By writers for The Spark
Over the last month Unite Union has put the fast-food giant Burger King under the spotlight for exploitation and attempted union busting. The union is engaging in street actions, intensified industrial organising, and legal action until the company adheres to the law and industry standards.
Burger King was the last of the fast-food giants to sign a union deal after the SuperSizeMyPay campaign which took place in 2005-2006. In the years since then Burger King has kept paying below standard industry rates of pay paid by comparable companies. Conditions of work also lagged. For example, other companies agreed to 3-hour minimum shifts in 2006 but it wasn’t till years later that Burger King agreed to 2.5 hour minimum shifts.
Burger King has remained as the fast-food company paying the lowest wages. For those employed at KFC the union has negotiated for staff to move to 0.96 cents above minimum wage once the first level of training is completed. In McDonald’s the staff get 0.50 cents above minimum after basic training, and in Wendy’s most staff are able to get 0.50 cents above minimum wage after six months service. These increases are attained quite quickly by most employees. However, Burger King does not agree to relativity clauses and there are instances where staff who have been employed for ten years still struggle on minimum wage. The difference is even greater in relation to higher-graded work. In KFC the line supervisor rate has been negotiated up to $19.68, however the highest union rate at Burger King is well below that with product/service coordinators beings paid $14.25. [Read more...]