McDonalds pressure needed to end meat-works lockout

Posted By TEU on Dec 1, 2011 |


Union members around New Zealand are planning to picket McDonalds restaurants around New Zealand in support of locked out ANZCO meat workers in Rangatikei. One hundred and eleven meat-processing workers who were locked out of their jobs on October 19 for refusing to accept up to 20 pay cuts pay cuts.

Locked out worker Steve McGinity told the Wanganui Chronicle he and his wife have always taken their children to McDonald’s but say they won’t be getting a fast food treat until the company sorts out its meat supplier ANZCO.

The ANZCO CMP Rangitikei plant at Marton supplies McDonalds with its meat patties.

“We’ve always taught our kids it’s important to work hard and not to let others carry the load. But we’ve also taught them if you work hard you should get paid hard,” he said.

The CTU is coordinating fundraising and informational pickets outside of McDonalds nationwide on Saturday 3 December. McDonalds is the major customer of ANZCO.

NZCTU community organiser Simon Oosterman says similar actions outside of Burger Fuel last year forced that company to abandon the 90 day “no rights” trial period at all of its stores.

“Our goal is to organise one big action at a focus store in every region with a McDonalds at 10am on Sat 3 December. We will then spread out to hold smaller pickets at as many other McDonalds as possible by noon.”

The meat workers, who earn on average $45,000 and as low as $23,000 have agreed to sacrifice 10 percent of their pay but ANZCO, a multinational company with revenue of $1.2 billion, and its CEO Sir Graeme Harrison, wanted bigger cuts and thus locked out its own workers. McDonalds has refused to help CTU resolve the situation.

Mr Oosterman is asking for union members to join local teams of activists to help coordinate the pickets. You can contact Mr Oosterman at cmplockout@nzctu.org.nz or 021 885 410

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