KFC union delegate goes above and beyond during Gisborne power outage

During the recent power outage in Gisborne our delegate and newly elected Unite Union Executive member and KFC worker Memory Leach went above and beyond her duties.

When the power went out Memory was still asleep as she had worked the night shift. She was awoken by members in the store ringing her telling her that the Restaurant Manager has told them all to go home, but they were scared that if they left they will not be paid.

Memory rocked up in her Unite Union hoodie and a thermos of hot tea and coffee in hands. The restaurant manager asked what she was doing there and Memory stated that she had brought the staff a hot drink and was there to make sure the workplace was safe for them to be in. Memory explained that she was making sure there was adequate lighting, ventilation and clean water for them to wash there hands. She also took a note of who was on shift at that time and took a photo of the roster to make sure that everyone will be paid, as no one was certain when the power was going to be turned back on.

Later that day Memory also notified members of where the water tankers were in Gisborne and that the City council was cooking sausages for people who couldn't cook anything or afford gas for the BBQs. She also went to Pizza Hut and Carls Jr to make sure they all were aware of their rights during the outage.

The next day Memory shot down to the City Council to make sure that the water was still safe to drink and again with another hot thermos of tea and coffee she went into KFC to recheck everything was running smoothly. By that time the generators were up and running but the store was not yet opened as the chicken had not been delivered. As it was the end of the pay week she mentioned to the Restaurant Manager "does payroll know which hours and which staff need to be paid for yesterday?". The Restaurant Manager quickly sorted it out.

Delegates are leading the way and being empowered to stand up and help others.


"I would not have had the strength, courage or knowledge to do anything like this had it not been firstly for my Menbers and the amazing  encouragement from Unite Union.

I am passionate about looking after our members and put my heart and soul into standing up for what is right. Huge thank you to Unite Union for giving me the tools to do so, I hope to make not only Unite proud but also my team during my time on this Journey and will continue to do so for as long as they will have me.

Once again Thank you Unite for equipping my with all this knowledge to STAND UP & FIGHT BACK!!!!!"

- Memory Leach, KFC Gisborne

Fine and reparation increased by $34,000 in AFFCO meat hook impaling case


Cleaner Jason Matahiki suffered a serious workplace injury when a meat hook went through the side of his head while working at the Affco NZ Rangiuru plant.

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US Fight for 15 plans 'most disruptive' wage protest and strike on Tuesday

Thousands of low-wage airport and fast-food workers across US plan to protest on fourth anniversary of first major action in light of Trump’s election victory


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Unite Union members complete union's first climate change workshop

Unite union members from Sky City, KFC and McDonald's spent Saturday completing Unite Union's first ever climate change workshop.

Participants spent the morning exploring the basics of the climate problem itself, then went on to explore the interconnectedness of climate change's causes and effects.

Each participant then identified an aspect of climate change that was most relevant to their own lives and how they personally could connect with cooperative projects that are addressing this.

We will be running two more workshops between now and the end of the year.

Union members are encouraged to contact Gary Cranston if they would like to take part.


Gary Cranston

Fast Food Organiser

West Auckland - North Auckland - Northland

029 4555 979







Earthquake information from Unite

Hi All,gerard1.jpgUnite is sending this email to all our members in areas affected by last nights significant earthquake.

Firstly, we hope that all of you, your families and friends are safe and well. So far we have not heard any reports of our members being hurt, and we hope that this remains the case.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Union on 0800 2 86483.

Important information to remember for now and the coming days:

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Unite union supports Auckland's Week of Peace, 13-20 November


In response to the Government’s Week of War, peace action groups are coordinating a Week of Peace in Auckland.

"Our week of peace is designed bring together individuals, groups, associations, not for profits and businesses that would like to to send a clear message to the Government and the New Zealand defence industry that a Weapons Expo and Warship visit is  not acceptable."

Please review the events and register for the event(s) you would like to attend.

Sunday 13th Nov:  Non-violent Direct Action Training:
These training sessions will help people to prepare for the blockade with discussions around tactics, role-plays, legal information and safety info. 2pm at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road

Monday 14th Nov:     Non-violent Direct Action Training:
These training sessions will help people to prepare for the blockade with discussions around tactics, role-plays, legal information and safety info. 6pm at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road

Tuesday 15th Nov:   Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks
 Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott, the world’s foremost anti-nuclear activist and researcher speaks at 7:30pm, at the Auckland University of Technology. Hosted by the Peace Foundation.

Wednesday 16th:   Blockade the Arms Trade!
Actively oppose the arms trade by the blockading the Weapons Expo. There are spaces for people who wish to actively blockade as well as space for support and family-friendly creative resistance. Check out the Facebook event for full details.

Thursday 17th:    WALL of NOISE – Drown out the Death Merchants.
Bring your best noisemakers, instruments, banners and placards to drown out the weapons dealers’ party and awards ceremony happening inside. Evening. Check out the Facebook event for more details

Peace Flotilla:  Time & place TBA
Join up with a boat, kayak, surfboard or your body to resist the warships coming into Auckland Harbour. Details confirmed closer to the day.

Saturday 19th: March for Peace.

Queen Street, Aotea Square. 2PM assemble at town hall, 4PM finish at Brittomart.

Sunday 20th:  Peace Ships, NOT Warships! 1pm @ the Cloud
We’ll be having a peace picnic in the midst of the Navy birthday celebration reminding everyone that war is not a celebration bring banners, picnic stuff and other peace materials.




Friday, November 18, 7.30pm, 7.30pm, Selwyn Library. Dorothy Brown Memorial Lecture Dr Jenny Te Paa.

Saturday, November 19, 9qm to 5pm, Bishop Selwyn Chapel, Study Day with Father Claude Mostowik, Professor Kevin Clements, Professor Richard Jackson, Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman, Keith Locke, Chris Barfoot and Professor Margaret Bedggood.

Booking essential for both events for catering purposes. No charge for lecture, Study Day $20 (pay on the day). Light refreshments provided including lunch on Saturday. Book with barfoots or phone 575-6142. Arranged by N.Z Christian Network, Aotearoa New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust, Pax Christi and Anglican Pacifist Fellowship.

Hotel workers celebrate an end to Zero Hour contracts

Unite Union is happy to announce they have reached agreement with Scenic Circle and Holiday Inn to End Zero Hour contracts at their hotels.

After Unite's widely successful End Zero Hours campaign the law changed earlier in 2016 to outlaw zero hour contracts with a one year grace period ending in 2017.  This new law means employers must give a minimum number of guaranteed hours to employees, and if employees are required to be available then they must receive compensation for their time.

The law is brand new and through constructive negotiations the hotels and the union have managed to successfully reach an arrangement that ends zero hour contracts, providing workers with guaranteed weekly hours.

The new Collective Agreement is already in place at Scenic Circle, and the Holiday Inn agreement is expected to be in place in the next week or two.


Shanna Reeder

Organiser for Hotels - based in Auckland 

Unite Union executive calls for NZ Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels

Press release: 28 Oct 2016


Unite Union’s elected worker’s executive recently passed a motion demanding that the NZ Super Fund withdraw all investments (divests) from the coal, oil and gas projects that are driving climate change. Unite joins climate action group 350 Aotearoa, several NGOs, faith groups and other unions in making this call. [1]

The NZ Super Fund has since responded, failing to commit to divesting from fossil fuels, instead announcing that [it] will simply talk to fossil fuel companies about the issue, as if that is going to make any difference.

Last year, over a hundred unite union delegates voted to adopt a climate justice policy that affirmed our union’s support for calls to leave the world’s remaining fossil fuel resources untouched. [2] That call has been soberly validated in a recent study by Oil Change International that recommended that no new infrastructure should be developed if we are to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

“By signing on to this open letter Unite Union is recognising low paid workers in precarious work are the most vulnerable and least responsible for causing climate change. Low income earners and people who are economically vulnerable are the least resilient to economic, energy and weather-related shocks that are coming down the line.”, said Gary Cranston, Unite Union’s climate justice spokesperson.

fullsizerender“We understand that this burden will fall first and foremost on vulnerable people and Unite Union members don’t want their savings used to create an insecure future for them. That is the opposite of what our our Super Fund is meant for.”, said Mr Cranston.

“Ninety per cent of staff at the New Zealand Super Fund are on six-figure pay-packets and while they may not be worried about the impacts of climate change as a consequence, we certainly are.”, said Paseka Afaese, who works at a McDonald’s restaurant in West Auckland [3]. Ms Afaese’s family are familiar with environmental disaster after their home town of Lalomauga in Samoa was levelled by a tsunami in 2009. [4]

“While their wealth will insulate them from climate impacts, people on low wages who are reliant on future income security from their Super Fund won’t have that protection.”, said Mr Cranston.

“Donating our retirement savings to companies that are destroying our future has got to stop. In fact, if we are to secure a safe and healthy future for our communities and whanau we must reverse this trend.  That money could be invested in projects that support a Just (fair) Transition: A fair pathway to protect the climate, and our future’s.”, said Gary Cranston.

Unite union calls on the NZ Super Fund to genuinely divest from fossil fuels, by;

  1. Making no new investments in coal, oil and gas projects
  2. Committing to withdraw all current investments in fossil fuel extraction and production companies within the next three years



[1] Organisations Challenge NZ  – Open Letter : October 25, 2016


[2] Unite union supports climate justice.



[3] Staff land six-figure salaries and big bonuses : NZ Herald Mar 17, 2013


[4] 2009 tsunami, Samoa



Gary Cranston

Climate Justice Spokesperson

Fast Food Organiser: West Auckland & Northland

029 4555 979

McDonalds cuts Ronald's hours - union wants to help

Zero hour RonaldUnite union has made a public appeal for Ronald Mcdonald to make contact about dramatic cuts in his hours of work.

“There are many media reports that, due to the “creepy clown” phenomenon, McDonalds has dramatically cut back on Ronald’s hours of work" said Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir (see  Radio New Zealand: McDonalds not clowning around ).

McDonalds committed to Unite last year that all their workers being guaranteed at least 80% of their usual hours each week. We are asking McDonalds to confirm that they will honour this agreement with Ronald.  The creepy clown craze is not Ronald’s fault and he should not have to go back to a zero hours contract and suffer because of it.”


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Tax professor calls for independent inquiry into how tax evaders and benefit fraudsters are treated by the justice system

By Jenée Tibshraeny

A tax expert is calling for an overhaul of the way we treat white collar criminals compared to benefit fraudsters.

Victoria University of Wellington Associate Professor of Taxation, Lisa Marriott, wants to see an independent inquiry undertaken into our justice system, further to her research highlighting the extent to which tax evaders are largely let off the hook, while benefit fraudsters are chased down and forced to repay every cent they’ve swindled.

She says $1.24 billion of tax was evaded in 2014, while just $33.55 million of welfare payments were defrauded.

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