UK McDonald’s workers are set to strike over the company’s failure to deal with grievances related to drastic cuts to employee hours and bullying in the workplace – viewed by some as a punishment for joining a union.
Alongside this, workers are dissatisfied with McDonald’s for failing to deliver on the contracts they have been promised which were set to end the use of zero-hour terms.
Attempting to live on low wages, with no guaranteed hours, has meant that some employees have found themselves unable to meet their rent payments and out of their homes as a result.
Many workers have said they feel they have no alternative but to take action due to this unfair treatment, and in line with their basic workplace rights and company procedures.
The Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) notified McDonald’s at the end of July that 40 workers at 2 stores would be balloted, with a view to authorising a strike.
The UK McDonald’s strike is part of a growing global movement advocating for the fair and decent treatment of workers.
The Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), notified McDonald’s of the BFAWU’s decision to ballot 40 McDonald’s employees at two London stores. Workers at the two stores have subsequently voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action (95.7%).
A homeless man and his dog sits out McDonald’s in London, United Kingdom on May 16, 2017.
Workers are also be calling for a fair wage of £10 per hour, and the recognition of their right to form a trade union as employees of the company.
Although McDonald’s are one of the UK’s largest employers, and most recognizable global corporations, employees are subjected to insecure, deliberately difficult, conditions – working full-time for low-wage salaries.
The strike forms part of a growing global workers movement fighting for fairness. In the USA, McDonald’s have come under significant pressure as part of the “Fight for $15” campaign – supported by the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU).
More than 10 million workers in the USA find themselves currently on the path to $15 an hour as a result of the efforts of the campaign.
McDonald’s workers in the UK are now fighting to achieve the same impressive results as their transatlantic colleagues, starting with a fair, £10 an hour, wage and the right to form a trade union.
Tom Holliday, a McDonald’s worker at the Cambridge store said: “McDonald’s is a multinational corporation with unacceptable working conditions. We are asking to be treated with dignity and to be paid a decent wage, and for our right to form a union to be recognized by our employer.
“McDonald’s must consider reinvesting its huge amount of net profits back into its work force. We believe it is our right to ask for a fair treatment for the hard work we perform.”
Shen Batmaz, a McDonald’s worker at the Crayford store 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.”
A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We can confirm that, following a ballot process, the BFAWU have indicated that a small number of our employees representing less that 0.01% of our workforce are intending to strike in two of our restaurants.
“As per the terms of the ballot, the dispute is solely related to our internal grievance procedures.
“We are proud of our people at McDonald’s, they are at the heart of all we do and we work hard to ensure that our teams are treated fairly. Our internal processes underpin that commitment.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy, said: “The strike at McDonald’s is motivated by working people coming together to fight for decent pay and working conditions.
“The next Labour government will stand up for workers and transform the workplace by introducing a £10-an-hour minimum wage by 2020 and enforcing all workers’ rights to trade union representation.”
Last updated at 01:55 (GMT) on 19th August 2017 to add a link to the BFAWU website.