spotArguments for socialism




spotAround the UK

All keywords

All Organisations subcategories:



Committee for a Workers International


Labour Party

* Left and radical


Nationalist and National Liberation

Pro capitalist and Imperialist


Social Networks

Socialist Party


Trade Union


Voluntary & non-profit

Left and radical keywords:

ANC (49)

ControCorrente (2)

Diggers (3)

EZLN (2)

FSLN (2)

Fascism (75)

Green (149)

Haldane (4)

ISR (104)

International Socialist Resistance (54)

Left Party (12)

Lutte Ouvrière (1)

Maoist (3)

Maoists (6)

Momentum (97)

Nation of Islam (1)

P-sol (6)

PKK (13)

Peoples Assembly (8)

Podemos (22)

Respect (47)

Revolutionary Communist League (1)

SWP (81)

Sandinistas (2)

Scottish Socialist Party (26)

Socialist (7762)

Socialist Party (6792)

Socialist Peoples Party (Denmark) (1)

Socialist Students (544)

Socialist Workers Party (48)

Solidarity (362)

Stand Up to Racism (4)

Syriza (55)

TUSC (1068)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (532)

Turc-k (1)

Tusc (1)

UAF (15)

Unite Against Fascism (10)

WASG (14)

WASP (21)

World Social Forum (12)

Young Socialists (12)

Zapatista (2)

International Socialist Resistance

Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 489, 31 May 2007: No to McJobs

Search site for keywords: Low pay - Mcjobs - International Socialist Resistance - ISR - Mcdonald - Young workers

No to McJobs

Fight low pay

On the picket line at the Ritzy

On the picket line at the Ritzy

WORKERS AT Brixton's famous Ritzy cinema in south London were on strike on 26 May, aiming to secure themselves a living wage. At present their employers City Screen pay them the national minimum wage of £5.35 an hour and had offered them a pathetic increase of up to 15p an hour without a sales bonus. They went on strike and formed a picket line.

Roger Shrives

Poverty pay like theirs is unfortunately common, particularly for young workers who regularly talk of the low-paid jobs on offer to them as McJobs - in 'honour' of burger giant McDonald's.

This company claims to be sick and tired of hearing people talk of McJobs as low-paid dead-end employment.

They have produced a petition aimed at persuading Britain's dictionary compilers to change the current definition of McJob to "better reflect the reality of service-sector jobs".

Reality? McDonald's seem to presume that people don't read reports from China where they have been caught underpaying their young workforce, often paying them 40% below the already appallingly low legal minimum wage!

What about Britain? McDonald's specialises in employing workers who are under 21.

Last year around 1.3 million 18-21 year olds were paid less than £6.50 an hour. That is two-thirds of all employees in this age group! In hotels and restaurants, 60% of employees over the age of 25 earn under £6.50 an hour.

These low-wage posts are McJobs for life.

Big Mac and his whoppers obviously embarrass even capitalist gurus. The Financial Times says that McDonald's pathetic petition and attempts to call black white are "the genius of capitalism at work. This is the spirit that took junk bonds and turned them into high-yielding debt, that looked at the third world and saw instead emerging markets."

It points out: "McDonald's is not going to allow the small matter of meaning and popular usage to prevent it from getting its views across."

The working-class movement must see to it that we get our views across too.

International Socialist Resistance (ISR), the socialist youth organisation, has been campaigning against low pay since it was set up. This summer it is starting the Boost our Pay campaign.

Many young workers are furious at the poverty pay and dead-end prospects they face but aren't sure how to turn this anger into action. The key to fighting for better pay and conditions is through united action in the workplace as the Ritzy workers have done, and in linking campaigns together.

However, trade union membership amongst young people is still low - about one in ten. The unions must get organised in workplaces employing low-paid young workers and show that it is possible to fight for a better deal.

Fight for:

Ritzy Cinema strike

THE RITZY Cinema in Brixton has often been seen as a progressive enterprise with its support for good causes. It recently showed a 'Human Rights Week' season of films. Local people are appalled to find that behind all the liberal pretensions the owners 'City Screen' are just another bunch of cynical, anti-union exploiters who don't give a fig about people's 'rights'.

Andy Tullis, Lambeth UNISON convenor CYPS

Ritzy staff were on strike on 26 May over poverty wages. Currently paid the minimum wage of £5.35 per hour by cinema chain City Screen, staff rejected the company's latest offer of just £5.40 or £5.50 without a sales bonus and notified management of their intention to strike. It transpires that staff even had to take their employers to court to join the cinematograph and entertainment union BECTU.

The lively picket was well received by local people; many cinemagoers refused to buy tickets in disgust at the Ritzy's meanness to its staff.

Workers are on strike this Friday, 1 June in order to secure a living wage. Lambeth Trades Council has pledged its support and local trade unionists will be joining the picket line again on 1 June.

For more information and messages of support, contact BECTU reps on 0207 346 0900 or 0778 859697.

International Socialist Resistance (ISR)

Join the ISR "Boost Our Pay" campaign. See

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020