KFC workers rail against Restaurant Brands
Around half of Restaurant Brands New Zealand’s 4,000-strong workforce walked off the job, with about 2,000 Unite Union members in KFC stores in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin looking to twist the company’s arm over disputed pay and conditions.
Restaurant Brands operates New Zealand’s KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and Starbucks Coffee franchises and has branched out to Australian KFC stores and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut businesses in Hawaii.
“Yesterday, Restaurant Brands announced profits of $26 million and they have paid their CEO a million dollar bonus,” said Gerard Hehir, Unite national secretary.
“Tomorrow the workers who actually make and sell their products have to go on strike to get a few cents above the minimum wage.
“This is a stark example of the growing gap between rich and poor and Unite Union members at Restaurant Brands are taking action to close the gap a little bit. While Restaurant Brands have been paying huge bonuses and dividends and buying up large overseas, their workers are overworked and underpaid”
Restaurant Brands has rejected a proposal from the union for a rise of 10 cents an hour each year over three years above the minimum wage movement for the lowest paid workers. This will take to take their pay to 30 cents an hour above the minimum wage by 2019.
The union also wants shift supervisors, skilled and experienced staff who are able to run stores on their own, to get increases over three years that will move them towards a living wage.
Unite has recently reached agreement with McDonalds that gives those workers 30 cents above the minimum wage in the next three years as well as shift supervisors a living wage and a redundancy payment.