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Union Rat to plague McDonald’s


19th September 2008

Unite Media Release:

Union Rat to plague McDonald’s

A giant union rat will be appearing outside McDonald’s restaurants throughout Auckland over the coming weeks. Unite union is asking the public to support workers who will be striking to gain pay equity with other fast food companies.

‘The Rat’ will join McDonald’s workers at Otara McDonald’s tomorrow as they walk off the job in protest over pay negotiations that have been stalled by the company. Negotiations between Unite union and the fast food giant have been underway since March this year but broke down this week after McDonald’s failed to meet the deadline for a revised offer.

Unite claims that the golden arches are letting their workers slip behind the industry after refusing to make a real offer to settle the negotiations. “McDonald’s are claiming on their television ads that they care for their workers growing coffee but in New Zealand they have been dragging their feet coming back to us with any sort of reasonable offer” said Unite organiser, Tom Buckley.

“Crew are paid 52c an hour less than their major competitors, some managers only earn $1.50 more than the minimum wage and a lot of experienced workers have spent years on the minimum wage. We are sick of waiting for the company to make us a reasonable offer, they said that make an offer by now.”

“It’s slavery pay” said Josephine Lindsay from McDonald’s Glenn Innes “It’s only just enough to pay the rent, you can’t live on these wages.”

The union is also concerned at the lack of secure hours. McDonald’s keep every crew member on contracts with no fixed hours. This gives them no sense of job security and puts an big whip in the hands of managers by cutting their hours for any minor infraction. It opens workers up to the type of abuse that led to a McDonald’s worker in Kaiapoi winning a $15,000 award from the Employment Authority.

Workers will be on strike from 12pm on Friday at Otara McDonald’s, East Tamaki Rd.


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