The union that claims it warned KFC against switching chicken delivery supplier has urged the chain and its new logistics partner DHL not to make workers “suffer” for the fiasco.
GMB, Britain’s general union, said the “shocking board-level decision” to award the contract to DHL had already cost 255 jobs at former delivery company Bidvest, prior to leaving hundreds of workers at closed KFC restaurants “in limbo”.
Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “KFC and DHL must join forces to make sure affected workers are paid for the hours they’ve lost. Our members in KFC franchises are missing out on shifts with no idea when their stores will reopen.
“They’ve told us they’re now being advised to use their holiday entitlement to cover the working time they’ve lost as a result of this mess. For a multi-billion pound global giant to treat workers at the sharp end like dirt because of their foul up is a disgrace.
“UK workers in KFC restaurants are losing out due to Colonel Chaos – their contracts are stuck in the bargain bucket. We demand KFC and DHL make sure affected workers are paid for the hours they’ve lost.”
KFC described the issue of whether it is paying its employees remains a “complicated” matter.
A spokesperson commented: “We employ over 24,000 people, both in restaurants we own and in franchises. But we completely understand the impact this is having on them, so we’re doing evertyhing in our power to fix it. While our KFC-owned restaurants are closed, salaried employees will be paid as normal. Hourly-paid team members will be paid based on the average hours they’ve worked over the last 12 weeks. Or they’re invited to take holiday if they like – entirely up to them.”
KFC said its franchisees run their own businesses so they’ve taken time to get independent advice.
“As it stands, none of our team members will be worse off financially this week. We need our people now more than ever, Not all heroes wear capes,” the spokesperson added.
As of yesterday, KFC said that around 70% of its restaurants were open, including all of Ireland. It is updating its website every 15 minutes with news of which stores have reopened.