McDonald’s Restaurant staff prepare to ‘McStrike’ on fast food workers’ rights day

BY JAMES TWOMEY
james@slpmedia.co.uk

Workers at five McDonald’s restaurants who are definitely not ‘lovin’ it’ have said they will go on strike on November 12.

The ‘McStrike’ – led by The Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union – will take place at McDonald’s restaurants in Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford and Catford as part of an international day of action for fast food workers’ rights.

The union said McDonald’s workers were calling for a new deal that would include £15 an hour pay, an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of up to 40 hours a week, notice of shifts four weeks in advance, recognition of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union, and to be treated with respect and dignity at work.

Melissa Evans, 32, a mum who works at McDonald’s in Wandsworth Town, said: “I need £15 an hour so I can show my son that poverty is not the only option.

“Me and my colleagues are coming together in a union to show the world that McDonald’s workers deserve the same level of respect as everyone else.

“We are coming together to tackle poverty pay, insecurity of hours and lack of respect which has gone on at McDonald’s for too long.

“We are going on strike on November 12, 2019 as workers around the world take action to hold this global multinational to account for the way that it treats its workers.

“We are tired of being exploited, but together we are powerful. We will win a new deal for McDonald’s workers.”

The global day of action for fast food workers has been called by the International Union of Food workers, which will see fast food workers take to the streets around the world, including in France, Belgium, Brazil, Chile and New Zealand.

Maria Underwood, 31, a McDonald’s worker in Downham, said: “I’m going out on strike because even though I work hard I still have to choose between paying bills and having something to eat.

“People think McDonald’s workers are dumb, but working at McDonald’s isn’t easy.

“We work full on, on our feet constantly, often trying to do three jobs at the same time. I want to change that narrative.”

Manuel Feria, a McDonald’s worker in Balham, said: “I’m going on strike because the poor wages stop me from paying my bills. You either pay one bill or the other.

“You have to pick and choose whatever you can pay.

We need a union so we have people to back us up. Anyone else can join a union, teachers, nurses, so why shouldn’t we be able to?”

The strike will be the largest to date.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “As a growing and successful organisation we, along with our franchisees, will continue to invest in our people and create quality jobs and opportunities for all.

We regularly review pay and benefits to ensure we are rewarding our people, and we pay well above the government minimum wage.

Our pay rates are extremely competitive within our industry and are ahead of many of our competitors.

“The BFAWU is calling for 40 hour guaranteed contracts, which is something we already offer.

“We remain committed to our people and value the contribution they make to our organisation, and would like to reassure them, and our customers, that the six restaurants will remain open if industrial action takes place.”

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