The hypocrisy of some employers is simply incredible. McDonalds has one of the largest political lobbying operations in the world and has pioneered the ‘low road economy’ by using it’s political activities to smash employment rights in just about every country it operates in. Indeed, in what would appear to be staggering hypocrisy and the death of all irony, McDonalds have worked with the Conservatives in terms of developing policies in relation to ‘healthy eating’ and obesity. Now, it turns out that McDonalds’ business ‘model’ includes a clause in employees’ contracts that forbids them from expressing any political affiliation whatsoever on social media. Despite being in total contravention of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and Articles 19 and 22 of the United Nations' International Bill of Human Rights, the company continues to stick two fingers up at the law and acts with complete impunity in this country, thanks to a UK government that has a remarkable tendency to cheer on unscrupulous employers from the side-lines when it comes to shafting workers.
We must not allow the big corporations to shut down political activity or debate. The lack of engagement in politics down the years (especially among young people) has already led to an increasing trend (with honourable exceptions) of intellectual inferiors from privileged backgrounds being elected either as MPs or into government itself. There is a clear agenda to dumb down society and political debate as a whole, in order to facilitate this. In McDonalds' case, we believe that this contractual clause is a blatant attempt to choke off any momentum gained by the Fast Food Rights campaign and other activist organisations who have been highlighting grotesque employment practices within the fast-food sector for a number of years.
The BFAWU condemns the clause and demands its immediate removal. We would like to hear from any McDonalds worker, or anyone else in working in fast-food who has been threatened by their manager or faced a disciplinary process due to this clause or something similar. The UK is supposed to be a democracy; we will not tolerate the suppression of political beliefs and the undermining of political rights by employers in any way, shape or form.
Ian Hodson (BFAWU National President)