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Constructive Dismissal costs McDonald's $15,000

Constructive Dismissal costs McDonald's $15,000

A Kaiapoi McDonald's worker was recently awarded $15,000 after her employer was found by the Employment Relations Authority to have constructively dismissed their 18 year old employee, Chantelle Coup, after she joined the union. They were also found to have been destructive in their dealings with Unite Union and to have used undue influence to get their employees to resign from the union.

The restaurant manager was described in the Authority report to have been in a "position of significant influence" over their work. The boss, Patrick Cornish, was described as a "father figure", and it was acknowledged that McDonalds Kaiapoi is "part of a large and powerful organisation."

The workers there were all young and none of them had guaranteed days or hours of work. This fact, coupled with pressure from the manager was found to have pushed a number of staff to resign from the union.

Unite National Director Mike Treen said the union often has problems with McDonalds franchise operators in complying with their legal obligations. He said "they often take the decision of their employees to join the union as a personal affront. As explained in this Authority decision the workers in McDonalds are particularly vulnerable as they have no fixed hours of work and can be disadvantaged easily if their boss wants to punish them for some reason.

"That is one reason we want security of hours included in their new Collective Agreement with McDonalds" Mr Treen concluded.

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