Coles penalising staff


Coles has recently come under attack for not paying its workers properly. Findings from the Fair Work Act show that the supermarket chain is saving tens of millions of dollars in wages. It’s great for them but not so great for the staff. After signing a cosy deal with The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) it seems thousands of workers are getting paid less than the award wage.


Image Credit AFR

The largest sector of Coles workers are full time and casual employees making up 80% of the overall Coles Workforce. Josh Cullinan, senior official at the National Tertiary Education Union revealed the scandal over a year ago. Findings show that Coles workers are 20-30% off worse in real wage terms.

A team including Coles supermarket worker Duncan Hart, Josh Cullinan and a lawyer Siobhan Kelly working probono have banned together to take on an expensive legal team including (SDA barrister Warren Friend and top industrial lawyer Stuart Wood).


Image Credit Edwina Pickles

Coles staff could be cheering soon with higher penalty rates. There are talks from Union national secretary Gerard Dwyer that negotiations will be made for a new enterprise agreement.

There’s no way Coles will be able to get away with continuing to rip off its employees and no amount of non-monitory benefits will cut the mustard.

McDonalds has also received backlash for findings that paid workers are receiving nearly one third less than the award wage. Let’s hope some changes are made soon so our retail workers can receive the pay they deserve.




Scarlett is a recent journalism graduate interested in writing, human resource management and workplace culture. When she isn't being a nerd, she enjoys singing, reading and seeing friends.