Wage-theft - workers not being paid what they are owed - is endemic in the US fast food industry, and is now the subject of a major criminal investigation in New York. Sadly, it turns out New Zealand fast food restraunts aren't immune, with McDonalds accused of stealing $2.5 million from its workers:
Unite are submitting an employment authority case against McDonald’s today for unpaid breaks that the union estimates has resulted in unpaid wages of $2.5 million.
"We have wage and time records from two stores (one a McCopco store and one a franchisee) for the last four months that confirm a consistent pattern of not paying for lost lunch breaks – as they are required to do under the collective agreement," said Unite National Director Mike Treen.
"We have done a calculation for the two stores and we estimate the unpaid breaks for all staff to be $2700 for each store for the four months. Multiply that by 6 to cover the two-year collective agreement, and again by 160 to cover every store in the country – and the total owed is $2.5 million.
That cheap burger you're eating? It's cheap because McDonald's steals from its workers. Throw it away and buy from somewhere that pays people properly instead.