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McDonald's "adding insult to injury" - Greens

3 March 2006

McDonald's "adding insult to injury" - Greens

Fast food multinational giant McDonald's is engaging in reprehensible conduct by attempting to undermine union negotiations, Green Party Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"McDonald's is attempting to undermine union negotiations for better wages by negotiating directly with non-union staff," Ms Bradford says.

The Unite Union's claim is for a minimum of $12 an hour - the same rate the Green Party wants immediately introduced as the minimum for all workers, including those aged 16 and 17. However, McDonald's are offering only the legal minimum of $10.25 for adult workers, and $8.40 for those aged 16 and 17.

"Having failed to progress negotiations with the union, it seems McDonalds are seeking to add insult to injury by negotiating directly with non-union staff.

"If my Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Bill is passed, McDonald's will have to pay 16 and 17 year old workers at least $10.25 an hour. That is still not enough for young people to live on, but at least it would be a step in the right direction.

"In the meantime, McDonalds should stop its anti-union tactics, withdraw the meagre offer it has made to non-union staff, and begin genuine negotiations with the union with a view to paying staff realistic wages," Ms Bradford says.

The Unite Union today served legal proceedings on McDonald's, claiming breach of good faith bargaining and unlawful discrimination against union members. McDonald's workers are striking and picketing this afternoon at several of its fast food restaurants.

ENDS

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