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Coles settles ongoing industrial dispute

Entrada - colesWesfarmers-owned Coles supermarkets will speed up the implementation of a new enterprise agreement, following the settlement of an industrial dispute with a nightshift worker.

In a statement, Coles said it had reached agreement with Penelope Vickers – who has now withdrawn her application to the Fair Work Commission – over her challenge to the supermarket chain’s 2011 enterprise bargaining agreement. Vickers, a Brisbane mother who stacks shelves, had sought to terminate a 2011 Coles enterprise bargaining agreement which workers were switched to after the 2014 agreement was scrapped due to a legal challenge.

The supermarket chain said it “will immediately commence the process for consultation and approval of a new enterprise agreement to cover wages paid supermarket team members,” which includes a vote from “relevant team members” by February.

“Coles will give eligible team members a transition payment, reflecting the pay structure in the new enterprise agreement being paid for the period between any successful vote and the commencement of the new agreement,” Coles said in a statement.

“Once the new enterprise agreement is approved, Coles will ensure that team members will be paid in accordance with the new enterprise agreement from the earlier date of a successful vote.”

As part of the new enterprise agreement, Coles said staff would be paid more than the award at all times, receive improved penalty rates and additional benefits not part of the Award including two days paid Domestic Violence Leave, paid Natural Disaster Leave and paid Compassionate Leave of up to five days.

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