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15 years ago fast food workers did not have a union they could join.
Workers faced a situation with low pay, no guaranteed hours and often bullying by managers without any way of fighting back.
Since then we have joined up thousands of workers and negotiated collective agreements that have made real improvements in most major fast food companies.
In the early 2000s the legal minimum wage was much less for young people up to 20 years of age. The adult minimum was worth around 40% of the average wage and the youth minimum only 26% of the average. Today the start rate in the industry is equal to 58% of the average wage and applies to everyone from 16 years of age.
In early 2015, we launched our successful End Zero Hours campaign, to put an end to zero hours contracts in the fast food industry. The political pressure from the campaign we spearheaded forced an otherwise hostile National government to eliminate zero hours contracts in law.
There is still work to do to make sure the guaranteed minimum hours workers need are actually being improved over time to what workers actually need every week.
Fast food workers also deserve a living wage which will require a boost to start rates to around 66% of the average wage.
Some managers are also trying to undermine what has been achieved. Bullying and favouritism remain problems.
All the companies were found to be cheating on annual leave. But Unite has held them to account and they will all be forced to pay what they owe.
Some companies like Burger King and Wendy's have been convicted of illegal behaviour on the employment relations authority cases the union has brought.
Unite is there to help workers stand up for themselves - individually and collectively.
Fast Food Lead Organiser
Assistant National Secretary
Fast Food News
Download Collective Agreement
Burger King Lead Organiser
Covid-19 lockdown information
BK Pay proposal and Wage Subsidy Form OK to sign!
On Friday 27th August Burger King asked all employees to fill out a form (online link here) with a Level 4 pay proposal and consent so they can access the government's Wage Subsidy on your behalf.
We have been in discussion with Burger King over the past few days and have agreed that the proposal you have been sent meets both the requirements of the wage subsidy and the collective agreement.
The key point for Unite is that no-one will be paid less than their agreed minimum hours. There may be some reductions for some who have been working many more than their agreed hours (although this is limited to 20% at the most) but, as you should know, hours above your agreed number can be reduced at any time, lockdown or not.
The wage subsidy part is a legal requirement that employers receive workers' consent to pass their details onto MSD.
The only details they will be passing on are:
Date of birth
Whether you normally work more or less than 20 hours per week
We've been through this before and reviewed the process now; this is a harmless privacy waiver. We recommend you fill out the form online so it's easier for Burger King to continue to pay everyone.
If you have any questions please contact your organiser. If you have concerns about the pay proposal then please get in touch. Burger King has committed to fixing any situations where the pay proposal results in an unfair reduction in pay because of individual circumstances.
Download Collective Agreement
How to get your first two pay rises at McDonald's
McDonald’s workers can get their first pay rise by completing CCO (Crew Certificate of Operations) training which is supposed to be made available to all employees within the first 3 months of employment but often is not.
Unite's previous wins at McDonald's:
What Unite union members have achieved over the last twelve years through collective bargaining:
Securing 100% of agreed minimum hours. Only a few years ago all McDonald's workers were on “zero hour” contracts.
Getting all McDonald's workers paid 30 cents an hour more than the minimum wage, as well as a clear and fair system for a further 55 cent per hour increase within a year.
Leading campaigns (including a petition signed by 250,000 people) to double the value of the minimum wage from 30% of the average wage to nearly 60% today.
Getting rid of youth rates in 2006 and stopping the company re-introducing them in 2013.
Increasing paid breaks from 10 to 15 minutes and getting compensation of an extra 15 minutes pay for missing a paid break.
Getting a clear system for breaks into the agreement so that the company can’t take them away when the government changed to law to reduce the requirement to provide regular paid and unpaid breaks.
Getting a “pass-on” payment of up to $300 for union members only when the new collective agreement was signed.
Stopping the company from being able to fire you for no reason within 90 days of starting your job.
Increasing the rates for Shift Supervisors by $1.50 per hour and winning a Higher Duties Allowance.
Back pay for all current and former McDonald's staff for holiday pay miscalculations that will be paid out in 2020
Easier entitlement to an alternative holiday for working on a public holiday.
Aotearoa McDonald's Workers Council
Workers Council 4th May 20022
The Aotearoa McDonald’s Workers Council is a democratic council, made up of twelve Unite Union delegates from McDonald’s stores across the country. The council meets together every three weeks to discuss matters pertaining to McDonald’s workers, with the goal of creating a fair and safe working environment for all. In these times of pandemic and economic hardship, the council is committed to elevating the voices of workers and ensuring that they are heard by McDonald’s New Zealand.
As a mouthpiece for McDonald’s workers, the council wants to hear from you. Communicate with us directly and confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join the conversation at “McDonalds Unite Delegates Aotearoa” on Facebook.
Unite is currently negotiating our first collective agreement with Starbucks.
Starbucks is currently owned by Tahua Capital. Under its previous owners Restaurant Brands, Unite won the following victories for Starbucks workers:
Introducing fixed shifts to give workers security
Overtime rates and penal rates
Our Starbucks members get a collective voice in discussion with the company and representation and assistance in workplace problems.
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