Woolworths CEO is demanded to resign by angry Aussies over Australia Day comment that is the final straw for many

Australians are calling for the CEO of Woolworths to resign after a memo to staff revealed new details about the supermarket giant’s stance on Australia Day.

Woolworths shocked customers earlier this month when it announced it would not be stocking January 26 merchandise due to declining demand and sensitivities around the day.

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The decision sparked public outrage, with staff receiving a barrage of negative and hurtful comments online and abuse from customers, and even calls for a boycott from Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

A leaked memo to staff revealed yesterday by Daily Mail Australia, South African-born Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci told staff he was ‘deeply sorry’ they had to endure the backlash.

‘I want to personally apologise to all of you for the way our merchandising decision has been received – and how this has resulted in hurtful and inappropriate reactions directed at you, our team members,’ Mr Banducci wrote.

However, his apology failed to resonate with many Aussiies, as they argued that Mr Banducci jeopardised his staff’s safety because of the supermarket taking a stance on Australia Day 

‘He should resign – he has put his staff in danger. He has failed in his duty of care to his staff,’ one said.

In the leaked memo, Mr Banducci explained that unlike Australia Day, Woolworths puts up banners for other holidays, such as Chinese Lunar New Year and Diwali, because they’re ‘centred around connection over food’.

The comment was the final straw for many Aussies, with hundreds pointing out our national holiday centres around food, highlighting the traditional Australia Day BBQ.

‘He thinks Australia Day isn’t also themed around food? How about throwing shrimp on the barbeque and also our obsession with lamb,’ one angry shopper said.

‘Time for an Aussie CEO of Woolworths.’

Australians are calling for Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci (pictured) to resign after the grocer decided it would not stock Australia Day merchandise

‘He needs to represent Australia or forfeit his job,’ another wrote.

‘I eat lamb, sausages, steak, salads, cheese and bikkies, bread rolls, Pavlova and lamingtons on Australia Day! Is that not food?,’ a third said. 

‘I’m deeply offended that the CEO, a South African, can decide what he feels is appropriate for OUR Australia Day! How dare he,’ a fourth added.

Social commentator Prue MacSween told Daily Mail Australia Mr Banducci needs to go.

‘The bloke is clearly out of step with his customers and most Australians and should resign,’ she said.

‘As CEO, he has been derelict in his duty as a leader and he has taken Woolworths in the wrong direction. 

‘Aussies have checked out at the Woolworths checkout and it’s all because of his poor performance and misguided judgment.’

Woolworths announced earlier this month it would not sell Australia Day merchandise, a decision that was met with massive backlash

Woolworths announced earlier this month it would not sell Australia Day merchandise, a decision that was met with massive backlash

Ms MacSween believes Mr Banducci needs to remember ‘when it all boils down, he is a shopkeeper’.

‘His job isn’t to pontificate and tell Aussies how to act and how to think. All he needs to do is provide goods, preferably Australian, at the best price and quality,’ she said.

‘The problem is that Woolworths and Coles have been handed such a huge monopoly. 

‘As a result of this power, they have adopted an air of superiority, believing they can influence not only what we eat and use in our homes, but how we should think and act.’

Mr Banducci has personally received more than 3,000 emails from members of the public since Woolworths announced it would not stock Australia Day merchandise.

Despite the backlash, he said there were ‘not really’ any signs of a Woolworths boycott.

Hundreds of Aussies have vowed to boycott Woolworths (pictured) while shopping for their Australia Day barbeques

Hundreds of Aussies have vowed to boycott Woolworths (pictured) while shopping for their Australia Day barbeques

Other retailers including Aldi and Kmart have also revealed they will not stock Australia Day merchandise, but rival supermarket chain Coles will continue to sell the items. 

In the leaked email to staff, Mr Banducci said Woolworths had worked with the Australia Day Council ‘to seek guidance on the evolved meaning on Australia Day.’

‘We believe in every Australian’s right to mark the day in ways that are meaningful to them, and we remain committed to caring for all our customers and team and ensuring that they feel safe and that they belong when they walk through our doors,’ he said.

Woolworths has been approached for comment. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk