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Mother Leads Strike Against Insulting Pay Rise

Mother of Five Leads Strike Against Insulting Pay Rise
Press Release
Unite Union
21 December 2005


Mother of Five Leads Strike Against Insulting Pay Rise

A lightening strike was called today at KFC Lincoln Rd by mother of five KFC shift manager, Susan Tuanui in response to the Government raising the adult minimum wage by only 75c and not removing youth pay discrimination.

Tuanui said that a pay rise of 75c per hour would only give her an extra $20 in the hand if she worked 40 hours a week. But she would still need to work over 40 hours a week to break the $400 mark.

Tuanui supports five children and says that a 75c per hour pay rise will make little difference to how hard she has to work to afford to feed her family. She currently gets paid $9.86 an hour for a managerial role.

"The pay change next year is not going to help my family now or when it comes in. It is already difficult to juggle our financial needs, my kids' needs and still pay the rent when the cost of living is already too high. Twenty dollars does not even cover travel costs to get my kids to school."

As soon as Susan heard the Government's minimum wage announcement, she called the union to organise a spontaneous strike.

Fifty supporters answered the urgent call to strike and joined her workmates and workers from other KFC stores to call for the SuperSizeMyPay.com'sdemands for an immediate minimum wage increase to $12 an hour now, abolition of youth rates and secure hours.

Tuanui said that the strike also highlighted the minimum wage changes would still discriminate against youth workers. She said that when her kids are old enough to get their first job that they should be paid equally to adults for doing the same work.

SuperSizeMyPay.com co-ordinator Simon Oosterman said that the wage rise does not reflect workers' financial needs or their rights to a decent standard of living.

"A wage rise to $10.25 is far from the equivalent of $12.75 the fast food industry used to pay in the 1980s and the current Australian adult minimum wage of NZ$13.70."

"75c extra won't alleviate poverty. Many workers will still have to remain on benefits to supplement their income and New Zealanders will therefore continue to subsidise big businesses like Restaurant Brands.

"The Government's announcement does not get companies like KFC off the hook. Companies are still morally responsible for paying their workers a standard living wage and anything under $12 is a poverty wage regardless of your age," he concluded.

The SuperSizeMyPay.Com will continue its industrial campaign against the Fast Food industry.

Today's strike will be followed by further lightening strike actions at KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks stores during the Christmas period.

ENDS


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