Restaurant Brands (Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut) Get A Collective Voice
I didn't even know they were being organized, but the fact remains, all these workers across the nation decided their lives would be better if they joined as a collective body, according to NZ Herald (4/12/08) :
...Union membership has more than doubled to nearly two thousand in Restaurant Brands stores after a union employment agreement was reached last week covering 3500 workers in Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut nationwide.How did this all come about? How has life changed for the new union members at the collective "Restaurant Brands", parent of the 3 chain stores above?
"We have now reached between 50 per cent and 100 per cent membership density in most fast food stores, which is an extraordinary result considering four years ago membership in the sector was less than a paltry one per cent and the union is still growing."McDonald's is next, Burger King and Wendy's negotiations take place later this year.
Wage rates moved for Restaurant Brands workers by 75 cents and $2.25 per hour (6.75 per cent - 21.37 per cent), meaning 90 per cent of members wages increased by more than a $1 an hour.
Restaurant Brands says it now pays between 50 cents and $3.00 more an hour for their long-serving and experienced employees than their competitors.
From: Unite - Union Of Workers (4/7/08)
Achieving $12 an hour, ending youth wages and winning more secure hours!
However, Unite and McDonalds are currently in negotiations and Burger King and Wendys negotiations take place later in the year.
“Unite is pleased that Restaurant Brands is leading the way in moving wage rates and by recognising the importance of these kinds of union agreements to workers.
“The entire fast food industry is made up of casual workers. Restaurant Brands has recognised this and has agreed to provisions that work towards more secure hours for their employees, including the formation of a joint union-employer working party to oversee this.
“Youth rates have also been completely removed, which will have a huge effect as over half of the workforce is under the age of 20 years.“Three years ago Unite launched the Supersizemypay.com (*now defunct URL-Joe) campaign to achieve $12 an hour, end youth wages and win more secure hours. We are proud to announce that this has been achieved.” McCarten concluded.
How did this news miss the Main Stream? Because it's not in the United States, it's in New Zealand.
Four years ago, there were less than 1% of workers in the fast food industry, in NZ., who were in a union, today there are 50% with more on the way, workers immediately got a 6.75-21.3% raise.
Burger King Still The Worst Of The Lot
As with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers campaign here in the states, which is trying to end the slave like conditions of tomato workers here in Florida, Burger King is remaining the leader of anti-worker practices, even in New Zealand, where according to the Socialist Party Of Australia (12/06/07) :
“Burger King, whose employees are largely young workers, has agreed to shift the youth rate next year from $8.35 to $9.00 - an increase of 7.8 per cent. Adult crew workers will receive a 7.3 per cent increase.As Omaha Steve, who posted this story at Democratic Underground, expressed:
“Burger King’s wage proposal is well below Restaurant Brands ($9.23) and McDonald’s ($9.50 after six months) and is not an offer Unite is willing to accept. We will continue to negotiate with Burger King to improve this offer and settle the last remaining issues so we can sign a collective agreement. Hopefully this will occur before Christmas.
“In the meantime we will be conducting a public campaign to put pressure on Burger King to join the other fast food companies in settling a collective agreement.
If New Zealand can do this, so can the US!I couldn't agree more, unfortunately here in the States you can't even get Burger King to pay 1 cents a lb. more for tomatoes, to give the slave farmers in Florida a better living. Which would bring up an entire new story, something along the lines of: "40 Years After Death Of MLK, Multi-National Corporations like their slave class", but slavery has been abolished, there's no slaves in the United States!