staff’s role as essential, frontline workers – especially as the Covid-19 pandemic wears on.

“Supermarket workers are risking their health and safety every day to ensure that the rest of the community is able to put food on the table as well as other necessities for their families,” SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said. 

“It is great to see that Coles has done the right thing by paying a wage rise now. It is well deserved recognition of the efforts of their staff.”

The Fair Work Commission passed an increase to the minimum wage earlier in the year, though the broader retail industry was given license to push back this increase to staff members until at least February 2021 – an effort to support an industry eroding in the face of rapidly shifting customer behaviour. 

However, the supermarket sector has largely been left out of the wide-scale exodus of in-store customers, and Coles and Woolworths have chosen to reward the hard work of their staff with a pay rise.

“It demonstrates to other retailers who have not brought forward this pay rise that they should now do so immediately,” Dwyer said. 

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