Off the back of the 'Fight for 15' campaign in the US, is this the start of a new fast-food workers' movement here?
UK McDonald’s workers are set to strike for the first time in the UK, following a vote in favour of action at two London stores.
40 workers at the outlets were balloted over what food workers’ union BFAWU say is the “company’s failure to deal with grievances related to drastic cuts to employee hours and bullying in the workplace,” which they view punishment for joining a union.”
96% of those who took part in the ballot voted in favour of action, with workers demanding a wage of £10 per hour and union recognition.
Shen Batmaz, a McDonald’s worker at the Crayford store in South East London, said:
“In spite of being a global giant and a household name, the conditions McDonald’s workers are subjected to across the world are simply not up to scratch.
“This strike in the UK is part of a global movement advocating for fair salaries and decent working conditions. McDonald’s should listen to all its employees around the world, and take immediate action.”
Ian Hodson, National President of the BFAWU:
“We, at the BFAWU, fully support the historic decision by these brave McDonald’s workers to stand up and fight back against McDonald’s – a company that has let them down one too many times.
“McDonald’s has had countless opportunities to resolve grievances by offering workers a fair wage and acceptable working conditions. Instead, they have chosen to ignore their workers by tightening their purse strings – filling their CEO’s pockets, at the expense of workers here in the UK and across the world.”
Workers at the stores are reportedly struggling to meet their rent payments – whilst some have even lost their homes.
The US fast food effort has become a major political campaign in and of itself – leading to more than 10 million workers now being on the path to $15 an hour.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.