||Issue No. 299||17 March 2006|
For Queen and Country
Interview: Organising In Cyberspace
Industrial: How Low Is Low
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Unions: Bad Medicine
History: Right Turn, Clyde
Economics: Long Division
International: Union Proud
Politics: Howard’s Sick Joke
Indigenous: The year of living dangerously
Review: Lights, Camera, Strike!
Culture: News Front
The Locker Room
McDonald's workers will be joining a protest at Britomart at 1pm this Saturday that will march up to Myers Park to join the "Big Pay Out" free concert. The concert includes 8 Foot Sativa, Stylus, Olmecha Supreme, Shona Laing and Geneva.
Fast food workers campaign group, SupersizeMyPay.com, has pressured McDonald's into paying all workers the new minimum wage three weeks early despite previous threats that it would only pay it to non-union members, a move the workers union, Unite, claimed was intended to break the union.
McDonald's reversed its position after Unite filed legal papers before the Employment Relations Authority two weeks ago claiming McDonald's was actively acting in bad faith during negotiations.
McDonald's has since backed down, saying they are now "committed to treating all crew on a similar basis" and would give union members the same pay increase that it had given to non-union members.
"McDonald's says they are paying union members now because they don't want to discriminate against workers - but that is a bunch of lies," said Hene Moeke, 18, shift supervisor from Pt Chevalier McDonalds, who had served the company with the legal documents on behalf of her workmates two weeks ago. "Why did it take them so long? They are only going to pay us now because they are scared of us - a bunch of low paid workers who have decided to stand up for ourselves.
The pay rise is separate to ongoing wage negotiations, which were called off after the McDonald's advocate, Mr. Tony Teasdale, allegedly assaulted an Australian journalist who was filming in the foyer of the Teasdale Associates.
Mr McCarten said that without provocation or warning Mr. Teesdale rushed into the foyer and physically attacked the journalist and wrestled her camera off her resulting on lacerations to her fingers.
"Despite several requests for the return of the equipment Mr. Teesdale refused. Therefore the meeting was abandoned. The camera was later returned without the film," he said.
A complaint will be lodged with the police and the union is taking legal advice about whether to pursue this matter. The journalist does not work for the union.
An international email campaign to get McDonalds to pay decent wages in New Zealand has been launched by international union website, labourStart. For more information click here:
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