RAFFWU represents members every day at McDonald’s.

Our members’ organising has been significant, including the first ever union rally of McDonald’s workers in Australia, the first ever walk out of fast food workers in Australia over sexual harassment at their store, and landmark legal actions in response to McDonald’s failure to provide rest breaks.

RAFFWU is leading the fightback at Maccas, and you can join us today!

We offer significant discounts on membership fees for workers who are under 18.

A young RAFFWU member in grey shirt and tan jacket, standing outside McDonald's.

Award rights now apply

For 20 years the SDA and McDonald’s teamed up to make dodgy deals that smashed worker rights and undermined wages, meaning that McDonald’s workers were ripped off to the tune of hundreds of millions.

Action by RAFFWU helped to expose this rotten state of affairs. In December 2019, RAFFWU won the case to return penalty rates and other Award conditions to McDonald’s workers, including:

  • 25% casual loading in addition to penalty rates
  • 25% Saturday loading and 35% Sunday loading
  • weekday morning and evening penalty rates
  • free uniforms

RAFFWU is the only union in Australia that has fought for our members at the fast food giant, and returned penalty rates and conditions to McDonald’s workers. Award rights now apply at McDonald’s.

RAFFWU members take action against sexual harassment

In February 2023, workers and RAFFWU members at McDonald’s Traralgon staged a snap walk-out. Store management had failed to respond to complaints from multiple staff members, going back months, over sexual harassment at the store. After a serious incident in February, workers had had enough of being ignored: they shut the store and walked out. Their courageous action marked the first-ever walk out of fast food workers in Australia over sexual harassment in the workplace.

As a union we are committed to fighting for worker safety and against all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment. Our members have stood up, like they did at Traralgon, to claim their rights to workplace safety. RAFFWU is now considering legal action on behalf of its members at the store.

We encourage any members who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in their workplace to contact us for assistance, representation and advocacy. See our special campaign page for more, including contacts for support services.

No rest at Maccas

In 2018 we exposed Maccas’ shameful practice of denying 10-minute rest breaks, after surveying workers about their experiences.

Four hours over chip fryer with no break for a drink of water? Not ok!

Despite threats from McDonald’s franchise holders, RAFFWU and its members fought back against this attack on worker rights, staging the first-ever rally by Australian workers at McDonald’s.

In 2020, we helped one of our members bring a landmark case in the Federal Court, which found that a major McDonald’s franchise holder broke the law when stripping workers of paid 10-minute breaks.

And in 2021, in the wake of this historic litigation, RAFFWU was proud to lend its support to Shine Lawyers in launching a class action against McDonald’s over the failure by the company to provide paid 10-minute rest breaks.

If you work, or did work, at a McDonald’s corporate outlet from December 2015, and/or a McDonald’s franchisee outlet from September 2017, we encourage you to find out more about the class action and to register for it.

Read more about these landmark legal actions below.

In 2020, we represented RAFFWU member and McDonald’s worker Chiara Staines in a case before the Federal Court.

The Court found that Tantex Holdings, a major McDonald’s franchisee, broke the law when stripping workers of paid 10-minute breaks, when it threatened workers for requesting access to toilets and water, when it coerced workers to not take breaks they were entitled to, and when it misrepresented the rights of workers. You can read the full judgement of the Federal Court here.

Chiara was paid $11,800 in compensation by order of the Federal Court, for more than 2 years of paid rest breaks that she was denied.

The Federal Court found that RAFFWU and Chiara acted in the national interest by bringing this case against McDonald’s.

But we know that Chiara’s case is just the tip of the iceberg, and that many more McDonald’s workers denied their breaks deserve justice.

This is why, in 2021, we gave our support to Shine Lawyers in launching a class action lawsuit against McDonald’s over its failure to provide paid 10-minute rest breaks to its workers.

The class action is the culmination of RAFFWU and Shine Lawyers’ joint investigation, following the historic litigation launched and run by RAFFWU and Chiara Staines in the Federal Court.

You can register for the class action here.

Why join RAFFWU?

We are your fighting union at McDonald’s.

Our members have helped to restore penalty rates, award conditions and paid rest breaks at McDonald’s stores.

We are a grassroots, member-led union: a union for workers, not bosses.

If you work at McDonald’s and would like to improve conditions in your store, we encourage you to join us and your fellow workers to join us.

Fight back with RAFFWU, fight back at Maccas!

RAFFWU members rally outside McDonald's with a banner that says, "Maccas bans water and toilet breaks. Stand up fight back!"

RAFFWU – Fighting For Your Rights in the Workplace