Tomorrow, Monday 4th September, will see the first ever strike at McDonald's in the UK, as workers at two restaurants in Crayford and Cambridge voted 95.7 per cent in favour of action to support claims for £10 an hour, an end to zero hour contracts and union recognition.
The strike is seen as the tip of the iceberg of grievances perceived by around 85,000 people who work at McDonald's in the UK and is set to spread in the future...
"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" says Shen Batmaz, a McDonald's worker in Crayford "This strike in the UK is part of a global movement advocating for fair salaries and decent working conditions."
While workers in other McDonald's restaurants around the UK are not taking action tomorrow, the London and Cambridge workers have huge support. The Salford Star spoke to a 17 year old worker at one of the Salford branches who had just completed an eight hour shift for the wage of £32.50, which included an unpaid 45 minute break.
"I think it's bad as there are people next to me doing almost the same job earning double what I earn because they're four years older" they explained "The working conditions are bad because you burn yourself on the machinery and there's no way to avoid it – the burgers and sausages are full of fat, and the grease burns your hand when it drips down
"You are also on your feet all day as there's nowhere to sit down, and you're under pressure to work fast, so the time goes really slow" they add "If you are under 18 you have to have unpaid breaks as you're not supposed to work for more than four hours at a time...but I have often been told to take a break after already working for over four hours. Someone else under 18 who also works at Salford McDonald's has been made to work until after midnight, despite the regulations stating you have to stop at 11pm.
"You burn yourself, you're underpaid, you're on your feet all day and you're on a zero hour contract...I definitely support the strike" they insist "And I think we should go on strike in Salford but don't know how up for it people will be, as most see it as temporary job. If people see it as a long term job there should definitely be strikes and action taken to improve the working conditions and pay."
This worker gets £4.50 an hour while the stores make £millions but they say that, last week, they got pressured to donate to the Ronald McDonald House charity...
The strike also has the support of Jeremy Corbyn, and Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is also Shadow Business Secretary...
"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" she says.
Tomorrow, Monday 4th September, between 5pm and 6pm there's a solidarity protest outside the Piccadilly branch of McDonald's in Manchester.
For further details see the Facebook event page – click here
For more details on the campaign see also https://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/