Topic: Employment

Laid-off Kaikohe KFC workers concerned as Christmas nears

By Tepara Koti
  • Northland

In three weeks time, the KFC store in Kaikohe will shut its doors for good.  

Ten workers were told this just last Thursday and now they're worried about how they'll make ends meet over the Christmas period, as no payout has been promised to them.

One worker, who has been with the store for three years, expressed her anguish at the situation on this YouTube clip:

In April 2015, Restaurant Brands, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee and Carl's Jnr, reported that they made a Group Net Profit (after tax) of $23.8 million, up 19.4% from the previous year.

In a statement from Restaurant Brands regarding the closure of Kaikohe, it says:

"We appreciate this is a difficult time for staff at our Kaikohe store.  After a number of years making losses a proposal to close the store was presented to staff on 3 November.  The closure follows the expiry of Restaurant Brands' franchise agreement for KFC Kaikohe and the end of the lease for the premises.  All staff were given a three-week notice period and we also offered staff the opportunity to relocate to other stores but appreciate this will not be possible for some."

Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis visited the site yesterday, where some workers were gathered outside.  Davis also sent out this media statement asking for... "a goodwill gesture to the staff who have few options of finding work just before Christmas in Kaikohe."

Workers have been picketing outside the store during their breaks every day since Thursday, with members from the community and other unions stopping by to lend their support.

Photo: Gary Unite

Northland senior reporter Dean Nathan will have an update on Te Kāea later today at 5:30pm.