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Workers Rights are Human Rights

Workers Rights are Human Rights

Five days after a youth-led strike at a KFC store to highlight workplace discrimination based on age, the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill was chosen in parliament.

Last week young members of Unite Union, earning as low as $7.13 went on strike at the million dollar refurbished Balmoral KFC store to begin a public debate about pay discrimination based on age.

Sue Bradford’s Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill, which was pulled from the ballot in parliament today, seeks to remove wage discrimination for 16 and 17 year-olds.

SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign co-ordinator, Simon Oosterman, said that the bill would add to the debate about age based discrimination initiated by last weeks strike and hoped that the bill would be extended to include those under 16, who currently have no minimum wage at all.

“We support Sue Bradford’s and the Green Party’s parliamentary move to abolish youth rates, and hope that the government supports the bill. Ending age based discrimination would be an important move towards economic justice in the Fast Food industry where the largest number of workers under 18 years of age are employed” he said.

“Unite Union will also continue to take industrial action against youth rates to win these demands in collective agreements in the Fast Food industry and eventually for all young workers.”

The minimum wage for workers is $9.50 for 18 and over, $7.60 for 17 and 16 years and there is no minimum for those under 16.

“Though the government sets the minimum wage, companies don’t have to wait until the law changes before acting. They have a moral responsibility to pay a basic standard of living with secure hours – which is a human right.”
“Fast Food workers will continue to fight for what is socially just and we hope that the government will follow the lead of the Unite members who are taking action today.”

“Unite Union’s SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign is not just about fighting for a fair share of the huge profits of the Fast Food industry, it’s about human rights.

“Whilst discrimination on the grounds of age is supposedly prohibited in our Human Rights Act there remains an exception for wage discrimination based on age. Workers should be paid equally for work of equal value”

At the request of Restaurant Brands, a third Unite strike at Pizza Hut leading up to this Saturday’s International Human Rights Day, has been put on hold. The company has promised to bring the union a new offer this Sunday.


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