UK: McDonald’s staff go on strike for the first time
Staff on picket lines are demanding secure working patterns and pay of at least £10 an hour, with a rally in Westminster planned.
Workers at two McDonald’s restaurants have walked out in a row over pay and conditions, in the first-ever strike to hit the fast food giant in the UK. Staff at the chain’s branches in Cambridge and Crayford had voted overwhelmingly in favor of industrial action amid concerns over the use of zero-hour contracts.
As well as demanding more secure working patterns, the striking workers also want to be paid a wage of at least £10 an hour. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) said the decision was taken after McDonald’s missed “countless opportunities to resolve grievances”. Ian Hodson, the union’s national president, added: “We fully support the historic decision by these brave workers to stand up and fight back against McDonald’s – a company that has let them down one too many times. This is a call for change.
McDonald’s employs approximately 85,000 staff in the UK and one million worldwide. In April, the company announced its workers would be offered a choice of flexible or fixed contracts with minimum guaranteed hours – but claims 86% wanted to stick with a flexible arrangement. A McDonald’s spokesman added: “The BFAWU has indicated that a small number of our people representing less than 0.01% of our workforce are intending to strike in two of our 1,270 UK restaurants.
“As per the terms of the ballot, the dispute is solely related to our internal grievance procedures and not concerning pay or contracts. “McDonald’s claims that three pay rises have been delivered to staff since April 2016, increasing the average hourly rate by 15%. Striking workers and their supporters also staged a rally in Westminster, with Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell offering their support. Sky News