The Victorian Greens will join the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) and Coles workers for a rally outside the supermarket giant’s annual general meeting this morning.
The Greens say the profiteering supermarket, which recorded a $1.1 billion profit in August, continues to cash in during a cost-of-living crisis.
Grocery prices have been steadily rising over the past 12 months, making it harder for many to put food on the table while also paying for things like rent and bills.
As part of a four-point plan launched last month, the Greens called on the Victorian Labor Government to:
- Declare groceries a regulated industry. To give the Essential Services Commission the power to prevent supermarket profiteering through price controls on essential items.
- Re-establish an Office for Prices. So the government is on your side and works with the community, not for profiteering corporations, to deter excessive price rises, with power to monitor, investigate and expose excessive price rises across the economy.
- Appoint a Minister for Fair Prices. To lead efforts across government to stop unfair price hikes, to take on profiteering corporations like the supermarket duopoly and to ensure the government can be held to account.
- Inquiry into food affordability. To look at ways to lower the cost of food and make sure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable food in Victoria.
Victorian Greens economic justice spokesperson, Sam Hibbins, said it was time to hold the supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths to account and make it loud and clear the Greens wouldn’t back down until people were prioritised above profit.
At this morning’s rally the Greens will also stand in solidarity with the union and workers calling on Coles to stop underpaying their workers.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens economic justice spokesperson, Sam Hibbins MP:
“While everyday Victorians are struggling to put food on the table, Coles has raked in more than $1.1 billion in profits in the past year.
“It’s time to hold big corporations to account and make it loud and clear that we won’t back down until people are prioritised above profit.
“The profiteering supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths are making the cost-of-living crisis worse, by increasing the price of food and their profit margins at the same time.
“Yet the Victorian Labor Government is choosing not to act, despite having the powers to do so, and instead are prioritising corporate profiteering over people who are struggling to afford food, bills, and the rent.”