KFC workers and members of the IUF Affiliate Barbados Workers Union (BWU) recently took action and refused to work under dangerous and unsanitary working conditions that threatened their health. The workers reported excessive heat in three stores in Barbados as well as an unbearable stench. While BWU has received multiple reports from workers of no breaks during long shifts, issues with vermin in the stores and chronic understaffing, KFC has systematically refused or delayed negotiations with BWU despite their legal obligation to engage. When workers took action, management responded by locking the workers inside the store.
- Fast Food workers in the Barbados chains Chefette and Chicken Barn report similar issues with poor occupational safety and health
- IUF affiliates are campaigning against poor health and safety conditions for fast food workers across the industry globally
- Union busting remains a standard practice among the global fast food giants with Starbucks and McDonald’s in the United States being key examples
One of the workers and members of BWU who asked that their name be withheld for fear of anti-union retaliation stated, “The heat is unbearable and we are in here baking. There are roaches on the sandwich station, and we have to serve this to customers. Even after we explained this to management, they said the food can be served. Do you think this is right? We are not comfortable in there. We are getting sicker and sicker.”