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Fastfood workers strike for higher pay

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/04/2017

Half of Restaurant Brands New Zealand's 4000-strong workforce are on strike on Saturday after negotiations for a new collective agreement broke down.

Union members will picket selected KFC stores in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin at lunch time on Saturday.

Restaurant Brands operates New Zealand's KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks Coffee franchises.

On Thursday Restaurant Brands announced a $26 million profit, and its CEO was awarded a $1m bonus, but it has rejected a request for a 10 cent per hour pay rise for workers.

"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 when the strike was announced.

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

Restaurant Brands said in a statement it was disappointed that strike action would be going ahead.

"Of the major employers in the fast food sector, Restaurant Brands already leads the sector for fixed hours of work and security of pay," the company said.

Unite national director Mike Treen told BusinessDesk his members haven't had a strike at Restaurant Brands since 2006.

The union will have pickets at KFC Balmoral in Auckland, Rotorua KFC, KFC Rangitikei Street in Palmerston North, Kent Tce KFC in Wellington, KFC Hornby in Christchurch and KFC Dunedin North.

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