Fast-food giant McDonald's has walked away from negotiations aimed at scrapping controversial zero hour contracts.

The snag in negotiations with the Unite Union comes after hundreds of fast-food workers and supporters took to the streets earlier this month to demand more secure working hours.

Burger King, Hell Pizza and Restaurant Brands -- which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl's Jr -- have all moved to ditch the so-called zero hour contracts.

That leaves McDonald's, the country's biggest fast-food company with 9000 workers, as the only major restaurant chain to retain the contracts.


Unite Union national director Mike Treen said the union was bewildered by the company walking away from negotiations today.

He said the union had welcomed a revised offer from McDonald's, but wanted more information about how it would work in relation to secure shifts for staff in the future.

"We also wanted to continue bargaining around a few other claims that were important to the union, including a special payment for members to allow the terms of the collective agreement to be passed on to non-members of the union.

"We also wanted the right of staff to join the union when they join the company and the right of the union to to put up union information in stores without a company veto. These are basic rights we have at other fast food companies."

The union said it would go ahead with a planned strike by its members at McDonald's on Friday -- which is May Day, or International Workers Day.

McDonald's New Zealand spokeswoman Kim Bartlett said the company had tabled a revised offer today which was in line with the union's requests at the last bargaining meeting.

The offer was for 80 per cent security of hours, up to a 32 hour cap, based on an average of the previous 12 weeks' worked hours.

"To be clear, this further formalises the end of what has become known as 'zero hours contracts' at McDonald's NZ," Ms Bartlett said.


"At today's mediated bargaining meeting Unite changed its position. We then left the bargaining table as we did not feel continuing today would bring us closer to agreement.

"We question their commitment to the bargaining process, particularly in view of the industrial action planned in advance for Friday (May Day)."

Ms Bartlett said McDonald's remained committed to reaching an agreement.

"Unite need to stop making excuses and negotiate in good faith."

McDonald's said the Unite Union had walked away from negotiations two weeks ago, allowing it to strike the following day.

"As we'd said on the day of the last strike, whether it was scheduled hours or worked hours, we were open to negotiate.


"At the latest meeting McDonald's tabled an offer in line with Unite's previous request. Unite then changed its position and, given the already planned industrial action this Friday (May Day), we left the bargaining table as it was clear little would be achieved today."