Supermarket workers oppose deregulation

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WORKERS at the Woolworths supermarket in Millicent do not want deregulated shopping in the town, according to their union.

Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA) regional organiser Sean Pudney made the claim at the shopping hours public meeting in Millicent on Friday night.

Mr Pudney said he had recently spoken to 15 employees at the Davenport Street store and all opposed deregulation.

Speaking to The South Eastern Times after the meeting, Mr Pudney said the supermarket had 65 employees and 48 were members of his union.

He said the union had surveyed its Millicent Woolworths members over a year ago at the same time as Wattle Range Council staged its own poll of the community.

“The results mirrored the community vote to oppose deregulation in Millicent,” Mr Pudney said.

His union has a small number of members at the IGA supermarket and none at Foster’s Foodland.

The South Eastern Times has approached Woolworths for comment.

Meanwhile, the SDA has started an advertising campaign in the electronic media to oppose further deregulation by the new Liberal State Government.

SDA assistant secretary Josh Peak said deregulation would cost South Australians jobs.

“Premier Steven Marshall needs to stop siding with the interstate retailers and shopping centre owners and start standing up for SA jobs,” Mr Peak said.

“If deregulation goes ahead, local businesses will be squeezed out of the retail market by interstate supermarket chains and hardworking South Australians will suffer the consequences.

“It just means retail workers will have to work more unsociable hours.

“If trading hours are deregulated, retail workers will be pressured to work public holidays and more on weekends.

“Retail workers should not have to work from 4am on Boxing Day.

“Weekends and public holidays should be for everyone.”

However, Mr Marshall has dismissed union concerns and said studies had shown deregulation would boost economic growth and generate employment.