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Porirua KFC workers to Strike!

Porirua KFC workers to Strike!

Friday 24th February, 2006
Unite Union

Unite Union members at Porirua KFC are striking this evening (Friday 24th February), the first Wellington-based strike as part of Unite’s campaign. Members of the community are urged to join KFC workers on the picket line from 7pm outside Porirua KFC at 10 Hagley Street.

“Porirua KFC is one of the busiest stores in the country, the work is at times full-on, yet most workers are earning under $10 an hour,” said Kathryn Tucker, a Wellington-based Unite Union Organiser.

“They work late into the night cleaning and during busy weekends, but there’s no sign of the penal rates or the laundry and travel allowances that existed in the fast food industry twenty years ago.”

15 year old workers at Porirua KFC start on a miserly $6.89 an hour, while 16 years olds start on $7.80, and 18 year olds at the very low adult minimum wage of $9.50 an hour. Twenty years ago, in today’s dollar terms, the lowest hourly rate for a fast food worker was $13.10 an hour.

“Every worker must have access to a job with secure hours and a decent liveable wage. KFC is a highly profitable company, yet pays its workers the lowest amount possible so it can maximise profits for its shareholders, said Ms Tucker.”

“In the last twenty years fast food workers have had their wages slashed and conditions severely eroded. Using today’s dollar terms, the lowest paid full-time fast food worker took home $510 a week in 1984, now they’re lucky if they take home $380, a 25% decrease.”

The campaign is calling for an immediate $12 minimum wage, an end to youth rates and secure hours of work. Director of Auckland Unite, Matt McCarten, will be joining striking workers at Porirua tonight.


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