13 Oct 2020

The Warehouse workers 'dejected, annoyed' over restructure

6:24 pm on 13 October 2020

A Warehouse employee says some of his colleagues are feeling dejected having given years of their working life to the company only to have their hours slashed.

Warehouse on Blenheim road in Christchurch

(File image). Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The company's been undergoing a restructure which it expects will result in between 500 and 750 roles being cut - 320 full-time equivalent roles - and the hours of others trimmed.

One employee who spoke to RNZ on the condition of anonymity says the restructure had been handled poorly and the company was cutting far too many staff.

"Dejected, annoyed, disengaged ... they've given up to 20 years of their lives to the success of the company, and how do they thank them? By saying 'you used to work 40 hours, we're going to give you five or 10 hours'," the employee said.

The employee said the company had misjudged how quickly in-store sales would decline and how online sales would increase.

Customers would be affected, the man said, by the reduction of in-store staff.

"There are stores out there that are losing up to 20 full-time equivalent staff members, and in stores where the current staffing is already low and stores are struggling to push stuff out from the stockroom, reducing the staffing levels even more is going to put even more pressure on the staff."

In response, a spokesperson for The Warehouse said while the numbers of staff redundancies for each store have not been finalised, it was unlikely to be 20 FTE staff at any one store.

"Over time we have found more customers choosing to shop at nights and weekends, and more customers shopping online and using Click&Collect, particularly since Covid-19. Therefore it is even more important that our rosters align with customer shopping habits which is what we are working through.

"We are working closely with our team members through this process and we won't know specifics of how many people will not take rostered hours until the process is complete. Back in June we estimated 320 full-time equivalent roles across our 92 The Warehouse stores would be impacted."

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