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SuperSizeMyPay campaign launch against McDonald's

Friday, 9 June 2006

SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign launches against McDonald’s TODAY!

Where: Pt Chevalier, McDonalds
When: 5:00pm – 7:00pm, 9th June (TODAY!)

Unite Union is relaunching our SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign but this time focused on McDonald’s. This follows the success of the campaign when focused on Restaurant Brands Limited (KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut) which gained a collective employment agreement with important gains for fast-food workers.

However McDonald’s has steadfastly refused to make any significant offers on any of the three key aims of the campaign, namely –

- $12 an hour minimum wage (most McDonald’s workers are on or close to the minimum adult wage of $10.25)

- An end to youth rates (McDonald’s pays a “training rate” of $8.40 for a year to under 18 year olds)

- Secure hours of work (McDonald’s employees work on rosters whereby their hours – and their income - can vary dramatically from one week to the next)

McDonald’s is refusing to budge on these key claims because of the big profits they can make from young, vulnerable workers. They have embarked on a determined “union-busting” strategy designed to keep the union out of their fast-food outlets from the very first day of negotiations in the middle of 2005! These tactics include –

- Refusing to arrange deductions of union fees without a $5000 payment from Unite to help McDonald’s update its computer software. They followed this up with a demand for 2.5% of our union fees to administer the deductions.

- Delaying fee deductions and then confronting workers with large deductions “if you want to stay in the union”.

- Constant intimidation and pressure on many of our union members with McDonald’s excusing some of the most appalling behaviour by some of their store managers and franchise holders.

- One McDonald’s manager abused a young female Unite Union organizer with derogatory comments.

- Union members pressured through having their hours rostered down and being refused “performance pay increases” which have been passed on to poorer performing non-union members.

- Putting forward a minimum pay offer at the very outset of negotiations and then refusing to negotiate any aspect of this minimalist offer.

- Giving a pay increase to non-union members but refusing to give it to union members because they were involved in strike action (the strikes were legal!) McDonald’s backed down on this when strike action escalated.

- McDonald’s chief negotiator Tony Teesdale assaulting a young Australian woman journalist who was covering the SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign.

Unite is inviting the local community to support this campaign for better pay and conditions for McDonald’s employees. We are in negotiations with McDonald’s and will be meeting with them again on Monday, 12 June 2006. Unite believes that it’s time McDonald’s negotiates fairly and in good faith to get a better deal for their employees.


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