Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/853/20582
Fast food workers hungry for justice
Low-paid workers around the planet took action on 15 April. The day of action protested against low pay and encouraged workers to organise to improve their lot.
In the UK, the bakers' union BFAWU - along with campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs and others - has founded Fast Food Rights. The campaign's demands include scrapping zero-hour contracts, implementing a £10 an hour minimum wage now, and trade union rights for all.
Both the Socialist Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) back all Fast Food Rights demands. We were out in force to leaflet service-sector workplaces, rattle greedy bosses and recruit workers to the union!
Nearly 100 took part in Fast Food Rights protests in Glasgow. Four joined BFAWU on the day. Hundreds of young people signed up for information on the £10 Now campaign.
Matt Dobson and Bryan Boyle
We leafleted a variety of fast-food workers, explaining why they should join a union. The TUSC media blackout was briefly broken in Southampton: we were mentioned by name in a piece on BBC South Today.
We are living in food-bank Britain. Working people are being paid a pittance and the bosses are raking in unprecedented profits. This protest is about fighting for the right to dignity for ordinary workers, and especially for the next generation.
Tony Mulhearn, TUSC PPC (Liverpool Riverside)
Over 50 low-paid workers protested outside McDonald's at Marble Arch. Some had turned up early to speak to workers inside, but management took our material off them. Joining a union is a legal right!
The protest occupied McDonald's, demanding to speak to staff. Management told us we were breaking the law. They are hardly the ones to talk! There have been prominent allegations of wage theft and union busting against the firm.
We agreed to end the occupation if a representative could speak to staff. I was allowed to speak to them about joining a union on behalf of Youth Fight for Jobs.
Around 40 protested outside McDonald's on Whitehall. Speakers from the National Shop Stewards Network, Youth Fight for Jobs and public-sector union PCS spoke about the need to join a union to fight for better wages and conditions. A victimised union rep at the nearby National Gallery sent solidarity from her campaign.
Students at Poplar College, east London, immediately responded to our demands. Very many are forced to work to survive - super-exploited on zero-hour, minimum-wage contracts. Quite a buzz developed as word got around among students and staff.
We paid a visit to the McDonald's northern regional office. After the protest we leafleted the McDonald's outlet next door. Among those involved were nine TUSC candidates and BFAWU young members' rep Apryl Walcott.
Hugh Caffrey and Paul Gerrard
Watch more reports online
- RT UK youtu.be/hIbQjSUF9Is
- War on Want youtu.be/rFmNwFYPeTI
In The Socialist 22 April 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns