Auckland Bunnings workers on strike

  • 17/10/2015
Auckland Bunnings workers on strike

Police have closed down a protest by workers angry about roster changes at the Bunnings New Lynn store.

Police say they were called to the store in west Auckland at about 10:30am today.

About 50 people, including about six Bunnings staff, protested outside the store and 12 forced their way in, damaging the doors on the way, police say.

They chained themselves together, blocking access to the store, and were "required to leave" under trespass law.

Police are following up, saying they're looking for the person who damaged to doors.

FIRST Union retail and finance secretary Maxine Gay told NZ Newswire the union "took control of the workplace for about an hour and a half".

"The shop had to close. Anyone who was already inside the shop was let out but we took control of the shop," she said.

"The really funny thing was they did want to move the people who were chained up but none of the bolt cutters were strong enough to cut the chains," she said.

"We thought it would be over in about 10 minutes but their bolt cutters weren't strong enough."

The protest was part of a wider action at Bunnings stores in New Lynn, Botany, Mt Wellington and Manukau today following a national strike in September.

Bunnings want workers to be available for work, but with no guarantee of stable rosters.

Start and finish times or days could change without agreement between the manager and the worker.

Bunnings says it opens seven days a week and team flexibility is key.

It said all its contracts offered regular fixed hours, with rosters set at least four weeks in advance.

Staff could raise significant commitments and family responsibilities to be taken into account when rosters were set, it said in a statement ahead of the industrial action.