Foodstuffs denies “unfair” pay claims

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Foodstuffs will face the Employment Relations Authority next week over claims the company pays workers in the South Island less than it pays workers in the North.

FIRST union organiser Rachel Boyack says South Island supermarket employees are paid about $2 less an hour than North Island staff.

"[Foodstuffs] have said that they're paid less because it's the South Island,” she told Stuff. “The jaw drops on our side of the table. I have never heard an employer say that South Island staff should be paid less."

Foodstuffs, however, disputed FIRST's claim.

“This is incorrect,” Foodstuffs representative Antoinette Laird told HRM. “At no time have the stores or their Employer Advocate ever made the comment that staff are paid $2 less because they are in South Island.”

Laird stressed that it the issue is the business of individual stores and their owners.

“It is not appropriate for Foodstuffs to comment on the bargaining process as we are not involved,” she added.

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