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From: The Socialist issue 992, 25 April 2018: Tories out

Search site for keywords: McDonalds - living wage - Mcdonald - Strike - BFAWU

Striking McDonald's workers say

'We demand a living wage and decent conditions'

McDonald's picket line in Crayford during the first strike

McDonald's picket line in Crayford during the first strike   (Click to enlarge)

Striking McDonald's worker, Watford

On 16 April, McDonald's workers organised in the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) voted by 95.2% in favour of strike action at five stores across the UK. This is an overwhelming mandate for the upcoming 'McStrike' which is due to take place on international workers day on 1 May.

The five stores include Crayford and Cambridge (pioneers of the first historic McStrike), Manchester, and two restaurants in Watford.

The McStrike has been derided by The Sun, which distorted the figures of those who had been balloted and falsely claimed that the strike was off. The fact that the Murdoch-owned press took time out to slander our campaign shows that we have rattled McDonald's and their media mouthpieces. They are scared of us and so they should be!

In Watford, where I work, 100% of all those balloted voted in favour of strike action - all the more satisfying seeing that Watford is the hometown of McDonald's multi-millionaire CEO Steve Easterbrook.

Another McDonald's worker in Watford, and new Socialist Party member, comments: "Steve Easterbrook says he's a Watford lad, yet those of us who work in the Watford store have had enough of poverty pay, zero-hour contracts and lack of respect on the job. He makes millions while we struggle to get by. He should get on his private jet and come talk to our union. We deserve a wage that means we can live with dignity."

The support that we have received has been incredible, including Labour's John McDonnell and Laura Pidcock (Corbynista MP and former McDonalds worker), the National Shop Stewards Network and the Socialist Party.

With our determination and the huge support we have received, I believe that we will win!

Our demands are simple and clear:

Pickets and demonstration

A well-attended fundraiser on 20 April in Tottenham, hosted by BFAWU, raised over 1,700. Thanks also to the Socialist Party for their support on the night. We are also asking if union branches can donate to the strike fund.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

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