Unite strikes deal with McDonald's over zero-hour contracts

  • Breaking
  • 30/04/2015

The Unite Union has called off today's strike action against McDonald's, saying the fast-food chain has joined Burger King and Restaurant Brands in agreeing to stop using controversial zero-hour contracts.

Unite spokesman Mike Treen is describing the deal with McDonald's as historic.

"This is the culmination of a decade-long campaign for secure hours by Unite Union. It will be welcomed tens of thousands of workers in the fast food industry and hundreds thousands more who will ultimately benefit in other industries.

"It represents a fundamental shift in the employment relationship of the most vulnerable workers in the country."

From July, staff will be guaranteed as least 80 percent of the average number of hours worked each week over the past three months, up to a 32-hour cap.

"We know that having security of hours is important to our people, which is why on April 13 we announced that a guarantee of hours would be formally written into our employment agreement," says McDonald's spokesperson Kim Bartlett.

"Since April 13 we have been working through the technical detail with Unite, along with other elements of the agreement. 

The number of hours worked by each employee will be regularly surveyed, which Mr Treen says will allow the number of secure hours to increase over time.

The deal between the union and McDonald's will be reviewed in March 2016.

In addition to secure hours, the agreement will allow Unite better access to signing up new employees.

Mr Treen hopes the agreement with McDonald's will push the Government to outlaw zero-hour contracts altogether.

"Unite wants to thanks the people of New Zealand for their support in this fight. We would not have been able to get this agreement on our own.

"McDonald's' decision must mean the end of zero hour contracts elsewhere in New Zealand."

The chain is the last of the fast-food companies to agree to end zero hour contracts.

"In some cases it will be too late to cancel the planned gatherings, so we want supporters to have a victory celebration but not interfere with customer access," says Mr Treen.

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source: newshub archive