Up to 750 employees at The Warehouse to lose jobs

Up to 750 workers at The Warehouse appear set to lose their jobs in a COVID-19 restructure.

An early morning meeting was called on Monday to reveal the company's plans moving forward.

The company is also looking to close three stores - at Dunedin Central, Johnsonville and Whangaparaoa. 

In a statement following Monday's meeting, The Warehouse chief executive Pejman Okhovat said the company had asked stores to review proposed "revised rosters". 

"While there may be a reduction in roles, there will not be any reduction in team member pay, with all The Warehouse team members soon to receive another wage increase under the collective agreement signed last year to move team members to the living wage.

"The proposed changes if implemented would see a reduction of up to 320 full-time equivalent roles or between 500-750 team members if part-time, fixed-term and casual roles are included.

"As we are proposing a change of rostered hours for these team members, we have now entered into formal consultation."

First Union general secretary Dennis Maga believes the company is using COVID-19 to justify job losses.

"They've been reviewing their business for years and the pandemic has accelerated their progress on an 'agile' system that means workers lose out, communities lose jobs, and customers get a worse experience shopping there," he said.

"This can't be the standard we accept as a country from big businesses during COVID or our recovery and resilience as a nation is in jeopardy.

"Businesses have to share the burden of a financial downturn, and they have to accept that some stores won't do as well as others after a nationwide lockdown, especially when they own 92 of them and measure their success as a single entity."

The proposed cuts earlier angered Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said she expected the company not to cut jobs.