Angry customers who serve up death threats, abuse and violence to fast-food workers are being targeted in a new campaign designed to end the disrespect.
The union representing fast-food workers and retail staff, SDA, has launched the ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign to put an end to the abuse after a survey found 87 per cent of fast-food workers had been subjected to verbal abuse or aggressive behaviour.
Some of the 1000 fast-food workers surveyed reported that they had received death threats, threats of rape and had cigarettes and hot coffee thrown at them.
Nearly three-quarters of those who took part in the survey were women, while 41 per cent were 17 or younger.
“When we talk about the abuse of fast-food workers, we’re actually talking about the abuse of teenage girls,” SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said on Monday.
“The behaviour they have reported is absolutely unacceptable and it’s time for it to stop.
“This behaviour would never be tolerated in schools, why is it okay for young Australian workers to be abused at work?”
One fast-food worker, Katrina, said a mother with a three-year-old child had screamed at her because a milkshake machine was broken.
“At my restaurant a 16-year-old girl grabbed a staff member in a head lock and smashed a chicken burger into their face because it was cold,” she said.
“Customers have even picked up and thrown stools at staff members over the smallest things, it’s gotten completely out of control.”
The union’s campaign begins today with an advertising blitz to spread its anti-abuse message over the festive season.