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Minimum wage workers take McDonalds to authority

Minimum wage workers take McDonalds to employment authority

Minimum wage workers will be issuing their multi-billion dollar employer with a copy of a legal document charging the company with illegal practices, at the McDonald’s head office on 61 Wellington St in Freemans Bay at 12pm today.

McDonald’s union members from Unite and the SuperSizeMyPay.com are taking the company to the Employment Relations Authority for “unlawful failure to bargain” and “discrimination on grounds of union membership”.

“McDonalds is bargaining in bad faith as McDonald’s are proposing nothing but the minimum legal wage and no change in conditions on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis,” said Simon Oosterman, SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign co-ordinator. “The company is unlawfully undermining current bargaining and deliberately discriminating against Unite membership by saying only non members will be paid the new minimum wage of $10.25 from 6 March, and that Unite members will have to wait until the 27 March - 3 weeks later. This amounts to $90.00 for a fulltime worker.”

“McDonald’s is using their position as a powerful corporation with great financial resources to intimidate their workforce which is made up of young and vulnerable workers. They have orchestrated a systematic campaign to obstruct their employees from joining their union. The company has circulated a written proposal circulated to all stores and that an increase will only be paid to non-members. Some Unite members have been told that they will get the early increase if they resign from the union.

“McDonald’s is acting unethically and illegally by proposing a bargaining meeting on March 10, and then this week meeting with their employees individually to get their agreement to their proposal. Store managers have been instructed to have their staff’s agreement to head office by March 8. We are under no illusion that McDonald’s tactic is then to come to the meeting on March 10 and table their non-proposal as a fait accompli,” said Mr Oosterman.

A letter confirming the company’s position states: “As advised at the last meeting, it is likely McDonald’s will decide not to pay the above increases to UNITE members. That is simply because franchisees and McDonald’s are concerned that UNITE’s industrial tactics have the objective and/or effect of damaging the McDonald’s brand and their business and they don’t see any merit in rewarding that behaviour with a pay increase.”

“It is ludicrous for McDonald’s to accuse minimum wage workers of damaging the company’s multi-billion dollar brand. It is the multinational’s own policy of exploitating young and vulnerable low paid workers that is damaging their business and not the steps taken by minimum wage workers to change it,” he said.

Unite is seeking compliance order against McDonald’s, a declaration of unlawful conduct, court costs and compensation to each union member for unlawful discrimination.

There will be a protest strikes in support of the SuperSizeMyPay.com demands of a $12 minimum wage, an end to discriminatory youth rates and secure hours and against ‘McExploitation’ at 7pm at the 260 Queen St McDonald’s store.


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