The announcement that Coles workers will only receive a branded water bottle and 5 'mythanks' points as a Christmas present was met with outrage last week, and now it's been alleged the points are difficult to redeem.
'Mythanks' points are part of an employee reward system and staff are awarded points — with each equivalent to $1 — after demonstrating hard work. Despite receiving five points as a gift, one worker claimed staff can't reap the benefit of the present until a further five points are earned.
"You can't redeem until you make $10," an anonymous Coles workers told Ben, Liam and Belle on Nova's breakfast show on Monday morning. "You get 10 'mythanks' points, you can redeem that for $10. They've given you 5 but you can't even redeem that until you get to 10."
The claims were met with gasps from the hosts, however Yahoo News Australia understands the 5 'mythanks' points can be redeemed as an e-gift card to the value of $5. If workers would like to spend their gifted points in another way, it is best to combine them with more accrued 'mythanks' points.
Retail union calls water bottle and points a 'slap in the face'
Josh Cullinan, the secretary of Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU), last week called the move "shameful" and said much more should be offered to Coles workers than the 'reward' of a water bottle and points.
"They need an employer that treats them with dignity and respect," he said. "An employer that understand the cost-of-living crisis knows they cannot afford to feed their kids or pay their rent. This rotten response, a second-rate drink bottle, is a slap in the face for our pandemic essential heroes.
"They can keep their drink bottles and instead give us living wages, safer workplaces and secure jobs."
RAFFWU led the worker strikes last month demanding better pay and work conditions for supermarket staff and is currently planning a 'superstrike' which will see workers take industrial action during the week of Christmas.
Coles workers have contended with significant change in 2023
The supermarket has made multiple in-store changes this year in a crackdown on theft after a rise was reported amid the cost of living crisis. Although a large focus has been on customers, staff had been asked to wear body cameras and been subjected to staff bag checks at the end of their shifts.
Mr Cullinan has slammed supermarkets for targeting some of Australia's lowest paid workers amid ongoing accusations of price gouging.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.