National Colesworth Strike!

October 5, 2023
solidarity banner
Members of the Boorloo/Perth branch of the Socialist Alliance standing in solidarity with Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) members at Coles and Woolworths. Photo supplied

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) is taking industrial action after negotiations with Coles and Woolworths over pay and conditions fell through.

Work bans have been in place at Woolworths since September 22, and came into effect at Coles on October 5.

The bans include not packing lose items, not cleaning up bodily fluids or cleaning toilets. A two-hour stop-work is scheduled for October 7 at 10am, and there will be demonstrations at select locations around the country.

RAFFWU is demanding a living wage of $29 an hour, the abolition of sub minimum wage rates for juniors, workers with disability and trainees, improved penalty rates and improved job security.

In retaliation against the announced industrial action, Coles has taken aggressive measures against RAFFWU members, including instructing bosses to “stand down” anyone engaging in the bans. This effectively means RAFFWU members at Coles will not be paid if they are engaging in any action. Woolworths has not taken such aggressive measures at the time of writing.

Supporters are encouraged to donate to the union’s fighting fund here.

The Boorloo/Perth branch of the Socialist Alliance unanimously passed a motion expressing solidarity with RAFFWU members on October 4, condemning Coles’ “aggressive anti-union tactics to starve out striking workers”.

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