Hawke's Bay workers at The Warehouse at risk of losing their jobs will fall into the arms of Kmart.

First Union organiser Kate Davis confirmed the Australian retail giant would be offering jobs to those affected by the current restructure of the big red shed.

Earlier this month, The Warehouse announced a proposed restructure which could affect 769 roles, with 180 job losses across its 93 stores.

Kmart has promised priority placement of 60 Warehouse staff at 14 of its stores nationwide - including in Hawke's Bay.


"We are thrilled that Kmart has recognised the value of these workers, they are hard workers with years, some even decades of experience behind them - many are career retail workers," Davis says.

First Union recognised many workers at risk of losing their jobs were those who have been with The Warehouse for a number of years. Others were migrant workers who face additional visa costs should they be made redundant.

"Through no fault of their own they are caught up in a horrible new culture that has intensified with a team of executives who hold Walmart morals over Kiwi values.

"[The Warehouse] have forgotten that community goodwill is hard fought for and should be treasured - but instead they've taken the community goodwill for granted."

Since the announcement of the restructure, First Union organisers had a matter of days to visit the 93 stores to speak to the workers.

Davis said she had been holding meetings starting at 9am and finishing late into the evening.

"This weekend I got some rest, but I've still been getting inundated with messages from workers who are just confused by the whole process."

When questioned about The Warehouse's response about concerned workers, Davis said it remained "historically silent".

"I don't think the silence is reassuring for their workers. They're asking perfectly reasonable questions. They're questioning the process of applying for a new role, or whether the feedback process will be extended - they've received nothing back.

"Meanwhile we've got Kmart on the opposite end of the spectrum saying 'we value these experienced workers and we will interview these experienced workers and create positions'."

Davis said she was uncertain of how many positions would be offered in Hawke's Bay, but said there were 60 positions nationwide with 20 of those in management positions.

"They have supplied us with a short-cut through to the application process for Warehouse workers which we have now distributed for all other members."