Archive | March, 2014

Fast food companies cheat workers out of lieu days

28 Mar

By Mike Treen

National Director, Unite Union

Workers have been cheated out of their lieu day entitlements for working on a public holiday at several fast food companies.

By law, workers are meant to get one full day as a paid “alternative holiday” (also called a lieu day) if they work any period of time on a public holiday – if that day is usually a working day for them. So, if the public holiday is on a Monday and I usually work Mondays, I should get paid time and a half for all hours worked and get another full day’s paid leave.

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Part time Unite union organisers wanted in Auckland and Wellington

25 Mar

Unite Union is looking to employ two part time organisers. Both organisers will have a primary responsibility for visiting, recruiting and representing workers in the fast food industry, cinemas, hotels and security.

Organisers need to have some experience as a union delegate, an advocate for workers and beneficiaries or organising experience in community movements. A knowledge of current industrial law would be an advantage.

Applicants need to be computer literate. A current drivers licence is essential.

The Auckland position is for 20 hours a week. The Wellington position is for 10 hours a week.

Both positions are for a fixed term until September 30 when there will be a reorganisation of roles at Unite Union.

Applications should be sent by email to Unite National Director Mike Treen (mike) by 5pm, Monday, March 31.

Mike Treen

National Director
Unite Union
09 8452132 ext 20
029 5254744

Living Wage 4 Learning March

21 Mar

Saturday 29 March

Gather at Queen Elizabeth Square 11am

March up Queen Street 11.30am

Rally in Aotea Square 12-1pm

Every child deserves a chance in life, but more than one in four Kiwi kids live in poverty. That inequality is the biggest hurdle to educational success.

The Government is putting millions into highly paid "new roles" for some principals and teachers, but ignoring child poverty. It has rejected a living wage for low paid support staff such as teacher aides, who directly support students with the greatest needs.

If you agree that tackling inequality must be the #1 priority in New Zealand, and that there must be a Living Wage for Learning for kids and education workers, come and join us to show your support!

Download the event flyer to print and display

Call 0800 NZEI HELP (0800 693443) for more information.

Fast Food pay rates to change April 1

15 Mar

Message to all Unite workers fast food restaurants:

From April 1 all rates in companies where Unite has collective agreements will increase by at least 50 cents an hour.

These companies are McDonald’s, Burger King, Restaurant Brands & Wendy’s.

All collective agreements at these companies have a clause that all rates would increase by at least 50 cents or the percentage increase in the minimum wage.

The government has announced that the minimum wage will increase from $13.75 to $14.25 from April 1. This equals a 3.636% increase on the minimum rate. All rates above the minimum increase by a similar percentage.

From April 1 Restaurant Brands Rates are:
The different rates for Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizzza Hut, Starbucks and Carl’s Jr) are in the attached PDF or can be seen here.

From April 1 McDonald’s Rates are as follows:
Minimum Crew rate: $14.25
Crew CCO $14.50
Crew CCO (12 months) $14.80
Crew Trainer $15.05
Maintenance Person $15.05
Shift Assistant $15.05
Shift Supervisor/McCafe TL $17.11
Cert Shift Supervisor $18.25

From April 1 Burger King Rates are as follows:
Team Member – $14.25
Team Member Level 3 – $14.51
Team Trainer – $14.82
Production Coordinator – $15.08

The Wendy’s rates are subject to the current negotiations. The crew rates will increase by at least 50 cents to:
Crew Start $14.25
6 months Automatic $14.50
12 months review $14.75
18 month Review $15.00
Shift Supervisor in training $15.25
Shift Supervisor (1 year) $16.00

Huntly McDonald’s – from sauna to cool oasis

15 Mar

A routine site visit to Huntly McDonalds on Wednesday 12 March turned into more of a sauna visit with the temperature in store exceeding 30 degrees in all areas from foyer through to kitchen. Staff were clearly not happy and were relieved to see me onsite even wanting to walkout.

According to the workers, this has been an ongoing issue as their air conditioning system is prone to breaking down and sending temperatures in the store above 30 degrees. On this occasion, the office temperature reading was 31 degrees so you could imagine what the cooking area was like.

After notifying the Restaurant Manager that this clearly was a risk to the health and safety of workers onsite and that workers were well within their rights to walk out, the air-conditioning system was immmediately fixed and will be continually monitored to ensure it remains that way.

Staff were elated that their work place air-conditioning system has been fixed and an oasis of calm has returned to their work site. Customers have also relayed how pleased they are at how cool the restaurant is and that I should do site checks more often.

By Angelyse-Heitiare Armstrong, Unite Organiser for South Auckland/Waikato


14 Mar
SAT 29 MARCH: JOIN THE NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO STOP THE TPPA Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Saturday 29 March, 1pm

Contact the organisers of your local event if you can help or chris.zack if you want to start something where there is a gap.

Posters and leaflets, templates for placards, and other resources are all on the website or will be soon.

It would be great to have lots of colour and creativity – there will be ideas from other international actions on the TPPA on the website too.

Join the banner- and placard-making day in Auckland on Saturday 22nd. Contact chris.zack

Protest Locations (from North to South)


Kohukohu at 1:00


Clock Museum, Town Basin at 1:00


1:00 pm Aotea Square

Garden Place at 1:00


Puke Ariki Landing at 1:00

Red Square at 1:00


Silver Ball Sculpture on the Riverfront 1pm walk up to Majestic Square

Palmerston North
The Square at 1:00

Cuba Street, bucket fountain at 1:00


venue TBD at 1:00

114 Cashel St at 1:00

South Canterbury on the T junction of Cox and Talbot Street at 1:00

Wachner Place @ 1:00

More places in process of being organised. Email us if you’d like to be involved: chris zack <chris.zack>





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Support Forestry Families – $3,000 to go!

12 Mar

Eleven forestry workers, dads, husbands, sons and brothers, were killed at work in the forestry industry in the last year alone. Many of these families, along with others, who have lost loved ones in the forest want to come together to remember those taken away from them.

Please help their families come together on the eve of Workers Memorial Day, for a service to remember and honour their loved ones on April 27. We are fundraising for the costs of travel and accommodation for the families for this important and significant occasion.

Shhh…. McDonald’s has a secret

7 Mar

Message from a US McDonald’s worker:

Shhh…. McDonald’s has a secret. You know those nationwide strikes in the USA they pretend not to care about? Well it turns out, they do care. A LOT.

In a big disclosure to federal regulators, McDonald’s yesterday acknowledged that our historic strikes in 130 cities are working—and they may have to raise our pay.

It’s funny. When I first told my friends and family that I was going to go on strike for higher wages and respect, they said “are you crazy? You work at McDonald’s. They’ll never listen to you.”

It just goes to show that anything is possible when you stick together, and fight for what you know is right.

Thanks for your support,

Jonathan Rounds
Fast Food Forward

McDonald’s to SEC: Strikes hurt, and we might have to hike pay

Breaking: SEC filing contradicts the industry’s attempts to dismiss historic worker walkouts

Worker strikes and social media shaming “can adversely affect us,” and “increasing public focus” on “income inequality” could spur higher wages, fast food giant McDonald’s acknowledged in an annual report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Farewell Matt! Unite office, 4pm, Wednesday

3 Mar

David Cunliffe (left) and Matt McCarten (Right) greet on a protest against the government’s anti-union laws

Unite is hosting a farewell for Matt McCarten this Wednesday at 4pm at the Auckland Unite offices at 6a western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland. It will be following a Unions Auckland meeting from 2-4pm at the same place on the union movement’s election strategy for 2014.

Matt was the founder of the organisng drive a decade ago that took Unite from a few hundred members to 7,000 members today. Along the way Unite reunionised sectors that had been considered too hard to organise by many – including fast foods, call centres, hotels, security, and language schools.

Matt has accepted a new role as chief of staff for the Labour Party leader David Cunliffe.

This is your chance to tell Matt this is the smartest or dumbest thing you think he (or David Cunliffe) has ever done. There is usually not much in between in discussions on this matter.

My own views on the matter are contained in this blog reprinted fom The Daily Blog.

The McCarten Appointment by Mike Treen

The decision by Labour Party leader David Cunliffe to appoint Unite Union leader Matt McCarten as his chief of staff has been a huge surprise on the left of politics.

The decision by Matt McCarten to accept the appointment is also something of a surprise to those who have seen Matt as one of the most prominent critics of the Labour Party’s failure to articulate a genuine and inspirational vision for the left.
If Labour wins the election Cunliffe’s decision will be seen as the inspired choice of a courageous leader. If Labour loses Matt and Cunliffe will probably be looking for a new job.

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Matt McCarten: Now for something similar …

2 Mar

By Matt McCarten

(Reprinted from the Herald On Sunday)

I’ve got a new day job.

Unfortunately it means I have to give up my Sunday morning conversations with you.

The political world was stunned on Wednesday when David Cunliffe announced me as his chief of staff.

After the political establishment collectively got back off the floor, the inevitable political attacks started.

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