Twelve staff across two Porirua stores are without jobs after their employer, Cotton On, closed their workplaces this week.
Staff were told on January 13th that Cotton On and Cotton On Kids stores were to close as the lease was expiring and stores were not turning enough profit.
Ten of the staff are union members, FIRST Union today said in a statement, adding that the multinational chain “closed their workplaces this week without providing clarity on if and how they will redeployed to other stores".
There was also no certainty if workers will be entitled to redundancy compensation despite union members having a clause in their agreement for redundancy.
According to FIRST Union, Cotton On said they don’t want to make anyone redundant but haven’t offered redeployment to other stores.
FIRST Union organiser Richie Morris said Cotton On was the encapsulation of a business model that relies on cheap garments and disposable workers.
"This was short-notice, impulsive, solely profit-focused and insensitive to long-serving staff," said Mr Morris.
"Telling workers that they might one day have a job in another store within a 30km radius is not good enough, especially if those workers are considering redundancy following Cotton On’s actions,” he said.
Porirua’s Cotton On store closed on Monday and Cotton On Kids is expected to close within the next week.
Cotton On is Australia’s largest global retailer and turned a profit of $2 billion last year, according to the union.
Cotton On has not responded to 1 NEWS’ request for comment.