Retail in Asia

Cosy Coles deal with shop union that left workers worse off under further scrutiny

A cosy deal between supermarket giant Coles and the shop assistants union that would have left tens thousands of workers paid unlawfully low wages is under further scrutiny.

A Fair Work Commission hearing on Tuesday involved detailed cross examination of Ernst & Young partner Bruno Cecchini, whose research Coles is relying on to show its staff would not be paid less than the award, the basic wages safety net.

The hearing comes after the Sunday Age last May revealed the deal between Coles and the shop union that was estimated to under-pay workers by tens of millions of dollars.