Police are investigating a complaint from a fast-food worker who claims she got into a scuffle with management after monitoring the kitchen temperature in an overheated Burger King restaurant.
Abby Holland, 18, claimed staff were forced to work in 33C and were refused a break for up to five hours as the drive-through backed up at Burger King on Lincoln Rd, West Auckland on Sunday.
Unite Union said staff took it upon themselves to get a thermometer from workers at a nearby Burger Fuel restaurant to record the temperature and call the air conditioning repair company after restaurant management failed to take action.
Holland said she was told "the customers are more important" by one of the managers, according to Unite, as she walked into the kitchen with the thermometer to record the temperature a second time after the air conditioning engineer left the restaurant.
"Then she tried to snatch the thermometer out of my hands," said Holland, who claimed she then got into a scuffle in front of customers and co-workers.
A Burger King New Zealand spokesman told the Herald that "at first glance there are a number of inaccuracies" in Unite's statement.
"We are aware of the situation and have a meeting tomorrow morning with the staff members involved, including Abby, to ensure we have all the facts."
West Auckland police have been informed.
A police spokeswoman said enquiries were "ongoing" and no further details were available.
In 2012 19-year-old worker Lynette Fray claimed her manager attacked her at the Lincoln Rd Burger King and had to be pulled off by four co-workers.
Unite said it has raised concerns about the inadequate air conditioning at the Lincoln Rd restaurant on several occasions, as well as the company's failure to provide employees with needed rest breaks for health and safety reasons.
"Workers and the union have been met with repeated delays, excuses and have been provided with incorrect information since reporting the widespread non-provision of breaks at Lincoln Road Burger King last year," Unite said.
Unite is asking Burger King to provide CCTV footage of Sunday's alleged scuffle.