The 2,000 vacancies Coles can’t fill
Coles Group’s head of government and industry relations, Vittoria Bon, told a Senate committee that the company was facing an “increased” number of vacancies.
Ms Bon led an upper house inquiry into work and custody arrangements on Monday, where she was asked about job security at Coles, which employs around 130,000 people across Australia.
The survey found that up to 15% of staff are employed full-time, and around 100,000 of those employees work in supermarkets.
It was also revealed during the hearing that Coles’ distribution network – the part of the business that employs the most men – has by far the highest percentage of full-time employees.
Ms Bon said Coles had a roughly equal 50-50 split of male and female employees in the business, with slightly more women employed in its supermarkets than men.
But that’s a different story at Coles’ 10 fulfillment centers, where only about 17% of the 3,500 employees are women, she said.
In fulfillment centers, approximately 70 percent of workers are full-time contract employees, 20 percent are permanent part-timers, and the remaining 10 percent are casual workers.
Asked about the disparity between the male-dominated and female-dominated parts of the company, Ms Bon said Coles offered permanent contracts to the company’s casual workers, but only around 20% were accepted.
“It’s because a number of our team members would like flexible or part-time work to accommodate other parts of their time,” she said.
Labor Senator Deb O’Neil – the deputy chair of the committee overseeing the hearing – reacted to the explanation with skepticism.
“We heard this evidence pretty consistently,” she said.
“But that doesn’t seem to match the evidence we’ve received from people who are in this situation; who find themselves in a very precarious job because of (their) precarious status.
[gptThe 2,000 vacancies Coles can’t fill