How Fast Food Workers Super-Sized Their Pay in New Zealand

Source: Erik Forman, Labor Notes, February 8, 2013

…The independent union Unite (no relation to UNITE HERE) launched its “Super Size My Pay” campaign in 2005. Now with more than 4,000 members at KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, and Wendy’s, it has become one of the most successful fast food organizing efforts in the world.

From 0 to 2,000 in Six Months

Unite developed an organizing model that took advantage of two features of New Zealand labor law: As in Europe, employers are legally required to negotiate with a union that represents even just a handful of its workers. And in 2003 a Labour Party government passed a law requiring employers to allow union organizers access to non-union shops to meet with workers. Unite’s strategy? Go into fast food restaurants, call workers off the shop floor one by one for short meetings, and make a membership pitch. …