The unite union fight over their contract with McDonald’s has resulted in two knockdowns for the company in the first two weeks. But the struggle continues.
McD’s delegates training day in March
The fight began May 1 with a picket of the company’s flagship Queen Street store in Auckland that was subject to heavy-handed police presence. This aggressive policing continued outside the Quay St and Queen Street stores on May 10. The union felt obliged to make a formal complaint to the Auckland police commander and will be meeting him on Monday to discuss the police tactics.
One of the issues raised in the on the first pickets was the anti-gay culture demonstrated in the bullying and abuse suffered by Unite union delegate Sean Bailey. This became an international news story and was then picked up by New Zealand media.
The union then raised the question of whether the free meals or 50% discounts routinely provided to police was a factor in their seeming bias towards the company on the pickets. The issue then became a media sensation this week with three stories (one, two) on succeeding days on TV3 that ended with the commissioner of police (three) ordering all staff to refuse discounts in the future or face disciplinary action. The TV3 reports featured footage of the police pushing picketers around in Auckland. The news of the end of the discounts in New Zealand has also gone international.
From any point of view both stories were a PR disaster for McDonald’s.
There were also actions in Dunedin,
Tauranga, and South Auckland. There was always huge public support shown with toots of support and customers turning away.
Unite member on Clendon store picket
There will be continuing actions over the next weeks and months. This is a big company with lots of resources. We need to be ready for a long campaign. Given the low wages and insecure hours we can’t expect the workers to do win their demands through economic action alone.
We will need public support. We want unions and other community groups to consider “adopting” a McDonald’s to picket in support of the workers demands. We have already had support (including on the picket line) from the Auckland University Student’s Association and the Maritime Union of NZ.
Each strike and picket will highlight an aspect of the workers demands. We will have more stories to tell about stolen wages and breaks, insecure hours, favoritism and bullying, exploitation of migrant workers.
Below are links to the media reports, Unite Blog stories and Youtube uploads by supporters. We want to create a complete record of this campaign. Please send us any reports in local newspapers.
Keep up with the campaign by subscribing to the Unitenews Blog or our Facebook group. We already have just under 2000 subscribers and are getting thousands of hits each week.
Be part of a movement to support workers up against one of the world’s most powerful multinationals. Their courage demands your support.
RECORD OF THE CAMPAIGN SO FAR
April 2: Ronald wants to re-introduce youth wages http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/04/02/ronald-wants-to-re-introduce-youth-wages/
Ronald vs the Union http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/05/03/ronald-vs-the-union/
April 30: McDonald’s staff set to strike
April 30: Maccas staff set to strike http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/maccas-staff-set-strike-180313307.html
April 30: Joe Carolan on BFM http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/210924/3/joecmcds.mp3
May 1: Unhappy NZ McDonald’s employees plan to strike http://www.franchise.net.au/news/unhappy-nz-mcdonald-s-employees-plan-to-strike
May 1: Mike Treen Speaks At Picket Against Mc Donalds
May 1: McDonalds Picket – Unite Union http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=AE54nyYqP5c
May 1: Auckland Photos: http://freshfigure.com/art/auckland-mcdonalds-union-protest/
May 1: Youth rates will take work from other young workers https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/youth-rates-will-take-work-from-other-young-workers/
May 1: Sid Vyas, Unite union Speaks Out
May 1: McDonalds strike protest today. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=537662396280323
May 1: Joe Carolan’s Post Picket Speech – Picket Against McDonald’s
May 1: Interviews With Some Protestors On The McD’s Picket Line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssr4h58mgC0
May 1: Britomart McDonalds Occupied on Mayday
May 1: Jase & Dave’s Song For Mcdonald’s Employees http://www.classichits.co.nz/auckland/player/ondemand/listen-again-mcdonalds-strike-song
May 5: Matt McCarten: Salt in wounds on workers’ day http://www.nzherald.co.nz/matt-mccarten/news/article.cfm?a_id=284&objectid=10881540
May 7: Video: Police protect McDonald’s on May Day in New Zealand https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/video-police-protect-mcdonalds-on-may-day-in-new-zealand/
May 8: Sid Viyas – “Working like a slave” at McDonald’s https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/working-like-a-slave-at-mcdonalds/
May 8: Students stand by workers at McDonald’s https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/students-stand-by-workers-at-mcdonalds/
May 9: Picket at McDonald’s Linwood https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/unite-picket-mcdonald-linwood-may-9/
May 9: McStrike Linwood photos https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151840912302345.1073741833.548682344&type=1
May 9: McDonald’s Linwood https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151840912302345.1073741833.548682344&type=1
May 10: McDonald’s, Unite at odds over assault claims at Linwood http://www.3news.co.nz/McDonalds-Unite-at-odds-over-assault-claims/tabid/421/articleID/297327/Default.aspx
May 10: Protesters stake out Auckland McDonald’s http://www.3news.co.nz/Protesters-stake-out-Auckland-McDonalds/tabid/309/articleID/297357/Default.aspx
May 10: McStrike protest report and photos http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/mcstrike-protest-report-and-photos.html
May 10: McDonalds McStrike – Brittomart – Closing speeches – Auckland
May 10:Mike Treen challenges police at McStrike Auckland (plus delegate interviews & speeches) https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/mike-treen-challenges-police-at-mcstrike-auckland-may-10-2/
May 11: Union protesters assaulted by McDonald’s security staff http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/05/11/union-protesters-assaulted-by-mcdonalds-security-staff/
May 11: McStrike Dunedin
May 12: McStrike at McDonald’s North Dunedin http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QYF_h9H3sH4
May 13: Two rammed at Dunedin protest http://www.3news.co.nz/Two-rammed-at-Dunedin-protest/tabid/423/articleID/297553/Default.aspx
May 13: Dunedin – Picketers run over at ‘McStrike’ – organiser http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10883260
May 14: Dunedin: Protester had two options: go over or under car http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/256810/protester-had-two-options-go-over-or-under-car
May 14: Tauranga – Protestors outside McDonald’s
May 14:Tauranga – Protest outside McDonalds http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/protest-outside-mcdonalds/1866753/
MAY 16: “Solidarity”, the cry of The Clendon McStrike https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/solidarity-the-cry-of-the-clendon-mcstrike/
MCD’S & GAY RIGHTS
May 1: McDonald’s worker told by boss to ‘act less gay’ http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/mcdonald%E2%80%99s-worker-told-boss-%E2%80%98act-less-gay%E2%80%99010513
May 1: McDonald’s worker told ‘don’t act gay’ VIDEO: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/mcdonald-s-worker-told-don-t-act-gay-5424349
May 2: New Zealand: McDonald’s worker told ‘If you turn anyone else in the store gay, I will punish you’ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/05/02/new-zealand-mcdonalds-worker-told-if-you-turn-anyone-else-in-the-store-gay-i-will-punish-you/
May 3: Gay McDonald’s worker receives international support http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/gay-mcdonald-s-worker-receives-international-support-5426513
May 5: McStrike: Interview with Unite delegate Sean Bailey http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/mcstrike-interview-with-unite-deledate.html
May 10: Same-sex ‘kiss-in’ shows support for gay McDonald’s worker http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/same-sex-kiss-in-shows-support-gay-mcdonald-s-worker-5433981
May 10: Turn McDonalds Gay Day, tonight 8pm at Britomart https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/turn-mcdonalds-gay-day-tonight-8pm-at-britomart/
May 12: McDonalds vs Unite: Queer power, workers’ power http://fightback.org.nz/2013/05/11/mcdonalds-vs-unite-queer-power-union-power/
BFM Radio interview with SeanBailey http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/211052/3/SeanBailey-McDonalds.mp3
POLICE & MACCAS
May 1: Cops used as McDonald’s private security guards says Unite Union https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/cops-used-as-mcdonalds-private-security-guards-says-unite-union/
May 10: McD’s Picketers assaulted https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/mcds-picketers-assaulted/
May 10: Cops breaking McStrike picket
May 10: Mike Treen challenges police at McStrike Auckland (plus other video footage) https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/mike-treen-challenges-police-at-mcstrike-auckland-may-10-2/
May 13: Letter from Unite to Auckland Police https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/letter-from-unite-to-auckland-police/
May 14: Cop freebies at Maccas should end https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/cop-freebies-at-maccas-should-end/
May 14: Union complains about police conduct http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8658321/union-complains-about-police-conduct
May 14: Concern over police freebies longstanding https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/concern-over-police-freebies-longstanding/
May 15: TV3 – Police accused of protecting food perk http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-accused-of-protecting-food-perk/tabid/309/articleID/297933/Default.aspx
May 16: Workers Strike Over Lack Of Free Meals On Shift http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1305/S00223/workers-strike-over-lack-of-free-meals-on-shift.htm
May 16: McDonald’s workers protest police discount http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/mcdonald-s-workers-protest-police-discount-5439048
May 16: Police seek apology over fast food favours claim http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/257136/police-seek-apology-over-fast-food-favours-claim
May 16: Some questions for the NZ Police – letter from Mike Treen to the Commissioner of Police https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/some-questions-for-the-nz-police/
May 16: TV 3 – Police regularly accepting discounts http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-regularly-accepting-discounts/tabid/309/articleID/298085/Default.aspx
May 17: TV3 – Police may be disciplined for discounted food http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-may-be-disciplined-for-discounted-food/tabid/1607/articleID/298194/Default.aspx
May 17: Unite to McDonald’s: It’s time to withdraw unlawful discounts to Police https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/mcdonalds-its-time-to-withdraw-unlawful-discounts-to-police/
May 18: Commissioner puts ends to ‘McCops’ discount http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/257547/commissioner-puts-ends-mccops-discount
May 18: NZ ends long-standing McCop’s discount http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/nz-ends-long-standing-mccops-discount/story-fn3dxix6-1226645729610