PRESS RELEASE –
London, 18 August 2017
Today, McDonald’s UK workers have made an historic announcement - to strike for the first time in UK history, over the company’s failure to offer them acceptable working conditions, job security or even an affordable living wage.
In July, the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) notified McDonald’s that workers at 2 stores were to be balloted, with a view to authorise a strike later this year.
Results today showed that 95.7 percent of McDonald’s workers that have been balloted voted in favour of the strike at the ballot, paving way for them to voice their concerns about McDonald’s not dealing with their grievances, and failing to end the use of zero-hour contracts – something that was promised to workers earlier this year.
Workers have found themselves living on low wages - with no guarantee of hours. This has been viewed by some as punishment for joining a union, and has seen employees struggle to meet their rent payments - whilst some have even lost their homes. Now, workers feel as if they have no alternative but to take action - all in line with their basic workplace rights and company procedures.
This McDonald’s UK strike forms part of a growing global movement calling for the fair and decent treatment of workers.
Last month, the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), notified McDonald’s of their decision to ballot McDonald’s employees at the Crayford and Cambridge stores.
Today, results from the ballot showed 95.7 percent of workers voted in favour of what will be the first strike by McDonald’s workers in UK history.
Workers are also calling for a fair £10 per hour minimum wage, less insecure working hours, acceptable working conditions and the recognition of their right to form a trade union as employees of the company.
Despite McDonald’s being one of the UK’s largest, most profitable, and globally recognised employers, its employees are subjected to difficult, yet avoidable working conditions - working on insecure zero-hour contracts for low-wages.
This historic strike forms part of a growing global workers movement 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). As a result of this campaign, more than 10 million workers in the U.S. are on a path to $15 an hour, and 20 million workers total have won wage increases since 2012.
Now, McDonald’s workers in the UK will fight to achieve the same impressive results seen by their transatlantic colleagues – starting with the strike later this year.
Ian Hodson, National President of the BFAWU:
“We, at the BFAWU, fully support the historic decision by these brave McDonald’s workers to stand up and fight back against McDonald’s – a company that has let them down one too many times.”
“McDonald’s has had countless opportunities to resolve grievances by offering workers a fair wage and acceptable working conditions. Instead, they have chosen to ignore their workers by tightening their purse strings – filling their CEO’s pockets, at the expense of workers here in the UK and across the world.”
“This is a call for change. Our members demand to be listened too - they have a right to get their voice heard. Hopefully, senior figures at McDonald’s will be listening, because this behaviour cannot go on any longer.”
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.”
The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) is the largest independent Trade Union in the food sector in the British Isles. The BFAWU works to ensure that employees are secure and safe in their workplace – and that they are paid an equitable wage for the work they do.
In the UK, the BFAWU have spearheaded the ‘Fast Food Rights’ campaign. This works to ensure that fast food workers have the right to a fair wage and decent working conditions across the country.
Ian Hodson, BFAWU National President, +44 773 932 6010
Saagar Dattani, gplus europe: +44 770 214 3988