Zero hour contract decision wins praise

Fast food chain Restaurant Brands is winning praise for ending zero hour contracts.

The contracts, despised by unions, are being abandoned under a collective agreement negotiated with Unite Union.

Restaurant Brands owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr and Starbucks.

The union says McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are still refusing to move.

Zero hour contracts don’t guarantee any work and require staff to be on call at all times in case they’re needed.

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway, who has been campaigning against zero hour contracts, says the agreement will make a big difference to Restaurant Brands’ workers.

“It’s a good example of why it’s important to be part of a union, and how collective bargaining can make a real difference for people who are on the lowest wages,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Mike Treen, Unite’s national director, says it’s a huge step forward.

“We were very pleased to reach the agreement, we’re going from a regime where there were no hours guaranteed to one where at least 80 per cent of what you’ve been working is guaranteed,” he said.

Mr Treen says the union hopes for further improvements and will hold further negotiations with Restaurants Brands.

The company’s chief executive, Russel Creedy, says having permanent staff is part of a successful business model.

“I don’t agree with zero hour contracts anyway,” he said.

“It wasn’t a great leap of understanding, it was pretty much a no brainer.”

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