Burger King is trying to intimidate and silence its workers and the Unite union from criticising the company.
The company has applied to the Employment Relations Authority seeking an injunction to stop Unite from organising teach-ins at its stores about how the company is treating its workers. It also wants to shut down the union's blog from reporting on Burger King and its activities.
Burger King has told its staff that if any of them speak up at teach-ins outside its stores they face “serious consequences”.
This instruction posted in all the stores has simply made the workers more angry. One Burger King worker in Blenheim set up a Facebook page for a silent protest outside their store on August 25.
Burger King Burnside delegate Julie Tyler was threatened with dismissal last year for saying Burger King workers were “overworked and underpaid” on her Facebook page.
Unite union now has more evidence that this entire disciplinary process was a set up by the company to try to get rid of a union delegate.
Burger King claims the union is breaching its obligations of good faith by publicly criticising Burger King rather than using the normal channels available in an employment relationship. This is a particularly ironic statement given that the company has targeted Unite members and delegates precisely because they have tried to exercise their legal rights.
Unite will pursue personal grievances and other legal action as required. But the union will also hold the company up to the inspection of the court of public opinion until it has broken the climate of fear and intimidation that Burger King has tried to impose on its workers.
[Reprinted from United News.]