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Fast-food Chains Exploit Part-time Staff: Trade Unions
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An official with the All China Federation of Trade Unions said Tuesday the US fast-food chains KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hut have violated China's Labor Law and they will take action to protect workers' interests.

We have asked the Guangdong Province Federation to probe into the employment of part-time workers by the US fast-food chains and claim wage compensation on behalf of the workers involved, said the official.

Other trade unions such as the Shanghai Trade Union, and the Hubei and Fujian federations have also made their voices heard.

Hubei Province Federation has asked subordinate organizations to investigate local foreign fast food chains suspected of similar unlawful behavior.

The trade unions will work with local labor and social security departments to provide legal aid for workers involved, said the official.

He also revealed that the above two institutions will carry out an inspection between May and June, aiming to find out illegal practices in minimum wage paying and employment contract signing.

A Guangzhou-based newspaper ran a report last week saying the US fast-food chains are underpaying and overworking their part-time staff.

The operators of the fast-food giants have moved to defend their employment practices, saying the labor laws are unclear.

McDonald's has more than 790 restaurants and 50,000 employees on the Chinese mainland and aims to open 100 new restaurants a year.

Yum Brands, whose 2,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Chinese-style East Dawning restaurants in China generate nearly a third of its global operating profit, has more than 100,000 staff.

(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2007)

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