Great news for some workers in the fast-food industry this week:
Unite has now successfully negotiated for all workers at Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizza Hutt, Starbucks and Carls Jr.) to have guaranteed hours from July this year.
But there’s always more to do, and now we can send a message to the other big players – McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s – that they need to show their workers some basic respect and give them guaranteed hours of work.
Unite have set up an online form so you can send your own (polite but firm) email to senior management at those companies. They have to listen to their customers – so make your voices heard!
We need to remember too that zero-hour contracts aren’t limited to fast food. There are workers in many other industries who are obliged to be ready to work every day – with no guarantee of actually getting paid.
The right to guaranteed hours of work – or the genuine freedom of a real casual employment arrangement – needs to be enshrined in law. It’s a simple matter of fairness. Your boss shouldn’t be able to demand you be available at all hours but get nothing in return.
We shouldn’t have to generate massive public outcry on a case-by-case basis to get progress, especially when the workers who are forced onto zero-hour contracts (or 90-day fire-at-will trials, or youth rates) are the ones with the least power to challenge the boss.
But it does work. So sign the letter, show your support for companies who don’t use zero-hour contracts, and sign Labour’s petition to pressure the government into making fair employment laws.
Collective action gets things done.