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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The only votes that count is the party vote – except in………

Labour leader Jacinda Adern speaking to rally for equal pay for women
By Mike Treen, National Director Unite Union
(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)
In New Zealand elections we have two votes – the party vote and the electorate vote.

For the vast majority of voters, the only vote that counts in terms of who forms the government is the party vote.

The only exception is where the electorate vote will make a difference to whether a party gets into parliament at all.
This applies to electorates where it is possible for a smaller party to win an electorate seat. This includes Te Tai Tokeraua (Mana Party), Epsom (Act Party), Waiariki and Te Tai Hauāuru (Maori Party) and possibly Nelson (Green Party) and Northland (NZ First) if either party got below 5% in the party vote.
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Come on Labour - it's time we taxed wealth not wages

The Labour Party’s decision to go back to the official policy of not making any changes to any taxes until they have been presented prior to the next election was the only choice they could make – given the hole they had dug for themselves.

This was actually the policy announced earlier in the year by Andrew Little. He argued that the current system was completely unfair and needed a complete overhaul. That is demonstrably true. Working people in this country are heavily taxed compared to the owners of accumulated wealth.


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