Workers demand investigation of abusive practices in Burger Machine

workers’ group is asking the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to investigate a fast food company allegedly forcing its employees to work in a shift continuously which sometimes extend up to several days.

“The DOLE should immediately inspect Burger Machine for forcing their employees to work non-stop for several days until a replacement is available,” Katherine Culaba, an organizer for Respect Fast Food Workers’ Alliance said in a statement.

According to Culaba, the conditions of workers in the fastfood industry is among the worst in the country. “We have long known the conditions of the workers in the fastfood sector hence our efforts to organize their ranks but if this is true, then Burger Machine would have managed unfortunately to raise the bar of exploitation higher than most of its peers,” Culaba said.

On Thursday, a facebook account owner posted about what transpired between two employees both working for fastfood companies where she learned of the exploitative working conditions the workers have to go through for daily wages that are way below the prescribed rate for the National Capital Region.

The post is now making rounds in the social media as FB account owners keep reposting it. The group is urging DOLE to probe the case and penalize immediately the company should the investigation proved the allegation true.

“We have actually reports from different fastfood establishments of employees working beyond the prescribed eight hours with no overtime payment but so far, this is the worst if it’s true,” Culaba said.

The group has actually interviewed several workers of Burger Machine, with experiences identical to what the FB account user has posted. The said workers however are working in a franchise, revealing a far common practice in the said fastfood company.

According to Culaba, she was able to talk to two of these employees, with one actually worked for more than four days of continuous shift, when his supposed substitute failed to report.

“What is more, these workers are regularly made to pay for discrepancies in the company’s inventory, deducting the equivalent amount of the ‘lost items’ from their pittance of wages,” she added.

Culaba also said that cases like this is the reason why her group and other labor and workers’ groups are asking the government to prohibit constractualization to protect the workers against similar conditions in the future.

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