By Paul Hayes
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND: JB Hi-Fi workers in New Zealand have implemented their second round of industrial action in the last three weeks, with rallies at the Wellington and Auckland stores held on Saturday.
Planned to coincide with International Worker’s Day, Saturday’s demonstrations were in protest of JB Hi-Fi’s hourly pay rates in New Zealand, which at NZ$13.50 are NZ$0.75 above the national minimum wage.
According to protect organisers, Unite Union, 100 people marched at the Wellington store, with a further 40 picketing at Auckland.
The latest protests come after a number of workers at the Wellington store stopped work for an hour on Friday 16 April.
“The actions on 1 May were significantly larger than the first JB Hi-Fi strike,” union organiser Omar Hamed told Current.com.au.
“There have also been random stoppages in the Wellington store last week.”
Unite Union points to large profits and chief executive Richard Uechtritz’s $2.9 million salary as evidence JB Hi-Fi can afford to increase its hourly wages in New Zealand.
Euchtritz himself has previously dismissed the protests, telling Current.com.au at the time of the initial strike that the thinking behind them is ‘absurd’.
“We are one of the companies actually paying NZ$13.50.
“It seems we have been selected as one of the companies by which the union wants to make a point.”