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Coles Admits Underpaying Managers $20 Million

Coles admits underpaying managers $20 million

Coles admits to underpaying managers in its supermarkets and liquor stores by $20 million over the past six years.

The announcement was made today by chief executive Steve Cain, who confirmed 5 percent of its managers are affected.

Coles admits underpaying managers after review

Coles revealed it underpaid 1150 of its team members as a result of differences between their remuneration in contrast to the Award.

The supermarket giant commenced a review after Woolwoths admitted to underpaying staff $300 million last year.

Chief executive Steven Cain apologised to his staff who are “unintentionally affected”:

“We are working at pace with a team of external experts to finalise our review.

“Once completed we will contact all affected team members, both current and former, to remediate any identified differences in full.

“Coles has implemented steps to improve our systems and processes.”

Unions says full scale of the wage theft is much higher

Retail and Fast Food Workers Union secretary, Josh Cullinan, suggests the underpayments are much higher than the supermarket suggests.

He said the union’s calculations estimate the underpayment are well in excess of $20 million.

“Twenty million doesn’t come close,” he said.

He said the union would pursue any underpayments on behalf of his members.

The company notified the Fair Work Ombudsman this morning.

Coles managers received notice last week saying the company had “identified inconsistencies in clocking [on] patterns and salaried team member ways of working”.

Coles latest to join wage theft shame file

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Fair Work Claims said he was disgusted by the wage theft.

“Coles seems to get all its business systems, their logistics and stores right – but in contrast, they don’t know how to pay wages,” he said.

“This should not happen, and furthermore, it is evidence that wage theft is epidemic in Australia.”

Coles joins Woolworths and a growing list of Aussie companies on the wage theft shame file.

They include:

  • the ABC,
  • Qantas,
  • Super Retail Group,
  • Commonwealth Bank,
  • Bunnings,
  • Rockpool Dining Group,
  • Sunglass Hut,
  • 7-Eleven
  • and George Calombaris’ hospitality group MAdE.

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