After a Burger King worker contacted their union organiser to see what could be done about being paid only minimum wage to run shifts, Unite has launched an investigation into our member's pay rates.
What we have found is workers running shifts on various pay rates. Most are being paid as a Team Trainer but some are receiving the minimum wage.
Based on job descriptions from the company and as per our Collective Agreement, workers running shift must be paid the Production Coordinator rate which is currently $16.58 per hour. The problem our members have come across when raising this issue is the response from management. Burger King Area Managers across the country have told workers that this position does not exist and has been disestablished.
Other Area Managers have told staff that if the Restaurant Manager is on site they can not receive the Production Coordinator rate. Some, when aware of Union involvement, have tried to brush it off as a payroll error.
This false information combined with Burger King's approach to promotions (giving someone a black shirt and telling them to run shift) has normalised the underpayment of workers.
Fortunately the Union has been successful in helping five Production Coordinators to get back pay totaling over $3000. Those that are still working for the company have received a pay increase to acknowledge their position and the hard work that they do.
Unite is aware that this is a widespread problem and that there will be many other workers not being paid properly. We will continue to investigate this issue until we are assured all of our members are on the correct rate and have received any back pay they are entitled to.
Organiser for Wellington members.