Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Restaurant Brands staff to go on first strike in a decade

Friday 21 April 2017 12:08 PM

Restaurant Brands staff to go on first strike in a decade

By Paul McBeth

April 21 (BusinessDesk) - Half of Restaurant Brands New Zealand's 4,000-strong workforce is set to walk off the job tomorrow after negotiations for a new collective agreement broke down.

About 2,000 Unite Union members will picket selected KFC stores in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin at lunch time tomorrow in an effort to twist the company's arm over disputed pay and conditions. Restaurant Brands operates New Zealand's KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks Coffee franchises and has branched out to Australian KFC stores and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut businesses in Hawaii.

Unite national director Mike Treen told BusinessDesk his members haven't had a strike at Restaurant Brands since 2006, and that the company has previously set the benchmark in the fast-food sector, being the first to sign a collective agreement, ditch youth rates, reward staff loyalty with a stepped pay hike, and moved to a fixed-shift system after the zero hours change.

"In the past, they have been the first to move in a positive direction," Treen said. "They're adopting a position which is going to put them behind McDonald's which we can't allow - McDonald's is normally the difficult one."

Treen said tomorrow's strike is the start, but that "what they are trying to achieve is simply unacceptable to the workers and if we have to fight them for months, we will fight them for months".

One of the disputed issues is Unite's push for an annual wage increase of 10 cents an hour for three years for Restaurant Brands' lowest paid workers taking their wage to 30 cents above the minimum wage by 2019, something McDonald's has already committed to, whereas Restaurant Brands has offered just one 10-cent increase over three years.

"We've welcomed it with McDonald's because it establishes the principle that they're no longer a minimum wage employer," he said. "It's silly of Restaurant Brands to pick a fight with us over these issues because they're actually hugely profitable at the moment."

Restaurant Brands yesterday reported a 7.8 percent increase in annual profit as record sales at its New Zealand KFC stores and the acquisition of a KFC franchise across the Tasman bolstered earnings. The company noted rising labour costs as squeezing margins, and its wage bill rose 25 percent to $130.7 million in the year, lagging behind a 28 percent increase in revenue to $497.2 million. The company's wage bill equated to 26.3 percent of revenue in the 52 weeks ended Feb. 27, down from 26.9 percent a year earlier.

Other sticking points include lifting shift supervisors' pay to a living wage, provisions for redundancy pay, overtime allowances, ensuring existing staff get offered new or changed shifts when they come up, break times, and health and safety representatives.

Restaurant Brands chief executive Russel Creedy wasn't immediately available for comment.

The company's shares fell 0.6 percent to $5.22, having gained 3.4 percent so far this year.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Errors Found: Electricity Authority Dumps Transmission Pricing Modelling

The Electricity Authority is ditching the cost-benefit analysis at the heart of its controversial attempt to find a new way to divide up costs for the national grid after finding an expanding range of serious computational errors in the work by Australian consultancy Oakley Greenwood. More>>

ALSO:

New Record: Migrant Arrivals At 129,500 A Year

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since 2012. "This was mainly due to the rising number of migrant arrivals to New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "Fewer migrant departures also contributed to the increase in net migration." More>>

ALSO:

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Trade Agreements: TPP Minus US Starting To Gain Ground

The Japanese government is picking up the pace on reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment deal, with talks scheduled next month among the 11 countries left in the pact after the withdrawal by the US after the election of president Donald Trump. More>>

ALSO:

PACER:

Prices Up 2.2%: Annual Inflation Highest In Over Five Years

"Rising petrol prices along with the annual rise in cigarette and tobacco tax lifted inflation," prices senior manager Jason Attewell said. "Petrol prices in New Zealand are closely linked to global oil prices, and cigarettes and tobacco taxes rise in the March quarter each year". More>>

ALSO:

Undertaxed? NZ Income Tax Rate Second Lowest Among Developed Nations

New Zealand workers pay the second smallest portion of their income to the government among developed nations and less than half the average ratio of their Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development peers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news