KFC bully young workers

UNITE has been made aware of an incident that occurred on Saturday night at the KFC on the corner of Watton and Bridge Streets in Werribee. A drunken customer entered the store and assaulted one of the workers. He also verbally threatened several others.

The usual procedure after such an incident would be to close the store and send the workers home. Injured workers should be able to seek medical advice and all workers on the shift should be provided with couselling.

Unfortunately on this occasion the store manger would not let the workers go home or seek medical advice. He bullied the workers to keep the shop running as usual.

UNITE believes that not only should the shop have been closed but an immediate audit of the workplace should have taken place. KFC should have made sure that everything humanly possible has been done to protect the staff.

If this meant closing the store – so be it. The safety of workers is much more important than selling a few chicken wings.

UNITE contacted KFC today to tell them that this type of bullying was totally unacceptable. Werribee store manager, John Peters told UNITE that he was not allowed to talk about the incident and that KFC were looking into it.

This response is totally inadequate and UNITE has reported the incident to Worksafe Victoria. KFC management has clearly breeched the Occupational Health & Safety act. It is every employer’s duty to provide workers with a safe and healthy workplace. It is also every workers legal right to stop work if they feel the situation is unsafe or unhealthy.

The only reason that KFC can get away with this behavior is because the workers are lacking proper union representation and they are not organised on the job. If young workers want to stamp out bulling in their workplaces they will need to be organised in a fighting union like UNITE.

Union workplaces are safer workplaces. To join UNITE or report an incident of bullying in your workplace contact us today.

See also this article that was published on the websites of the Herald Sun and The Australian today.

KFC a bully, claim teenagers at Werribee store

By Herald Sun reporters August 26, 2008

Teenage staff at a Werribee KFC were pressured into working through the night even after a drunken customer punched a senior female worker and threatened others, the workers’ parents say.

The outraged parents said that about 8pm on Saturday a seemingly drunk man entered the KFC in Watton St, swore at staff and demanded two burgers.

They said he then punched a senior female staff member in the shoulder.

He fled after staff phoned police who arrived at the store a few minutes later.

One parent told the Herald Sun a store manager arrived after police and told staff to keep the store open and did not offer any extra security.

One staff member’s family has had to pay for counselling after the employee had nightmares about the violent incident.

Anthony Main, of Unite fast food workers union, called on any KFC workers who had been bullied to report it.

A KFC spokeswoman did not return the Herald Sun’s call yesterday.