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Striking McDonald's workers say
'We demand a living wage and decent conditions'
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:
- £10 an hour and an end to exploitative youth rates, which discriminate against younger workers
- An end to zero-hour contracts
- Full trade union recognition and an end to bullying, harassment and abuse
Pickets and demonstration
- Manchester: Midnight picket and 7-8am morning picket - 36/38 Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 5EJ
- Watford demonstration: 12-1.30pm - 128-130 High St, Watford WD17 2BJ
- Cambridge: 8-9am - 639 Newmarket Rd, Cambridge CB5 8WL
- Crayford: 8-9am - Crayford Rd, Dartford DA1 4LD
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.
- For online donations: actionnetwork.org/fundraising/fast-food-rights-uk
- Cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA
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