KFC, Carl’s Jr and Pizza Hut workers to strike this weekend

Strike and picket outside Balmoral KFC during 2017 negotiations

Media Release from Unite Union:

KFC is off the menu this weekend as hundreds of Fast Food workers employed by Restaurant Brands and members of Unite Union take strike action this weekend.

Over the past week, members have been voting on the latest offer as well as on a secret ballot to authorise strike action. 89% of the 763 who took part rejected the offer and 88% voted to take strike action and Unite Union sent RBL a notice this morning of a strike beginning at 2pm this afternoon and finishing at 2am on Monday morning.

Margins for skilled workers slashed
“After 6 full days of negotiations Restaurant Brands is still insisting on cutting the margins for skilled and trained employees above the starting rate,” said Unite National Secretary and Lead Negotiator Gerard Hehir.

Most of the margins have been cut in half in RBL’s last offer, with the qualified Pizza Hut “Expert” reduced to only 25 cents per hour above the starting rate, when it has been 80 cents.

“RBL has been forced to increase the starting rate by the minimum wage increase and to match the $18 start rate of major competitors like McDonald's - but they want their skilled and trained staff to pay the cost. Low wage employers need to realise that they can’t get away with just increasing their lowest rate only and undervaluing their experienced and skilled staff”.

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Vodafone employees forced onto inferior contracts

Christchurch Vodafone employees forced onto inferior contracts without redundancy

Unite Union is calling on Vodafone to pay Christchurch employees redundancy rather than forcing them to accept inferior and sub-standard contracts with Indian multinational Tech Mahindra.

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How to talk to your boss and the importance of getting it in writing

As a rule, anything at all to do with your employment should be in writing and a physical or digital copy made available to you at all times. This can mean things like; your letter of employment, changes to your pay/hours or position. This idea should extend to any and all complaints you might make, no matter how small they may seem. This ensures you as an employee are fully informed of your rights in the workplace, which helps to make people feel more confident at work, and it leaves a handy paper trail to take to your union delegate/organiser if your complaint receives no attention from management.

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Your (brief) guide to sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is serious and unacceptable. Unfortunately, it’s rampant in workplaces that Unite Union covers – in some places it’s normalised and a part of the culture that gets treated like a joke. In others, workers who have been harassed are so uncomfortable or unsure what to do that they just try put up with it and hope it ends. If it doesn’t, they quit.

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There is a lot of noise but little light being shown on the debate over a capital gains tax (CGT)

There is a lot of noise but little light being shown on the debate over a capital gains tax (CGT).

What the middle-class liberals who dominate the leadership in the Green and Labour Parties don’t have any recognition of is that working people in New Zealand are radically overtaxed and deeply resent that. This is especially true when considered in relation to the benefits we are able to access through the public health, education, housing systems.

Workers pay high tax rates on every dollar of income and every dollar of expenditure.


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Closing the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage

The unions and the broader labour movement need to set the goal of closing the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage.

The living wage is calculated in a particular way but has remained about two-thirds of the average wage.

The new living wage number of $21.15 is 66.8% of the average ordinary time wage for the December quarter 2018 of $31.63. This is useful for us as the CTU goal for the minimum wage is the same ie two-thirds of the average wage. That goal was also the official promise of the Labour Party in the past.

As the minimum wage gets closer to the living wage the goal of cementing in a living wage rate (or preferably the two-thirds of the average wage goal) to be written into our collective employment agreements becomes more realistic.


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Feeding the far right trolls

Here at Unite Union, we don't usually feed the trolls.

But when we do, we like to shove so much down their gullets that they can't cope.

Unite Support Admin vacancy in Auckland

Unite has a vacancy for a Support Administrator for our Auckland Office (Kingsland).

The position is permanent for 40 hours a week, although there is flexibility for reduced hours and date/times of work are negotiable.

The role is a vital aspect of our operation. You will be responsible for the logistical support for union organisers and delegates and effective and co-ordinating effective and timely responses to member enquiries responses.

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Resolution of Dispute with AHS

Resolution of dispute with AHS

Unite has been supporting a number of workers who have complained they have been underpaid, worked long hours and had inadequate breaks.

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New Zealand Labour News: November 2018

New Zealand Labour Letter is published as a service to Labour by AIL of New Zealand Ltd.

A round of rolling national strikes by principals and primary teachers will hit the nation starting on November 12, announced the New Zealand Education Institute. The decision follows the rejection of a second offer by the Ministry of Education in late September and a national strike on August 15. "We're at crisis point for recruiting and retaining teachers in this country. I've had principal colleagues in tears with the stress of trying to ensure a teacher in every classroom. Meanwhile the huge workload and lack of resources for children with additional learning needs is driving teachers out of the profession," said NZEI Principals' lead negotiator Louise Green. She said the "unprecedented" level of industrial action underscores the severity of the nation's education crisis. NZEI President Lynda Stuart reported the union and the Secretary for Education have been in intensive talks facilitated by the Employment Relations Authority to reach an agreement before the strike deadline. Educators are asking for a significant raise of 16 per cent over two years, smaller classrooms and more resources for children with learning disabilities.

Striking primary school teachers and principals march in Hamilton as part of a nationwide strike.

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