Tag Archives: Fast Food workers

Minimum wage increase useless without end to zero hours

25 Feb

Unite Union has welcomed the 50 cent an hour increase in the minimum wage but says that no matter what level the minimum wage reached it is of little benefit unless it is combined with an end to zero hour contracts.

Unite is calling on the government to set a target to have the minimum wage progressively increased from its current level of about 50% of the average wage to two-thirds of the average – which was the standard in New Zealand in the past.

The entire benefit of a pay rise can be lost for someone on around 20 hours a week if they lose only one hour’s pay. We will be taking a claim for guaranteed hours to be the norm in the negotiations this year with fast food companies and others who have most staff working under what have been dubbed zero-hour contracts because they have no guaranteed minimum number of hours.


Zero Hour Myths exposed by Fast Food worker survey

22 Feb

10991395 10155175547945006 3819573757507372076 nA major survey of fast food workers in New Zealand has

exposed the reality of “Zero Hour Contracts” for workers and some of the myths used to justify them.

Over a thousand fast food union members working for the major brands in New Zealand responded to Unite Union’s online survey, with nearly 700 giving detailed information on their working hours over the previous four weeks. That is the biggest response Unite Union has ever had to a member survey.

“Unfortunately it confirms in detail what we already knew from our worksite visits” said Unite Union National Secretary Gerard Hehir.

“Most fast food workers are willing and able to work more hours on a regular basis but are simply not given the opportunity. Over half who took part actually want an increase to 35 hours or more a week. We know hours become available on regular basis as other staff leave, but the companies choose to employ new staff and allocate hours week to week rather than offer any security of income.”

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Zero tolerance for zero hours

4 Dec

Fast food workers are on the frontline in the fight against zero-hour contracts, with a union saying bosses have all the power.

A street full of fast food signs

Working the night shift a few months ago Martha, a 19-year-old KFC worker in Wellington, got into a dispute with her boss over whose job it was to finish a task. When she refused to do it, the “big boss” reminded her that he was currently hiring new staff – an implicit threat that her hours could be cut.

“In my head, I was thinking ‘is that a threat? Are you threatening me … Are you serious? I’ve been working here for four years’. And for him to just say that … I wasn’t mad, it was just hurtful.”

Martha’s voice breaks as she talks about work, and before long, tears are running down her face. “Sorry,” she says. “It’s just frustrating.”

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Fast food workers arrested in US

22 Sep

On September 4, 2014 9 Rockford and Peoria the US, fast food workers were arrested engaging in civil disobedience because of commitment to do whatever it takes to win $15 and a union without retaliation.

John Oliver tears into treatment of fast food

5 Aug
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