McDonald’s Workers Threatened With No Toilet or Water Breaks
No Happy Meals available for hundreds of young workers, with several Brisbane McDonald’s outlets threatening employees with no toilet or water breaks because they asked to take a 10 minute break they’re entitled to.
Tantex Holdings owns and operates six McDonald’s stores in Brisbane and is one of the fast food giant’s biggest franchisees.
A manager from the major franchisee sent a message through a private Facebook group, which has since been leaked. It has enraged the union and sparked a plan to protest.
The message was a reply to a request from the union to allow employees to take the 10 minute break every 4 hours, which some employees from Tantex Holdings had asked for.
The message says, “I hope to God you don’t get thirsty on your next shift because we just wouldn’t be able to allow a drink,” and went on further to state, “If we implement this … this 10-minute break would be the only time you would ever be permitted to have a drink or go to the toilet.”
The manager wrote that most of the McDonald’s crew would not qualify for the paid break given that most of the employees work just below 4 hours, and that banning them from taking breaks would be reasonable as “fair is fair.”
Tantex Holdings is operated by Tanya Manteit-Mulchahy and her husband Terry Mulchahy, together they own McDonald’s franchises as Central Station, the Myer Centre, Queen Street Mall, Wintergarden, McWhirters and Windsor West in Brisbane.
The 10-minute paid breaks are part of an existing workplace agreement and McDonald’s franchisees have faced pressure from the Fast Food Workers Union to pass on the entitlement. Following the leaked message, the union fired back and organised a protest outside the company’s Queen Street Mall outlet – said to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The union said, “We’re not having a bar of it. This is how McDonald’s treats young workers far too often. It’s time for McDonald’s Australia took responsibility for the way (the country’s) youngest workers are being exploited in their outlets.”
A spokesperson from McDonald’s Australia said that any employees with concerns about their conditions can contact a “dedicated employee assistance hotline.”
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