Open letter to Russel Creedy from Unite over Alternative Holiday theft


Russel Creedy, Chief Executive, Restaurant Brands


Dear Russel,

It is with great concern that the manipulation of rosters to deny staff alternative holidays at Restaurant Brands has been confirmed to be so widespread that it must have been company policy at a senior level.

When we raised this problem with your HR department in the past they denied it was policy and said it was just being done by some rogue managers.

This is clearly not the case.

The company policy in the past was that you had to have worked three out of four of the previous Monday's if the public holiday was on a Monday to earn an entitlement to a lieu day. This was a narrow interpretation designed to benefit the company but even that policy was deliberately manipulated to deny entitlement.

The Employment Relations Authority has now ruled that a simple majority of weeks worked over three month period to avoid manipulation is enough to trigger an entitlement.

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Christchurch readers react to Wendys lieu days victory

Readers react on Star.Kiwi Rise Up Christchurch's Facebook page to article about Unite Union member Rose Williams winning a three-year battle against Wendy's.

You can read the article here: Wendy’s worker wins lieu day battle for all staff

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Wendy’s must give workers 5 years worth of alternative holidays

The right of workers to an alternative holiday when working on a public holiday has been strongly affirmed in an Employment Relations Authority decision against Wendco (NZ) Limited, the company that operates the Wendy’s stores in New Zealand.

Wendy’s had been using an interpretation of the law that effectively prevented most of their employees from accessing their lawful entitlement. In Wendy’s case, this was using a rule that an employee had to have worked the previous three Mondays if they wanted to claim an alternative holiday for working a public holiday on a Monday.

It was easy for managers to roster workers off one of those Mondays to stop them getting the entitlement.

Wendy's workers protest theft of Lieu Days (Alternative Holidays) during 2015 collective agreement negotiations

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Reject dogmas against increasing the minimum wage

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

Bosses and their paid servants in the so-called economics “profession” are already screaming about the proposed minimum wage hike in New Zealand to $20 an hour by April 2021.

Most of their objections amount to the repetition of dogma which they want us to believe is some sort of science. Usually, very few facts are ever advanced to support their views.


Picket outside McDonald's Queen Street 2003. Unite has campaigned consistently for increases to the minimum wage.

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We Agree: Capitalism has failed

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)


There is a growing recognition that capitalism is at least a part of the problem we face in this society.

First, we had Winston Peters comment when he announced he was forming a government with the Labour Party. He said:

“Far too many New Zealanders have come to view today’s capitalism, not as their friend, but as their foe. And they are not all wrong. That is why we believe that capitalism must regain its responsible – its human face.”

Then the new Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Jacinda Adern was asked directly if capitalism had failed low-income Kiwis she was unequivocal that it had.

“If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that’s a blatant failure. What else could you describe it as?” she said.


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Employees must be offered additional work before new staff are hired

In a determination of the Employment Relations Authority released yesterday, it was held that Wendy’s was required to offer Rosemary Williams additional hours of work before it hired new staff. It had failed to do so over a 3-month period which disadvantaged Ms Williams and Wendy’s was ordered to pay over $3000 in compensation.


Wendy's worker's picket store in Greenlane, Auckland, during bargaining for a collective agreement. 

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Unite Union | Extra money for working horrible hours? Sounds reasonable!

Union members at New Zealand’s two largest cinemas are finally getting a fair go for their late-night work – all work done in the nasty hours of the mornings between 1 or 2 am and 8 am will be paid at time and a half at Hoyts and Event.

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Minimum Wage decision a big win for workers and should be celebrated

It is a mistake to underestimate the importance of the decision to lift the minimum wage to $20 an hour by April 2021.

This will involve a significant real increase in wages for hundreds of thousands of workers in this country.

Employers will be screaming. Every time there is a bump in unemployment as a consequence of capitalism’s business cycles, the increase will be blamed on the minimum wage increase.

Minimum wages usually go up each April 1.

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Great start from new government for low paid workers

The planned increases to the Minimum Wage to $20 are a major step forward for workers, equality and the economyLiving_Wage_sticker_65mm_no_bleed.jpg overall according to Unite Union, which represents thousands of low paid workers in  food and hospitality workplaces.

As minimum adult wage moves towards the Living Wage then workers will simply be able to make ends meet after a weeks work, according to Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.

“It will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands who most desperately need help. Over four years it is a 6.75% average increase per year. That is not excessive when we currently have full-time workers relying on welfare support, state subsidies and charity - and still struggling. Employers need to pay their workers enough to live - it really is that simple”

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Capitalism kills and maims daily

Kiwi workers are being killed at the rate of one a week and on average someone is seriously injured every day.

These grim statistics are contained in a report by the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.


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