Photo: John Darroch,
from Socialist Aotearoa blog
By Melissa Davies
The fat was in the fire when trade unionists turned up at an Auckland Burger Fuel outlet to support a sacked employee.
Joanne Bartlett was fired on the 89th day of her 90-day probationary period.
“They said they just didn't consider me to be someone who would be in the fast food industry for a long time,” says Bartlett.
Her former boss says she never said that.
“I didn't have to give her a reason and I'm not going to discuss that now,” Linda Garibobic, Burger Fuel Franchisee told 3 News.
but union members did want to discuss it and turned up outside the Mission Bay store.
Burger Fuel's Chief Executive, Joseph Roberts, was there to meet them.
“The first thing is .we employ hundreds of people through the burger fuel system - 700 or so, alright,” Mr Roberts told picketers. “It is our right as an employer to trial people, to test people.”
Bartlett says she may've been fired because she asked for a second paid ten minute break, but Burger Fuel denies this.
The Unite union has set up what's called the utu squad. They say their aim is to name and shame companies they deem to be bad employers.
This is their first outing but they promise there will be many more.
And Burger Fuel says there are likely to be more dismissals within the ninety day probationary period for as long as they're entitled to by law.