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Supermarkets across the country will see hundreds of workers participating in a strike over the weekend as they fight for better work conditions. 

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) has endorsed the strike and confirmed that its 1,000 members will take part in a two-hour stoppage on Saturday. 

Staff will go on strike at 10am in every state and territory except Tasmania.

It will be the first coordinated supermarket strike in Australian history, with workers from Coles and Woolworths taking part. 

Spokespeople from both supermarket giants have said that they support workers right to strike.

Employees will take part in Australia’s first ever coordinated supermarket strike this Saturday from 10am (pictured stock)

Members of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union will participate in a two-hour walkout to fight for better working conditions (stock image of Woolworths worker)

RAFFWU federal secretary Josh Cullinan told 9News that workers just want secure, safe work and a living wage.  

‘Workers are paid a few cents more than the minimum wage. They just want a living wage to deal with the rising cost of living, they can’t even afford the groceries they’re selling,’ Mr Cullinan said. 

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Assault and abuse in the workplace is also at an all-time high according to the union boss, who said that he wanted each violation of workplace safety treated as a crime.

Workplaces are doing nothing to stop it, he claimed. 

Another aim of the strike is to secure casual workers ongoing jobs so that they can afford to shop at the same stores they work at. 

RAAFW members will also stop crushing carboard boxes, cleaning toilets, packing online orders, clearing loose stock and nine other tasks on Friday. 

Woolworths anticipates that just 300 of its 132,000 employees are expected to take part in the strike and that it will have a minimal impact on store operations.  

The supermarket will only allow workers who have already appointed RAFFWU as their bargaining representatives to strike, however. 

The RAFFWU and Woolworths are already engaged in initial bargaining to end the strike. 

A Woolworths spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that it has a long history of good faith bargaining and that workers have the right to participate in industrial action. 

‘We have been in regular contact with RAFFWU bargaining representatives and an initial bargaining meeting has already occurred,’ the spokesperson said.

‘Only individuals who have appointed RAFFWU as their bargaining representative are able to participate in the proposed industrial action. As a result, we would not expect customers or our stores to be materially impacted.’

The RAWWFU claimed Coles is telling workers that they won’t be paid for the strike, and they may face termination – but a Coles spokesperson denied the union’s claim and said that it was working collaboratively on proposals for a new Supermarket Enterprise Agreement

A spokesperson for Woolworths has said that the supermarket giant acknowledges the right of workers to take part in industrial action

RAFFWU claims that Coles have warned workers that they will not be paid for Saturday’s strike, and that they may be fired as a result of it. 

A Coles spokesperson denied the union’s claim and said that it was working collaboratively on proposals for a new Supermarket Enterprise Agreement. 

‘We are working collaboratively with our team members and bargaining representatives on a proposal for a new Supermarket Enterprise Agreement,’ they said.

‘Coles is committed to delivering an outcome that balances the needs of our team members, the sustainability of our business and ensures we can continue to deliver great value and experiences for our customers.’

The supermarket also claimed that the strike would not impact their store operations, as only 450 of their workers are registered with the RAFFWU. 

A majority of Coles supermarkets have less than five members each. 

Supermarket employees last saw an increase to their working conditions in July, when Coles and Woolworths increased wages by 5.75 per cent.

This increase was in line with the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage. 

Both supermarkets recorded more than $1billion in profits in the past financial year.

Woolworths’ earnings increased by almost 20 per cent while Coles saw a rise of 2.9 per cent. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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