Woolworths faces questions over revamp

Woolworths, supermarket, wooliesWoolworths staff want the supermarket giant to explain why it is shutting the Hume distribution centre in Melbourne.

The National Union of Workers has begun a series of meetings with workers from the centre, where some jobs are set to go after Woolworths this week announced a revamp of its Victorian facilities.

“Many workers have already told us they want Woolworths to explain why this is happening,” the union said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Woolworths confirmed it would invest more than $650 million in new stores and infrastructure in Victoria over the next three years, but admitted there would be job losses throughout the process.

Woolworths plans to open at least 20 new stores and refurbish 40 existing stores in Victoria over the next three years, investing around $150 million, adding to the 582 stores the supermarket chain currently has in Victoria.

The grocery giant is also investing in $500 million of new infrastructure. This includes a new meat processing facility in Laverton, which is soon to open, and new distribution centre to be built in south east Melbourne which will open in 2018.

The company also announced it plans to build a $350 million state of the art grocery distribution centre in south east Melbourne, with it to eventually replace Woolworths’ existing distribution centre in Hume, Victoria.

“Both investments will require us to make changes to our existing network. As Woolworths changes some existing roles will be discontinued and we will ensure where possible our staff have access to new opportunities,” Woolworths said.

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