Not so fast: Fast food workers set to strike

  • 21/04/2017
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 17:  An employee serves a portion of Kentucky Fried Chicken and chips at the international chain's local franchise February 17, 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Officials are trying to reassure consumers that it is safe to eat well cooked poultry following the discovery of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in swans in Europe. According to the Times newspaper of London, viruses are reportedly destroyed by cooking for at least one minute at 75C (167F) or higher.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

KFC, Pizza Hutt, Carls Jr and Starbucks customers may not get their fast food so quickly as workers strike following failed pay negotiations.

Restaurant Brands, which owns those fast food brands, on Thursday announced a $26 million profit, and its chief executive was awarded a $1m bonus, but rejected a request for a 10 cent per hour pay rise for workers.

Workers will strike on Saturday over what they've called "a very modest proposal".

"This is a stark example of the growing gap between rich and poor and Unite Union members at Restaurant Brands are taking action to close the gap a little bit.

"While Restaurant Brands have been paying huge bonuses and dividends and buying up large overseas, their workers are overworked and underpaid," Unite national secretary Gerard Hehir said.

The union also wants increases over three years that will move shift supervisors, skilled and experienced staff towards a living wage.

"They are qualified and experienced workers who can run a store on their own: managing staff, managing a retail store and a food production facility. They deserve a living wage and Restaurant Brands can afford to pay them [that]," Mr Hehir said.

Restaurant Brands says of the major employers in the sector, they lead the way for fixed working hours and pay security.

Chief executive Russel Creedy says the company was the first to scrap the controversial zero-hour contracts and guarantee minimum hours.

"The overall package of terms and conditions of our employees is better than our competitors in the sector and includes a faster pathway for new employees to increase their pay rates.

"We are an important first job opportunity for many of our employees, so it's disappointing that the union has rejected our offer to pay entry level positions above the Adult Minimum Wage, from day one," Mr Creedy says.

The company says the Consumer Price Index has risen between 5-6 percent since 2012 and in that time Restaurant Brands has increased wage rates by 17 percent.

NZN / Newshub.