Topic: Employment

Protesters demand an end to 'zero-hours' contracts

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

Unite Union reached an agreement with Burger King who have put an end to zero hour contracts and are giving all workers regular shifts.

McDonald's workers went on strike throughout the country after mediation between Unite Union representatives and the fast food restaurant failed to reach a satisfactory resolution to zero-hour contracts. 

Unite Union say it's one of the most important fights they've ever had to take. 

They represent over 4,500 members across all fast food chains, around 1200 of those members are McDonald's workers.

Michelle Hooper of Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga a Hauiti says "I have five kids at the moment, I'm the only income and it's just really hard not knowing if you have work the following day or what's gonna happen."

Ms Hooper is one of many workers in attendance of the strike against zero-hour contracts.

McDonald's employee Evelyn Linton also thinks it's, "A Government problem in a way because McDonald's tries to give you as much hours as they can but I think its also a government problem at the same time."

Unite Union says there's tens of thousands of workers who don't have union representation. They'll need legislation to make sure they don't suffer the same problems as zero-hours contractors.

Unite Union has also asked those supporting the strike to visit their website and sign a letter negating McDonald's call to have zero hour contracts.

General Secretary of Unite Union, Gerard Hehir states, "People think sometimes legislation can solve it, but what actually happens is that it works on the street in the workplaces first and then the government follows what's going to happen here, we're going to make sure the government does follow through."

Unite Union says they will continue to negotiate with McDonald's until an agreement excluding zero-hours is reached.

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