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Coles employees strike after hundreds of jobs set to be automated

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Hundreds of Coles workers in Sydney’s southwest are on strike after their employers announced they are closing their site and replacing it with an automated warehouse.

Hundreds of Coles workers in Sydney's southwest are on strike after their employers announced they are closing their site and replacing it with an automated warehouse.

The move could put at least 350 people at the Smeaton Grange warehouse out of work in the next three years.

Union representatives said Coles have also "locked out" their workers for three months while the warehouse is being built, leaving families without an income over the Christmas period.

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Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Smeaton Grange Coles, wearing high-vis clothing and waving United Workers Union flags.

The group was seen chanting "the workers united will never be defeated and "Shame Coles shame".

Sharon Earlings, the union organiser for Coles Smeaton Grange, said the staff deserve better after working through fires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"We we're negotiating until it all fell apart, now all of these guys have decided they want a fair go," Ms Earlings said.

"Most of these guys have been here 30 years or more.

"They've worked through the bushfire, they've worked through the pandemic, they've risked their lives, these guys are essential workers, they want to be looked after, their future needs to be looked after."

Nine.com.au has reached out to Coles for comment.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coles-smeaton-grange-protest-jobs-being-automated/db1f60ce-b1e5-486f-89d9-e6af6efa3095

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