The Warehouse workers brace for the worst as the company culls hundreds of jobs - union

First Union estimates about 600 jobs will go.
First Union estimates about 600 jobs will go. Photo credit: Getty

Workers at The Warehouse are bracing for the worst with the company culling hundreds of jobs, First Union says.

The union says about 300 of its members are being cut and estimates 600 roles in total will go.

Union spokesperson Tali Williams told Newshub they have no idea when it will happen.

"That's the kind of information we've been requesting for some time and we've only just been told the union members [being cut], but I think New Zealand wants to know and I think they just need to be upfront," Williams said.

She said some workers were given the option of reduced hours which wouldn't bring in enough income.

"A lot of them basically couldn't face the hours' reduction that was put on the table in front of them and [they] have, instead, chosen redundancy and will face the anxiety of the unknown rather than stay in a situation where they can't afford to just pay the basic bills," Williams said. "A lot of these people, for example, are 40 hours a week workers [who have] been there 20 years, are very loyal, very experienced, very skilled.

"They can't survive on these contracts and a lot of people are going and with them are their skills and experience.

"There's a real sadness among Warehouse workers at the moment as they say goodbye to their colleagues that they've worked with for many years - they're very close and they work really well together and they've been through hard times together."   

In a statement to Newshub, a spokesperson for The Warehouse said the company was never happy to make changes that may impact people's roles.

"Over time we have found more customers choosing to shop at nights and weekends, and more customers shopping online and using click and 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."

The Warehouse Group revealed a $44.5 million profit last week after receiving the COVID-19 wage subsidy, saying it would have posted a loss of $4.3m had it not been for Government support.