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Mcdonalds Youth Pay Rates Illegal Claims Union

4 May 2006

Mcdonalds Youth Pay Rates Illegal Claims Union

"The Unite union has instructed its lawyer to immediately draw up underpayment of wages claims for young workers against McDonalds after the revelation by Green M.P. Sue Bradford this morning that the Attorney-General has been given legal advice that Government regulations for youth minimum wages are illegal," said Matt McCarten, National Director of Unite.

The advice, which also appears on the Ministry of Justice web-site, states that Ms Bradford's private members Bill to remove discriminatory youth rates from Minimum Wage Regulations is "superfluous" because the regulations themselves breach the Bill of Rights Act and are therefore unlawful.

"Unlike Restaurant Brands, McDonalds refuses to seriously engage with the union to negotiate an end to youth rates," said Matt McCarten. "It is only fair that they should be the first fast food company that Unite will target on the basis of this new information."

"We will seek back pay for all of our members for all of the period of their employment that they have been paid less that the "adult" minimum wage, Matt McCarten said.

"Unite also intends to challenge the validity of the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Minimum Wage Act as we consider that the regulations are discriminatory and unlawful and it is outside of the powers of the Minister of Labour to make such regulations," Matt McCarten said.

We are grateful to Ms Bradford for sponsoring the Minimum Wage (Abolition Age Discrimination) Bill. We are delighted that this action has, in turn, uncovered the fact that our current youth minimum wages are unlawful," Matt McCarten said.

This is another major step in Unite's SuperSizeMyPay campaign for an immediate $12 per hour minimum wage, an end to youth rates and guaranteed hours of work, Matt McCarten concluded.

ENDS

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