McDonald’s dislodges union talks

McDonald'sMcDonald’s remains the only major fast food chain in the country to retain zero hour contracts after it walked out of negotiations with Unite Union.

According to Unite national director, Mike Treen, the union has been successful in eliminating zero hour contracts at Burger King and Restaurant Brands outlets and is “bewildered” at McDonald’s’ choice to walk away from the bargaining process.

Before meeting with McDonald’s to negotiate, Unite welcomed its offer, which guaranteed at least 80 per cent of the hours worked on average over the previous 12 weeks. The union hoped to use the meeting to discuss how this guarantee could be extended to shifts in the future.

Treen said that Unite also wanted to continue bargaining around other claims, including a special payment for members to allow the terms of the collective agreement to be passed on to non-members of the union, a guarantee that new staff would be permitted to join the union at start of employment, and permission to put up information on how to join the union in stores. It upholds these as basic rights at other fast food companies.

McDonald’s responded that Unite introduced a number of new demands, necessitating it leave the bargaining table as it did not feel continuing at that juncture would bring agreement. It is however open to further talks at a later date.

Unite will conduct strike action by its members at McDonald’s on May 1 for International Workers Day.

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