By Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union.
Burger King have sent a letter from their lawyers threatening “appropriate action” if Unite Union doesn’t abandon plans for a teach-in about working conditions planned for 12 noon Sunday at their store in Aotea Square in Auckland.
The company is threatening any worker who speaks out at these meetings with “serious consequences” for allegedly breaching their “duty of loyalty and fidelity”.
Unite National Director Mike Treen says the teach-in is going ahead because the company have blocked their workers being able to address their problems in a normal way. Anyone who joins the union is subject to intimidation and pressure to leave. Union members are blocked from promotion. If they go to the union to get help they face even more victimisation. As individuals outside the union they have even less power.
After one of our members spoke out publicly last week about conditions at Burger King the union has been flooded with text and facebook messages and emails from workers telling us horror stories of how they have been treated. This include former workers who have left the company in disgust.
The company has also been confiscating and destroying copies of the union newsletter when distributed at stores.
Unite and BK workers will continue to tell the truth.
The teach-in planned for this Sunday is only the first of many that will be held around the country over the coming weeks.
The teach-ins will be a way for the community to show their solidarity with these young, vulnerable workers who are bravely standing up to corporate bullying.