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Wendys setting up Dunedin staff for zero hours pain

Wendys setting up Dunedin staff for zero hours pain

Fast food chain Wendys is setting up workers at their new Dunedin store for hours to be slashed under their “Zero Hours” contracts according to Unite Union.

Last year the chain boasted that it would be employing 50 non-management positions when it announced the store. The union has been told that 89 staff have been employed in the first week of the Anderson’s Bay store.

“The problem with that” says Unite Organiser Ben Peterson “is that the average staffing level for a Wendy’s store is around 25 crew.”

The union’s information is that there is only one Wendys store in the whole country with more than 30 crew. The Dunedin store is the same size as most other stores and the staffing levels will almost certainly be around the 25 to 30 non-management staff.

The union says it has seen this behaviour repeatedly with zero hours employers when they open new stores.

“They employ far more staff than they actually will need and simply use their zero hours contracts to reduce hours week by week. The advantages to the company is that they can keep staff desperate to please to get back their hours and they can get rid of staff at will without regard to the employment law protections most other workers enjoy.”

Zero hours contracts means companies can effectively ignore redundancy provisions.

“They don’t even have to use the 90 day trial period - they can slash jobs just by changing the roster” said Mr Peterson.

“Workers go off benefits, give up jobs and re-arrange their lives, often after being verbally assured they will get the hours they need. After a few weeks hours are slashed. Unfortunately this is the future facing the new Wendys staff in Dunedin."

Unite is challenging Wendys to tell the Dunedin community exactly how many jobs they expect the store to provide in two months time and what the average weekly hours will be for those jobs.

“They are very keen to trumpet the new store and new jobs in Dunedin but the community deserves to know the reality - how many jobs will actually be around in a few months and what sort of hours will they be working. Then they need to be honest to the people they have employed about their future hours.”

Unite will be holding a community protest outside the store this Saturday (14th March) from 11am to 1pm to support the campaign to end zero hour contracts.


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