TV3: Police accused of protecting food perk

15 May


What began as a protest for more pay has morphed into a battle against cheap burgers.

The Unite Union is accusing police of being heavy-handed to protect their perk of discounted fast food.

Union national director Mike Treen says the officer in charge accused the protestors of “reducing the custom of McDonald’s”.

“I said ‘I’m allowed to reduce the custom of McDonald’s. That’s not your job to stop us reducing their custom'”.

Assistant Police Commissioner Grant Nicholls says “to suggest that the police are trading themselves off for a combo or half a hamburger is nothing short of ludicrous”.

Police policy is that employees cannot accept discounts offered purely because they’re in the police.

But the policy can get a bit murky.

It’s perfectly fine for Police Association members – all 11,000 of them – to accept discounts from a special list of food, clothing and loan providers.

3 News understands a list the association has negotiated did not include McDonald’s.

The fast food giant itself, however, said some franchisees “elect to offer discounts on meals for police, fire and ambulance services. The discounts range from 10 – 50 percent, at their own discretion.”

Police Minister Anne Tolley says it was “very clear they [police] are not allowed to get any form of discount.”

But 3 News has been told any badge is a passport for cheap fast food.

A man who used to work as a security guard told 3 News he once went through a KFC drive-through with part of his badge showing. The teller took one look and gave him a hefty discount, no questions asked.

That’s despite Restaurant Brands – the company that operates KFC – denying it provides any discount or freebies for police or emergency services.

3 News


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