Coles chops meat department

Oct 07, 2021
Coles supermarkets have revealed that all in-store butcheries will be cut from Sunday, October 10, 2021. Source: Getty

Coles has announced that the in-store butcher service in all stores across Australia will be cut from this Sunday, October 10.

After a ‘meating’ in June with department officials, it was announced that the supermarket was openly discussing the option of only stocking prepackaged meat in its stores.

According to ABC Radio, the official decision to chop the butchery was made in late August, following gristly discussions with meat department employees, and their union representatives.

This cannot have been a pleasant decision for Coles executives, as it leaves approximately 1600 people to be either redistributed into the other departments of the supermarket, or made redundant.

While announcing these department trimmings, the Federal Secretary for Australasian Meat Industry Employee’s Union, Matt Journeaux, shared that the decision was devastating for these workers.

“It’s just a cost-cutting exercise, there’s no two ways about it”, Journeaux said.

When discussing this, Journeaux grilled Coles’s treatment of the butchery workers, saying that some had only been offered part-time hours in other departments, while others have been forced to weigh up their future options.

Mr Journeaux expressed considerable concern for older butchers, who had worked with Coles for a considerable portion of their working lives, and had to now determine whether they should take a redundancy and hope it would let them retire, take a pay cut, or hope for a new job.

Coles will now only stock prepackaged meats in the fridge sections.

Many smaller stores have already transitioned to this model, with Coles launching Coles Local a smaller store stocking more locally acquired, artisan-style products.

Coles Local is a new format of Coles, which caters to the average Australian shopper, who prefers to spend a little bit more on higher quality, fresh and healthy foods, with all of the convenience of a corner store.

Coles CEO announced in May 2020 that this format was one that appealed “to local tastes and preferences”.

The internet has had a lot to say about these changes.

 

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