Negotiation update at Restaurant Brands – Feedback needed from Unite members

19 Apr

NEGOTIATIONS WITH RESTAURANT

BRANDS ADJOURNED TO MAY 9

FEEDBACK NEEDED FROM UNITE MEMBERS

Welcome to the SECOND EDITION of Unite News Bargaining Update for members employed by Restauarant Brands Ltd

Two days of negotiations on April 12 & 13 failed to reach an agreement on a new Collective Agreement. There are five major areas of disagreement.

1) WAGES
The company has not moved from its 1.5% pay offer. There was a suggestion that there may be a little more on offer for KFC members only but not much. The start rate would move to from $13.13 to $13.50 (2.8%) but only because the minimum wage rose to that level. This is a long way from the $15 an hour start rate being asked for and does not even match the usual increase each year which in the past has at least matched the movement in the minimum wage which this year was 3.85%.

2) GUARANTEED HOURS
The offer is for a minimum of 25 hours for LAS qualified after three years. We asked for a guarantee of hours after one year for Gold Star or higher. We suggested that a regular roster should have been established by one year which could be protected. In that case we accepted that the minimum could vary according to availability. We were disappointed that there was no response at the negotiation to a small practical suggestion that when a store plans to hire new staff it posts a notice on the board asking for volunteers for the available hours and shifts. It is our view that some Restaurant Managers keep too many staff on their books to maintain the maximum “flexibility” in their rostering when the priority should be maximising the regular rostered hours for existing staff.

3) BREAKS
The company continues to ask for a change in the breaks from 15 to 10 minutes. We argued that 15 minutes was an established norm in the industry that reflects the fact that workers are on their feet the whole time and have restricted options of where they can take their break or how they can access or heat food. There was progress however on getting breaks and that these should be in the middle of the work period that applies.

4) FREE MEAL & DISCOUNTED FOOD

We want the free meal and other discounted food while on shift to be in the Collective Agreement and not solely at the company’s discretion. We understand they brought in the “It’s our Shout” policy just before we started negotiations to undermine the union bargaining and it is not guaranteed into the future.

5) MINIMUM SHIFTS

The company is continuing to ask for a minimum shift length of 2 hours at KFC. We think this would be a major step backwards for KFC workers and would create shifts where you hardly make any money once time and costs of travel to and from work are calculated.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO SHIFT THE COMPANY?
We need a strong message to the company that the current offer is not good enough. We are circulating a survey of members to get your opinion. Please fill this out as soon as possible and pass it back to your delegate or local union organiser. It can aslo be faxed to 09 8469509 or emailed to support Included in the survey are the issues you consider most important and what you are willing to do to get it. This includes the possibility we may have to take industrial action to support our claims.
All members of unite working at any Restaurant Brands store are legally entitled to take industrial action in support of our claims. Any collective action we take is legally allowed and you can’t be disciplined for taking such action. Six years ago thousands of Restaurant Brands members took action to get our first Collective Agreement. It may be we need to take action to improve things today.
Some of the actions that are completely legal and protected are:

  • Doing a “go-slow” or “work to rule” at work.
  • Stopping work for short periods (15 minutes to two hours) over the busy lunch and dinner times.
  • Taking your breaks together when you choose.
  • Coming to work late or not coming at all for a shift and telling the company you were on strike when you get to work that day or the next.
  • Having a few key staff (cooks, supervisors, managers) take action together on a shift while others keep “working”.
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