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'Finger Lickin' Greed' challenged by workers' mvmt

WORKERS CHARTER media release 11.9.05

'Finger Lickin' Greed' challenged by new workers' movement

"KFC's Across the Nation, Finger Lickin' Greed & Exploitation." This and other chants rang out at the KFC store in Balmoral, Auckland, on Saturday 10th September.

The 50-strong picket was organised by Workers Charter, a new movement formed just weeks ago by an array of unionists, leftists and social justice activists.

The occasion was the re-opening of a refurbished KFC Balmoral, the start of a makeover for the corporation's 95 stores in New Zealand.

"The makeover will cost many millions, yet KFC refuse to pay their workers a living wage," said Grant Morgan, a member of the Workers Charter steering committee.

The picket saw an ultra-imperialist Colonel Sanders confronted by two rebel chickens with placards reading: "KFC Workers are Cheap! Cheap!" (See attached photo, which you are free to publish. Other photos available on request.)

The KFC picket was the opening shot in a Supersize My Pay campaign that will be run by Workers Charter over the summer.

"Our campaign wants a minimum wage of $12 an hour and an end to youth rates," said Grant Morgan. "Massive numbers of workers are slaving away in fast food joints and other low-wage industries for close to the legal minimum."

KFC starts its 16-year-olds on $8.08 an hour, its 17-year-olds on $8.55, and those 18 and over on $9.50. Similar rates are paid by other fast food corporations, like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Wendys and Burger King.

"These workers are being denied a living wage. Youth workers are doing the same jobs as adult workers, but are being discriminated against. Casual workers get less pay than permanent workers and have less rights. Adult workers on above-minimum pay are being held back by low-wage competition," said Grant Morgan.

"One of the ten basic rights in the Workers Charter is the right to pay equity for women, youth and casual workers. The Supersize My Pay campaign will target low-wage bosses who are super-exploiting young, casual and vulnerable workers."

The next action in the campaign will be a picket outside a McDonalds store. Details:

* 12 noon on Saturday, 17 September.
* McDonalds, 260 Queen St, Auckland.

"The McDonalds picket is on election day," said Grant Morgan. "The political war of words will be over, but the workers' war for pay justice is just starting."

"Activists in Melbourne will also be picketing fast food outlets later this month. Our struggle is going trans-Tasman," said Grant Morgan.

For your information, the Workers Charter text appears below, followed by a list of 119 individual endorsers (which is expanding every day).



Every worker is a human being who deserves the right to dignity.

For that right to be at the heart of our society, workers need economic justice and democratic control over our future.

But what motivates society today is the selfish right of a privileged few to gather wealth from the productive majority.

Workers are mere commodities, exploited and discarded like any other. Our status in society is worsened by market competition, free trade and commercialisation of public assets.

The wealth of New Zealanders on the Rich List skyrockets. Meanwhile the living standards of the majority fall, and one in three children grow up in poverty here in Aotearoa.

Wars of conquest to control global resources, like the US colonisation of Iraq, expand corporate wealth and power at the cost of mass bloodshed and suffering.

Profit-driven exploitation of the environment is fueling global warming, an oil crisis and other threats to life on our planet.

The end result is massive growth in social inequality and environmental destruction. Our humanity and our environment have been sacrificed to the god of profit. Our ability to resist is undermined by laws that ban most strikes.

As a positive alternative, the Workers Charter promotes these core democratic rights:

1. The right to a job that pays a living wage and gives us time with our families and communities.

2. The right to pay equity for women, youth and casual workers.

3. The right to free public healthcare and education, and to liveable superannuation and welfare.

4. The right to decent housing without crippling mortgages and rents.

5. The right to public control of assets vital to community well-being.

6. The right to protect our environment from corporate greed.

7. The right to express our personal identity free from discrimination.

8. The right to strike in defence of our interests.

9. The right to organise for the transfer of wealth and power from the haves to the have-nots.

10. The right to unite with workers in other lands against corporate globalisation and war.

These rights can only be secured by workers organising to extend democracy into every sphere of the economy and the state. This will involve the complete transformation of our society to serve the needs of the majority rather than the greed of the minority.

The privileged few will resist fiercely. They will use their economic and political power to try to deny workers our rights.

A mass mobilisation around the Workers Charter can give us the strength to win the battle for democracy and reclaim our human dignity.
The Workers Charter is personally endorsed by these 119 individuals:

n STELLA ANDERSON, university student (Wellington).
n DON ARCHER, factory union delegate (Christchurch).
n RACHEL ASHER, social worker (Auckland).
n KELLY-ANNE BAILEY, food distribution (Rotorua).
n MARGARET BAILEY, food distribution (Rotorua).
n BEATRIZ BASSI, Public Service Association delegate (Sydney).
n BRONWEN BEECHEY, call centre worker (Auckland).
n TRACEY BEVAN, student & part-time worker (Hamilton).
n PAUL BLAIR, beneficiary advocate (Rotorua).
n BEATRICE BLEILE, associate maths professor at University of New England (Armidale).
n SUE BOLTON, national trade union convenor for Socialist Alliance (Melbourne).
n KERRY BOREWICZ, nurses union activist (Wellington).
n CAROL BRIDGENS, postal workers delegate (Auckland).
n GRANT BROOKES, nurses union delegate (Wellington).
n TOM BUCKLEY, film maker (Auckland).
n MIKE BYRNE, Communications & Public Sector Union delegate (Brisbane).
n JOE CAROLAN, union organiser (Auckland).
n NICOLE CLARK, university student (Wellington).
n DAVE COLYER, gardener (Christchurch).
n RAFE COPELAND, Auckland University student.
n LUKE COXON, union organiser & social justice campaigner (Auckland).
n PAUL CRESSWELL, postal workers union delegate (Lower Hutt).
n PETER de WAAL, Auckland University student & social justice campaigner.
n RITZ ELLIS, OSH officer at Wild Cherry Logging (Rotorua).
n CLAIRE ENGLISH, female national queer officer for National Union of Students (Brisbane).
n LYNN ERICSON, beneficiary advocate (Rotorua).
n TODD EVERINGHAM, unemployed (Armidale).
n GORDON FARRIS, community activist & home educator (Wellington).
n BECCY FINLAY, union organiser (Auckland).
n JOE FLEETWOOD, vice-president of Maritime Union of New Zealand (Wellington).
n ROGER FOWLER, director of Mangere East Community Learning Centre (Auckland).
n PETE FRANCE, musician & Massey University music tutor (Auckland).
n NICK FREDMAN, national councillor of National Tertiary Education Union (Sydney).
n SHUA GARFIELD, postgrad university student (Sydney).
n ANA GAVIN, journalism student (Rotorua).
n DAVID GLANZ, national executive member of International Socialist Organisation & Socialist Alliance (Melbourne).
n TIM GOODEN, secretary of Geelong Trades & Labour Council.
n VAUGHAN GUNSON, artist & ASTE teacher union activist (Whangarei).
n TONY HAINES, ex-national councillor of Printers Union (Auckland).
n HARRIET HARKER, caregiver (Rotorua).
n JENNA HARWOOD, Trade Aid worker (Wellington).
n GEOFF HEALY, beneficiary (Auckland).
n BERNIE HORNFECK, longtime union activist & trustee of Apumoana Marae (Rotorua).
n HOROMONA HORO, kaiako (Rotorua).
n TIM HOWARD, community activist (Whangarei).
n PETER HUGHES, rail union delegate (London).
n ROBYN HUGHES, RAM councillor on Auckland Regional Council.
n WILLIAM JACKSON, mill worker (Rotorua).
n CHARLOTTE JOHNSON, Telstra union activist (Brisbane).
n JOHNNY JONES, retired boilermaker (Auckland).
n TUHIPO KEREOPA, therapist (Rotorua).
n CHARLOTTE KINNIBURGH, shop assistant & massage therapist (Christchurch).
n TIM KIRCHLER, co-convenor of Gold Coast branch of Socialist Alliance.
n DAPHNE LAWLESS, tertiary union delegate & UNITY editor (Wellington).
n NIKO LEKA, enrolled nurse (Newcastle).
n ALAN LIEFTING, Green Party candidiate for Waimakariri electorate.
n HEATHER LYALL, social worker (Auckland).
n ANDREW MARTIN, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union activist (Brisbane).
n DION MARTIN, National Distribution Union organiser (Palmerston North).
n GARY MATHEWS, beneficiary (Auckland).
n PAUL MAUNDER, union & social justice activist (Blackball).
n REBECCA MAWSON, shop assistant (Wellington).
n JOHN MAYNARD, vice-president of Postal Workers Union (Wellington).
n MATT McCARTEN, director of Unite Workers Union & media columnist (Auckland).
n ALLAN McEVOY, mental health social worker & welfare guardian (Auckland).
n HUMPHREY McQUEEN, labour historian & Seeing Red editorial board member (Canberra).
n JIM MEYER, union organiser (Wellington).
n CHANZ MIKAERE, rangatahi co-ordinator of Maori Party (Rotorua).
n JASON MIKAERE, youth worker (Rotorua).
n JOHN MINTO, educationalist & social justice campaigner (Auckland).
n BEN MOONEY, retired boilermaker (Auckland).
n GRANT MORGAN, organiser of RAM & secretary of Socialist Worker (Auckland).
n ALEX MUIR, office co-ordinator of Unite Workers Union (Auckland).
n LAURAYNO NGAWHIKA, teacher (Rotorua).
n TREVOR NOEL, National Distribution Union organiser (Whangarei).
n ROD NORGATE, beneficiary advocate (Auckland).
n JIMMY O¹DEA, housing advocate (Auckland).
n KEVIN O¹DEA, truck driver (Auckland).
n PAT O¹DEA, electrician & union activist (Auckland).
n SONY O¹DEA, community volunteer (Auckland).
n MATT OLIVER, CTU Youth Council (Auckland).
n DEAN PARKER, Writers Guild (Auckland).
n LEN PARKER, manager of Socialist Centre (Auckland).
n HAKOPA PAUL, Maori land consultant (Rotorua).
n TE OROHI PAUL, Maori land consultant (Rotorua).
n PANIA PENE, insurance officer (Rotorua).
n ROBERT PIHEMA, carpenter (Rotorua).
n DAIMON PITIROI, call centre project manager & Maori welfare advocate (Auckland).
n LAUREL PORIMA, weaver & artist (Rotorua).
n STEVEN PORIMA, linesman (Rotorua).
n HELEN POTTER, projects manager for Maori Party (Wellington).
n ANNA POTTS, university student (Wellington).
n SUSAN PRICE, national councillor of National Tertiary Education Union (Sydney).
n IRIS QUAYLE, kaumatua of Whare Kawe Marae (Auckland).
n SAM QUAYLE, factory worker (Auckland).
n SAM REREKURA, independent candidate for Tamaki Makarau electorate (Auckland).
n FRAN RICHARDSON, ASTE member (Wellington).
n MAPORO ROTA, beneficiary (Rotorua).
n ANNA SAMSON, education union activist (Sydney).
n ROSIE SCOTT, writer (Sydney).
n SHARON SEAMAN, sales assistant (Sydney).
n DEAN SINOTT, Te Arawa Manu Korero Speech Competition winner (Rotorua).
n JOE SLADE, union organiser (Auckland).
n TONY SNELLING-BERG, social justice campaigner (Tauranga).
n PETER STAITE, fitter & turner (Rotorua).
n RIMA TARAIA, union organiser (Auckland).
n TAHAE TAIT, community worker for the blind (Rotorua).
n TERESSA TE MONI, secretary of Rotorua branch of the Maori Party.
n JIM TOLLEY, retired boilermaker (Auckland).
n KATHY TONIHI, advocate (Rotorua).
n MIKE TREEN, union organiser & social justice campaigner (Auckland).
n KATHRYN TUCKER, union organiser (Auckland).
n RONNIE WADDELL, retired school teacher (Stewart Island).
n HANNAH WATSON, university student (Wellington).
n KYLE WEBSTER, nursing union activist (Thursday Island).
n MIKE WILLIAMS, secretary of Wellington seafarers branch of Maritime Union.
n STEVEN WINIATA, mill worker (Rotorua).
n OLIVER WOODS, Auckland University student & Labour Party member.


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