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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Melbourne’s Spencer Street Outlet – Retail Workers Suffer In Unbearable Heat

Retail workers at Melbourne's Spencer Street Outlet are enduring unbearable working conditions as heatwave grips the city and air conditioning, reportedly not working. Temperatures soar to 40 degrees celsius over the weekend.

The lack of functioning air-conditioning within the Melbourne retail outlet has left employees and shoppers struggling in the oppressive heat.

Describing the situation as “dying hot,” an unnamed worker from a popular clothing outlet within the Spencer Street complex expressed the challenges faced by employees, with sweat dripping down their faces as they attempt to serve customers.

Despite reports of the air-conditioning system being out of order since last summer, shop employees have reported the heat issues to their internal management.

Shockingly, some workers claim that the complex’s air-conditioning has not been operational for several years, leading to an unbearable working environment leading to headaches.

The center’s management reportedly suggested store operators should purchase or rent portable air-conditioning units. The retail stores argue that they are already paying for utilities in their rent, which includes air-conditioning. Quotes to outsource portable air-conditioning units exceeded $600 per week on top of retailer’s current rent.

A memo circulated to retailers last September said that management was aware of the air-conditioning issues and was looking into fixing them. However, the completion of the repairs is not expected until next year, leaving both workers and customers to suffer through the extreme temperatures.

The lack of adequate heating in the winter also exacerbates the situation for retails workers at the outlet, further highlighting the ongoing discomfort faced by employees and customers alike.

The unbearable heat has not only become a significant occupational health and safety issue for retail workers but has also impacted the overall shopping experience at the Spencer Street Outlet. As one worker said, “Who wants to come and shop and try on clothes when there’s no aircon in this heat?”

With temperatures inside stores exceeding 36 degrees Celsius, the complex, described by some as nothing more than a “big tin shed,” became an inhospitable environment for both workers and shoppers over the weekend.

“Failure to fix the heating and cooling issues not only poses risks to health and safety but also threatens the viability of businesses operating within the outlet,” says retail workers.

As the heatwave continues to grip Melbourne, urgent action is needed to address the air-conditioning issues at the Spencer Street Outlet to ensure the well-being and comfort of all those who work and visit the complex. According to several retail workers both heating and cooling have been offline for approximately two years.

Matthew Giannelis
Matthew Giannelis
Matthew is the chief editor of the Werribee News and Tech Business News based in Melbourne Australia. After contracting in the IT world as a systems engineer his career turned to journalism
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