McDonald's workers are taking their fight for a living wage to new stores in the UK, after last year's campaign proved highly successful.
McDonald’s workers in five stores across Britain have voted 95.2% to go on strike on May 1, also known as International Workers Day.
Last September, staff at the Crayford and Cambridge franchises made their fight for £10 an hour wages and and end to zero-hours contracts public with a highly popular strike. The action won the support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who even brought up their struggle during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Now, workers from three stores in Manchester and Watford will be joining in the strike.
Lauren McCourt, who works at a McDonald’s Worker in Manchester said:
“We’ve joined the McStrike because the time for change at McDonald’s has come. McDonald’s zero-hour contracts mean we live in fear of losing the future hours we need to survive. If I don’t get the hours I need, how am i supposed to pay my rent? It’s time for McDonald’s to respect its workers and give us the option of guaranteed hours.”
McDonald’s workers have been organising with the Bakers Union. Their demands include a living wage of £10 an hour, a choice of fixed hour rather than precarious zero-hour contracts, an end to unequal pay for young workers, and for their union to be recognised by the employer.
Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union president Ian Hodson said:
“We are pleased with the ballot result: the McStrike is growing and is on the road to victory. We will be supporting our members in McDonald’s as they take on the world’s second largest employer. The time for change at McDonald’s is long overdue.”
McDonald’s responded to last year’s strike by giving workers a huge pay rise this January. The rise was the largest McDonald’s workers had seen in a decade.
Annalise Peters, who works in Cambridge and was part of the first round of McStrikes, said:
“McDonald’s responded to our strike last year by giving workers the biggest pay rise in a decade, but it’s not enough to live on, so we’re going on strike again.”
Workers are also hoping that this year’s round of strikes will have a higher impact, as part of the action will take place in Watford – the hometown of multi-millionaire McDonald’s Global CEO Steve Easterbrook.
Watford McDonald’s worker Joshua Khan said:
“Steve Easterbrook says he’s a Watford lad, yet those of us who work in the Watford store have had enough of poverty pay, zero-hour contracts and lack of respect on the job. He makes millions whilst we struggle to get by. He should get on his private jet and come talk to our union. We deserve a wage that means we can live with dignity.”
Last year’s walk out was the first ever strike held by British workers of the global fast-food chain.
Joana Ramiro is a reporter for Left Foot Forward. You can follow her on Twitter for all sorts of rants here.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.