Hope for disabled trolley pushers

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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GSP have lost their trolley collection contract with Woolworths Dog Rock.
Camera IconGSP have lost their trolley collection contract with Woolworths Dog Rock. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Woolworths has pledged to re-employ most, if not all, of the disabled trolley collectors from its Chester Pass Mall supermarket.

The announcement has given hope to workers from Great Southern Personnel Workforce who are set to lose their jobs on Sunday after Woolworths terminated their contract.

The Albany community was outraged by news last week the local disability employment agency had lost its contract for trolley collection at Woolworths stores, with a petition on Change.org receiving more than 1200 signatures.

Woolworths said GSP was “unfortunately unsuccessful” in a national tender process.

Some of the roughly 30 workers had been in the job for more than 15 years.

On Friday, Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson said he would write to Woolworths, imploring the supermarket giant to re-employ the workers.

“I’m disgusted by Woolworths’ decision not to award the trolley contract to the local company that has been providing employment for people with disability,” Mr Dawson said.

“I will write to Woolworths urging them to ensure those people with disability are employed by the new national company running that service.”

Woolworths announced yesterday its two new contractors had agreed to work together to re-employ the majority, if not all, of the trolley collection staff from the Brooks Gardens Woolworths store.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said the company had been working closely with the new contractors to explore opportunities for GSP team members. “We are really pleased we were able to facilitate the conversations between GSP and our new trolley collection suppliers,” the spokeswoman said.

“We know these trolley collection contractors are well-loved by both our store team and the local community and we are delighted to see this will continue.”

The spokeswoman said the changes would be formalised by the change of contract on Sunday.

A GSP Workforce spokeswoman said negotiations were ongoing and they were hopeful their workers would retain their jobs.

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