A fast-food chain has locked its doors as workers go on strike.
Staff from KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr, and Starbucks restaurants around the country planned to walk off the job at midday on Saturday over pay demands.
In a video shared on Facebook, workers in Carls Jnr in Christchurch were shown behind locked doors.
Workers from the chains, owned by Restaurant Brands, were striking after the company refused a pay rise of 10 cents an hour each year, for three years.
* KFC supervisors paid less than the workers they train
* KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr, Starbucks workers go on strike
That rise would increase workers’ pay to 30c an hour above the minimum wage by 2019.
Unite union national director Mike Treen said some stores would close as a result of the strike.
“[But] we need to show we’re serious. Our three main concerns are getting workers off the minimum wage, getting supervisors onto a living wage, and pay equity.”
KFC supervisors, who were mostly women, were being paid $1.80 an hour less than cooks who were mostly men. Cooks were given a $2.50 pay rise last year.
The refusal to increase pay comes after Restaurant Brands announced on Thursday a profit of $26 million after tax, up $1.9m from the previous year.
Unite accused Restaurant Brands of refusing to offer redundancy payment for workers. Workers are given one week’s notice if they are fired.
On Friday, Restaurant Brands chief executive Russel Creedy would not answer questions about why cooks were paid more than shift supervisors.
In a statement, Creedy said the company had made an offer to workers that was rejected and it was disappointed workers were striking.