Unite Union calls for fair wages for McWorkers

Published: Fri 10 Oct 2008 09:29 AM
Unite Union calls for fair wages and fair trade for McWorkers
7pm October 9th 2008
Unite Union
On Friday 10th October at 8.30am McDonalds employees who are members of the Unite Union and community fair trade groups will hold a rally outside Queen Street McDonald's.
The rally and coinciding strike action across Auckland by members of the Unite Union employed by McDonald's corporation in McCafes has been organised to put pressure on the world's largest fast-food chain to sign a union agreement that gives staff a living wage and to commit to phasing in fair trade coffee.
McDonalds's have refused to come back with a pay offer till November that could settle the ongoing dispute between the company and the more than 1000 McDonald's employees who are members of the Unite Union and are asking for pay-parity with workers at KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. As part of the ongoing industrial action striking employees will walk off the job throughout the morning and converge on the central city store.
"We are asking McDonald's to start paying living wages to workers in New Zealand and to buy coffee through suppliers that offer minimum or guaranteed prices to producers," said Unite Organiser Tom Buckley.
"McDonald's New Zealand is attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of consumers by offering Rainforest Alliance coffee, a brand it describes as "sustainable" although if and when coffee prices floor it will be the poorest coffee farmers who will have to bear the brunt of market fluctuations," continued Mr. Buckley.
"As Trade Aid has pointed out, without guaranteed prices producers will experience pressure to lay-off workers and to destroy their natural surroundings for short term financial gain in periods of diminishing returns", said Unite National Director Mike Treen,
"If McDonald's was actually committed to sustainability for coffee growers in developing nations and for fair pay for their hard working employees and managers in New Zealand, they will come back to the bargaining table with a decent offer after this rally," Mr. Treen concluded.

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