The Maritime Union says the National Government’s plan to act as a compulsory recruitment agency for McDonalds fast food chain is a travesty.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has described an agreement between WINZ and McDonalds that will provide up to 7000 unemployed workers for the fast-food chain’s growth plans over the next five years.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the scheme has two beneficiaries – a Government with a failing jobs policy, and a global corporation that will suck profits out of New Zealand.
He says the scheme is condemning working class young people to a dead end future.
“The fact is that for most people, working in these jobs is not a career path, it is a low-wage, casualized trap.”
He says he is interested how many children of National Party MP’s are being sent off to develop their careers as burger makers.
Mr Hanson says that claims that such “McJobs” will provide a career path are similar to the burgers.
“They always look good in the ads but when you eat them they never live up to the promises.”
Mr Hanson says that thousands of skilled jobs in manufacturing are being demolished, and freezes in funding for polytech places will keep young people out of training.
He says young New Zealanders should have the opportunity to work in areas like the maritime industry or the fishing industry for decent wages.
“Yet what we see is underpaid and often exploited overseas crews working in New Zealand waters while local people are shovelled towards the dole or the chip fryer.”
Mr Hanson says the current scenario is that New Zealand is going to have a massive low-wage sector that would breed enormous social divisions and problems.
He says secure, wellpaid jobs have long been under attack in New Zealand, as profits ballooned but workers saw their incomes shrink.
“Under the current Government we are only seeing two areas of employment growth, prison staff and fast food, if this is a success I’d like to see what a failure looks like.”
Mr Hanson says the toll of casual jobs, multiple jobs, irregular hours and shift work in a “24 hour society” was causing massive social inequality and disruption to family and community life, leading to stress, health issues, crime and family breakdown.