BK tries to fire worker over Facebook post
Fri, 04 Feb 2011 6:47p.m.
By Annabelle Jackman and Dan Satherley
A Dunedin Burger King employee is fighting to keep her job after posting comments about the fast food outlet on social networking site Facebook.
Julie Tyler commented that staff are overworked and underpaid, and now her union says she could be dismissed.
The company denies her disciplinary meeting is solely in relation to the comments, but 3 News has obtained a copy of the letter sent to Ms Tyler, which suggests otherwise.
Ms Tyler's worked at Burger King in south Dunedin for 18 months.
"All that Julie's done is spoken what is felt, believed by probably the majority of New Zealanders," says Andrew Tait, Unite union. "That fast food workers are overworked and underpaid."
Ms Tyler posted the comment on a friend's private Facebook page. A colleague spotted it and passed it on to management.
Burger King say this isn't first disciplinary action they've had to take against Ms Tyler, a fact even she admits.
"I've recently been in trouble for something but that was dropped," she says.
Burger King met with Ms Tyler and a union representative this morning, but told 3 News there's more to it than just a Facebook comment:
"The union has chosen to single out this incident alone, which is lacking in context. This is not an action brought about solely by the comment posted on Facebook, and to portray it as such is factually inaccurate."
But documents provided to 3 News by Unite seem to tell a different story. In the letter Burger King sent to Ms Tyler, the only reason given for potential disciplinary action is the Facebook post – no other reasons are given. There are previous incidents listed, but none of which are to do with the current disciplinary action.
"This comment by Burger King… is a lie," says Unite national director Mike Treen.
"These comments by the company are a serious breach of her privacy and far exceeds any offence she has allegedly caused by talking about being overworked and underpaid on a private site."
Ms Tyler says despite her comments on the Facebook page, she enjoys her job and would like to keep it.
"There's good points about my job," she says. "I do like my job but you know, you have bad days."
But just whether that will happen may be decided on Tuesday when she meets with Burger King senior management.
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21/08/2012 12:33:57 p.m.
10/04/2012 6:31:50 p.m.
Facebook User wrote:
I personally think this is just not right.
Facebook is a personal space for people to be themselves online, Corporate's shouldn't be dismissing people or scooping their employee's facebooks or other social networking accounts. If it's Facebook, it's private.. Whatever happened to privacy!
15/03/2011 9:41:50 p.m.
Well, we all make silly mistakes like saying things we shouldn't. It's all apart of growing up.
Lesson learnt, she'll have to face the consequences.
10/02/2011 10:14:19 a.m.
My thoughts may be silly to you but i think they're justified. She chose to work in an apparently underpaid job. That is her problem . Do you see the other few hundred thousand of us complaining about minimum wage then getting the news stations involved? no. Sure some people are raised under different circumstances and such but she should just take responsibility for her actions and the way her life turned out. Its pretty much slander. Agreed its underpaid long hard work but its underpaid long hard work that she chose. Also what employer would ever want to take this girl on as staff knowing her history ? I wouldn't
9/02/2011 8:12:18 p.m.
toni Keen wrote:
CourierPost pay less than min wage. The couriers don’t even earn $12 an hour and they can work a 14 hour day. Be thankful for the wages you get.
9/02/2011 1:03:34 p.m.
Tut Tut Tut wrote:
@ Tut Tut. Looks like you need a bit of an education yourself. It's object lesson, not abject lesson.I don't know about this girl, but you do realise there are plenty of university and highschool students who work at fast food businesses. They will eventually escape such drudgery, but they deserve to be paid reasonable rates while they're there.Unless BK can prove liable or slander in the FB comment they shouldn't be allowed to exact any punishment on Julie for expressing her thoughts. Given it's pretty much the majority opinion that working in franchise fast food is being overworked and underpaid (if not then being a fast food worker would be a desirable career option, which it's not) they can hardly say Julie has materially damaged BK in any way by revealing or claiming something that isn't already common knowledge.
8/02/2011 4:05:19 p.m.
Read the PDF file that has been recently added to this report, thus proving her past disciplinary action
7/02/2011 5:49:47 p.m.
Good on her, it's common knowledge that fast food outlet employees are overworked and underpaid, it's a free country with freedom of speech, you go girl, BK, Mac D's are all useless employers.
6/02/2011 9:07:06 p.m.
@darrenw - more of a case of yet another NZ worker being stitched up by yet another lousy NZ employer who if they had their way would see workers wearing dog obedience collars at work (and now it appears at home) through which they could administer electric shocks whenever they felt like it!
This isn't just a simple case of a "young upstart" - this employer has brought themselves into disrepute by making a mountain out of a mole hill and trying to be a smarta..e by thinking they can control workers with threats and intimidation in and out of work. Problem for the country is there are hundreds of them like it and its costing the country a fortune in lost productivity. Decent companies and management don't have these sorts of problems and when a few more companies wake up to that Unions will be out of a job!
6/02/2011 4:46:17 p.m.
I am a 20 year sexton, Maybe I should start posting stories with Family's names, That's not professional and she should receive a warning, So What else was on the list,
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