Big W
Big W

Big W worker worried

PAY cuts aren't the only fallout from the scaling back of hours at the Big W Distribution Centre - the change also has people questioning its impact on the local economy.

Chamber of Commerce president Dave Littleproud said any cutback in hours and wages was "disappointing".

"That does have some flow-on effect since they are one of the major employers in town," he said.

"It also reinforces the point why locals need to continue supporting local businesses. We need to ensure we not only preserve jobs locally but that we create jobs locally.

"It really amplifies the need to make sure that every dollar we can spend, that we spend it locally."

Mr Littleproud said the centre was in a strategic place to service the growing number of Big W and Woolworths outlets, and he hoped those companies realised it.

"I think the centre has proven its capacity to service a great number of Big W stores," he said.

"They're increasing the number of stores across Australia and therefore, there is a bigger need for more distribution centres.

"What companies like Woolworths need to realise is these types of centres are better placed in regional centres. They have been proven to operate successfully and have a far better impact on regional communities than the likes of Sydney."

An anonymous worker contacted the Daily News to express his concern about the cutbacks.

"They say there'll be no cut backs in hours but there's no mention of loss of income, which could be up to $8000 a year per person," he said.

"Then think about loss of super on top of that."

The employee said management put the staff into groups yesterday and told them of the plans.

"We had wind it was coming," he said.

"The main people affected will be the casuals. It won't ever reach the peak it's at now again."

The caller said he was concerned about the impact of taking those wages out of the economy and by quick calculations he thought it would amount to about $70,000 less a year.

Asked if morale at the DC was low, the caller said workers understood the future would depend on the future of the lease on the premises.

"If it's only another five years they may look at building somewhere else but they won't tell you that," he said.

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