NZ Starbucks staff strike over low pay

Starbucks has had its first ever strike after staff in Auckland, New Zealand staged a one-hour protest about New Zealand’s minimum wage for staff working in the fast-food sector.

The strike was to raise public awareness as part of the SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign. It included more than 30 Starbucks workers from 10 different Auckland stores, joined by about 150 supporters and staff from KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds.

“Starbucks workers start on $10 (£4) an hour, only fifty cents above the minimum wage. Workers hours are not guaranteed and can, and have been, cut from 40 to 20 hours,” said campaign coordinator Simon Oosterman.

“In Australia, Starbucks workers earn almost $5 more per hour than their New Zealand workmates. We are only asking for $2 more per hour,” he added.

The strike followed several months of union negotiations with Restaurant Brands, which owns Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut in New Zealand.

Daniel Gross, co-founder of the Starbucks workers union in New York, said: “The Kiwi Starbucks workers are making a stand for baristas around the world. We get paid what amounts to a poverty wage and there are no guaranteed hours.

“Starbucks has record turnovers every year, but none of that money makes it into the workers pockets.”

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