McDonald’s Investigates Accusations of Bonded Labour

McDonald's Britomart

In Auckland, the owner of four McDonald's franchises has been accused of bonded labour through dodgy contracts.

The boss of the stores has been asking some staff to sign contracts that made them liable to pay thousands of dollars if they left within a year, news that has come as a surprise to other workers.

Prakash Hira, the managing director of four McDonald's stores - Britomart, Quay St, Queen St and Point Chevalier - has been asking staff to commit to a minimum of 12 months employment with the company and pay $3000 if their employment was terminated either by the workers or by him.

The letter states, ‘Should you choose to terminate your employment or if for some reason your employment is terminated within 12 months of your commencement date of employment, then you are liable to paying the company a total of $3000.’

Unite Union, who represents McDonald’s workers said the letters have been sent to staff since 2019, with Unite Union’s Mike Treen noting that the contracts amounted to bonded labour. The union was not aware of how many staff had been sent the letters.

A McDonald's spokesman said the head office was made aware of Hira creating a policy not approved or supported by McDonald's. The spokesman said Hira has been stood down while McDonald's NZ investigates the matter.