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McDonald's Australia hit with class action over unpaid overtime

A woman sits on a swing attached to a giant sign of McDonald's, outside its themed exhibition in Beijing

(Reuters) - An Australian workers union has filed a class action against McDonald's local unit, alleging that the restaurant chain asked current and former employees to work before and after their rostered shifts for free.

The SDA union for retail, fast food and warehouse workers alleged that McDonald's did not pay about 25,000 managers and supervisors across its 1,000 stores over six years, and is seeking A$100 million ($66.13 million) in backpay.

"The SDA is alleging that this was a deliberate and systematic practice by McDonald's and franchisees," the union said in a statement on Friday.

McDonald's will respond to the claims in due course, it told Reuters in a statement, adding that the company takes its obligations under all applicable employment laws very seriously.

Mikayla Martin-Coats, former McDonald's shift supervisor and department manager, said that "getting to work 30 minutes early was not a choice, it was an exception."

"McDonald's is operating on a broken business model," said SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer, alleging that the fast-food chain should not be requiring managers to work up to an additional one hour per shift without pay.

($1 = 1.5122 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)