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Union and Restaurant join forces in campaign

24 03 05

Union and Restaurant join forces in “surcharge free” campaign

The Service & Food Workers Union, Nga Ringa Tota, (SFWU) has teamed up with West Auckland Café/Restaurant ‘The Servo’ to highlight to other employers in the sector that paying staff a fair wage on a public holiday is affordable and charging your customers extra is actually bad for business.

Over Easter, the issue of restaurants passing on public holiday wage payments to customers by charging a ‘surcharge’ or ‘government tax’ of up to 20% to their customers will again be a controversial issue.

Now SFWU and The Servo are working together to get some sense into the debate, rather than the hysterical responses from many restaurant owners that have marred public holidays since the Holidays Act amendments became law last year.

Servo owner and manager, Penny Powell says that the holidays law is good for her employees. “I have spent many years working public holidays while my friends relaxed and enjoyed a paid day off and I think it’s great that they are now entitled to extra pay if they are rostered to work.” she says.

“Sure, it is initially tough on hospitality business owners, but like all business owners we should charge day-to-day the right prices to cover decent wages and public holiday rates for our employees,” says Penny.

Darien Fenton, National Secretary of the SFWU says that she is increasingly hearing of patrons who are now actively looking for restaurants who don’t charge the surcharge.

“Many New Zealanders agree that getting paid extra on a public holiday is fair and most don’t mind paying a bit more over the year to cover the costs” says Ms Fenton.

“The union supports any restaurant that responds in the way The Servo is doing, where there is an acceptance of the need to pay workers fairly on public holidays and not the grumbling that continues to come from some restaurants.”

“We are encouraging union members to patronise worker-friendly establishments like the Servo. Employers who do the right thing by their workers, and right by their customers will have a much happier Easter holiday.” she says.

Members of the public can report restaurants who are NOT charging extra by logging onto www.sfwu.org and following the UN-Fair Holidays link. SFWU will produce a list online of ‘Worker Friendly Restaurants who do not charge extra on public holidays. Members of the public can also find The Servo at 458 Old Te Atatu Rd,Te Atatu Penninsular.


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