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Wholesale workers at the biggest chemist franchise in the country, Chemist Warehouse, have been on strike for two weeks now in Brisbane and Melbourne. The union claims that the workers are paid far less than the industry standard, with 75% of the staff being casuals employed through labour hire.

“And they’re that for a particular reason,” says Tim Kennedy, national secretary at the National Union of Workers, “because it allows the company to pay the minimum award rate rather than the agreement rate that they have with the union.”

Speaking to Raf Epstein on Drive about the strike, Tim said that “these workers are in desperate need of a pay rise in order just to get by.”

“These people are paid $20 an hour as casuals plus a loading and if you’re permanent you get $24 an hour.”

The union also claimed the company had hired security to dump “blood and bone” last Thursday night to “disrupt the community rally on the Friday” which was being held outside the warehouse in Preston.

Drive contacted Chemist Warehouse for comment.

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