Forget about freedom of expression. Forget about the right of a union to converse with itself. Forget about the right to voice reasonable and honestly held opinions.
Press Release by Unite Union at 10:30 am, 04 Feb 2011
Unite Union is appalled that a union member employed by fast-food company Burger King faces the sack for posting the words “Real jobs don’t underpay and overwork people like BK does” on a private page of Facebook.
The 27-year-old from BK in Dunedin is upset and stressed at facing a charge of serious misconduct for the posting which is not available for public view. (emphasis added)
“It’s a comment most New Zealanders know to be true about the fast-food industry in any case,” says Unite National Director Mike Treen. “We all know these companies are tied at the hip to the minimum wage and workers are frequently run off their feet.”
The union encourages staff in fast-food stores to set up their own Facebook pages to keep in touch with issues and support each other. However like some other companies BK is reacting with “commercial panic” to the rise of social networking and people expressing frustration at aspects of their jobs. BK’s action is draconian and bullying.
We’ve asked the company to withdraw the charge of serious misconduct and for the issue be handled more sensitively and appropriately. BK has refused.