Unhappy NZ McDonald’s employees plan to strike

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Unite Union members employed by McDonald’s in New Zealand are unhappy with their pay rates and working hours, and are threatening to go on strike next week.  

Demonstrations began on 1 May with staff protesting at the company’s Queen Street store in Auckland.

While McDonald’s recently offered its employees a 25 cent pay rise, Joe Carolan, spokesman, Unite Union said this is not enough, considering the company reported an annual profit of almost $32 million, reports stuff.co.nz

He said employees want their pay rates increased to meet those of staff at KFC, which are said to be much higher.

McDonald’s employees are also seeking that the company provide them with more secure working hours, as it does not guarantee full time workers a total of 40 hours of work each week.

"They'll get 30 to 35 hours a week, but there's no surety around that. The minimum wage is designed with 40 hours of work a week in mind,” said Carolan.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said the company had been in good talks with the union, and it is committed to reaching a negotiation.

On the contrary, on 30 April Carolan said “talks with McDonald's broke down yesterday. Tomorrow we'll protest and announce our plans to take industrial action.”

The union’s 1500 McDonald’s employees account for approximately 20 percent of the company’s New Zealand workforce.