INDEPENDENT NEWS

Worlds First Starbucks Strike, Auckland

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2005 05:24 PM


WORLD FIRST Scoop Video: Unite Launches SupersizeMyPay, Targets Starbucks
- For the first time globally, Starbucks got a taste of Union today. Unite launched its SuperSizeMyPay.Com Campaign today with a crowd of about 100 people gathered to send a message to Starbucks and other fast-food and cafe outlets to give their workers a fair deal. Worldwide, this is the first time a Union has picketed Starbucks.


Scoop Video: Unite Gives Starbucks a Taste Of Union
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Unite Release: Worlds First Starbucks Strike, Auckland
Unite Union / SupersizeMyPay.Com Tuesday, 22 November
A world first is happening in the heart of Auckland city today (Nov 23), as multi-national giant Starbucks faces a workers strike.
At 2pm the Starbucks on the corner of K' Road and Mercury lane will experience industrial ructions. The legal wild-cat strike is a public awareness raising event and the first action in the Unite workers union SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign.
Campaign coordinator Simon Oosterman says the strike is just one way Unite is raising public awareness of the working conditions of those employed in the fast-food sector and other low paid and minimum wage jobs.
“The minimum wage is now the most important determining factor for low paid workers. Raising the minimum wage to $12 now, removing youth rates, giving secure hours and other minimum entitlements would be the first step towards reclaiming what entitlements workers have lost and alleviating poverty and inequality,” says Mr Oosterman.
The community-wide campaign is being launched around the fast-food industry to win a contract based on these demands as a first step to winning them for all low-paid New Zealanders.
“We are seeking customer and community support at events like the Grey Lynn Festival and the Santa Parade, before we will take widespread industrial action,” he says.
The strike will be held for about an hour, and customers and pedestrians will be offered free fair trade coffee at the event.
Internationally Starbucks has low union representation, with only 300 union members out of 80,000 workers globally.
One third of these union members are in New Zealand.
“Starbucks workers start on $10 an hour, only fifty cents above the minimum wage. Workers hours are not guaranteed and can, and have been, cut from 40 to 20 hours. In Australia, Starbucks workers earn almost $5 more per hour than their New Zealand workmates. We are only asking for $2 more per hour,” he concluded.
Unite has been in negotiations for several months with Restaurant Brands, which owns Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut in New Zealand.
Unite has 2000 members in the fast-food industry.
ENDS

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