New Zealand: McDonald's workers strike for job security

April 19, 2015


Striking McDonald’s workers took part in marches and pickets in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 15, with many speaking to the crowds and media about the hardship of living with insecure work and income.

In Auckland, 300 workers and supporters marched up Queen Street, stopping to congratulate workers at Burger King and Starbucks stores who have won agreements for secure, guaranteed hours. The workers picketed McDonalds and Wendy’s stores.

Support from the public was huge, with many bystanders stopping to wish the workers good luck and expressing disgust at McDonald's failure to commit to ending “zero hours” contracts. These contracts give employers the right to determine a worker's hours in any given week, with no guarantee of what hours, if any, the worker will receive.

In Wellington, about 150 workers and supporters gathered outside a central city McDonald's restaurant, convincing many potential customers to eat elsewhere.

In Palmerston North, a community picket of the Rangitikei Street McDonald's was held, with union organiser Bonita Belworthy gathering with 30 workers and supporters to let the local McDonald’s franchisee know that the public want them to abandon the contracts now.

Dunedin and Christchurch both had great turn-out on a cold evening to finish off a huge day of action.

Rallies targeted McDonald's restaurants after negotiations broke down the previous day. McDonald's and Wendy’s are the only major fast food chains to have not reached agreement with New Zealand's Unite Union on ending zero hour contracts.

[Reprinted from]

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