‘How we defeated zero hours contracts’: 14 May Forum with New Zealand & UK fast food workers

14 May FFRs forum jpeg for online UPDATE

On Saturday 14 May, the BFAWU Fast Food Rights campaign is hosting a forum discussing how workers have organised to defeat zero hours contracts.

Fast Food Rights is a campaign that’s part of a global movement of fast food workers and their unions. The campaign has strong links with the incredible Fight For $15 strike movement in America, but also with fast food unions and workers in around 40 countries around the world.

In March this year, fast food workers in New Zealand (NZ)won a very significant victory.

Through union organising, fast food strikes and a vibrant political campaign, zero hours contracts will be outlawed in NZ from April this year.

On 14 April, 2016, fast food workers in UK took part in a global day of action. They dressed as evil Ronald McDonald's and held a 'precarious work picnic' outside a major McDonald's in Glasgow, where a new BFAWU bakers' union fast food workers' branch is growing

On 14 April, 2016, fast food workers in UK took part in a global day of action. They dressed as evil Ronald McDonald’s and held a ‘precarious work picnic’ outside a major McDonald’s in Glasgow, where a new BFAWU bakers’ union fast food workers’ branch is growing

Here in UK, McDonald’s announced, a day after fast food workers joined a global day of action against McDonald’s, that it would offer all staff a contract of 4, 16 or 30 hours.

On 14 May, Fast Food Rights is hosting a delegation of NZ fast food workers to share the lessons of their successful campaign.





Incredible #FastFoodGlobal Day of Action hits over 40 countries


Glasgow fast food workers from BFAWU Fast Food Rights campaign, supported by the Better Than Zero campaign, dressed as evil Ronald McDonalds run rampage around the city demanding £10 an hour minimum wage for all now, union rights, and an end to zero hours contracts

See full list of live tweets with pictures and reports from the fast food strikes and protests all around the world at #FastFoodGlobal

See photo gallery of Glasgow protest by Duncan Brown here

On Thursday 14 April 2016, the third annual #FastFoodGlobal Day Of Action by fast food workers and their unions took place. And it was phenomenal. This year top all that have gone so far, with fast food and low waged worker strikes hitting over 300 cities spanning every state in America, and the global movement of fast food workers flexing its muscles too, with over 40 countries with protests in solidarity with the US Fight For 15 movement.


Fast Food Rights protest in Glasgow, led by fast food workers dressed as evil Ronald McDonalds made front page news!

Here in the UK, Fast Food Rights drew in support from Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, who said on Twitter, “It’s Fast Food Global Day of Action. Solidarity w/ workers across the world who are fighting for decent pay & rights at work”.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, also tweeted her support, saying “We all need a living wage, secure employment and decent conditions – well done to all supporting day of action today”.

This year’s day of action saw a major focus in Glasgow, where fast food workers have been joining the BFAWU bakers’ union in large numbers, and low waged, zero hour contract workers from other industries joining the wider campaign to demand £10 an hour now for all workers, regardless of age; union rights; and an end to zero hours contracts.

As fast food workers took to the streets, dressed as evil Ronald McDonalds (see #TerrifyingRonalds), they descended on the central McDonald’s to have a ‘Precarious Work Picnic’, stopping to occupy a KFC on route.

At the picnic, the 20 or so Ronalds laid out their picnic blankets, and peered inside their ‘unhappy meal’ bags to see what was in store.

But when they pulled out ‘zero hours contracts’ and ‘low pay’, and ‘lack of respect’, and ‘no union rights’, the Ronalds became upset. When they tried to eat their unhappy meal serving, they were overcome by sickness, compelled to collapse in a fit on the ground.

Happy Ronalds (Picture: Duncan Brown)

Happy Ronalds (Picture: Duncan Brown)

Then a Ronald brought out a real ‘Happy Meal’, containing ‘£10 an hour’, ‘Union Rights’, and ‘No zero hours’, at which point the Ronalds revived, and starting celebrating and dancing in the street outside McDonald’s.

 Article and video in Evening Times 

The SNP Trade Union Group also tweeted their support for the protests in Glasgow.

In an astounding move from one of the most notorious companies to use zero hours contracts for the bulk of its workers, today (Friday 15 April) saw the Guardian run an article where McDonald’s bosses claim they have decided that they are going to “give staff the option of moving to contracts guaranteeing a minimum of four-hours per week, 16 hours, or 30 hours”.

Elsewhere in the UK, where fast food worker branches of BFAWU and the Fast Food Rights campaign have been growing with fast food workers leading, protests also took place.

image4One fast food worker reports: “In Scarborough we have grown considerably over the last two months to a total of 16 members.

We now have members in five different town centre fast food shops and are starting to work on tackling individual workplace issues (and winning!) in order to further our membership and presence in these workplaces.

Around 40 joined the protest in Wakefield, where a week of events and actions alongside comedian Mark Thomas saw fast food workers joining the union

Around 40 joined the protest in Wakefield, where a week of events and actions alongside comedian Mark Thomas saw fast food workers joining the union

20160414_123559We have found that in nearly every one of our members workplaces, employers are breaking employment law, from illegal unpaid mandatory meetings to not following the time directive on rest periods between shifts. So these are the issues we will be focussing on as we grow our numbers and confidence for the fight for £10 and a union for all!”

Meanwhile, fast food workers all around the world were protesting, occupying, and in America striking to maximise pressure on McDonald’s with the slogan ‘McJobs Cost Us All’.




#FightFor15 in New York City New York was epic!

The Philippines:

#FightFor15 in the PhillipinesPittsburgh:

#FightFor15 in PittsburghBrazil:

#FightFor15 in BrazilTampa:

#FightFor15 in TampaEuro Disney in France:

#FightFor15 in EuroDisney in FranceLas Vegas:

#FightFor15 in Las Vegas

Fast Food Rights joins fast food workers across the world for #FastFoodGlobal Day Of Action #14April

solidarity protests from the campuses link up with striking fast food workers and other low waged workers, and the Black Lives Matter movement, fighting for economic and social justice

USA: solidarity protests from the campuses link up with striking fast food workers and other low waged workers, and the Black Lives Matter movement, fighting for economic and social justice


On 14 April, a global day of action (#FastFoodGlobal) will take place where fast food and low waged workers across the world will protest for higher pay, union rights and respect and dignity at work.
The day of action is in solidarity with US fast food workers, who will be striking on that day in every state, in over 300 cities across the US.
Their incredible strike movement for $15 (approx. £10) an hour and union rights has gone from strength to strength since it emerged in 2012.
It has been a beacon for low waged workers everywhere, showing that it’s possible to organise and fight for an end to low pay, bullying bosses and insecure hoursto fight for a better life.
BFAWU fast food worker members led the charge for £10 an hour and union rights on the 2015 15 April global day of action

BFAWU fast food worker members led the charge for £10 an hour and union rights on the 2015 15 April global day of action.

These companies, like McDonald’s, make billions in profit. Their CEOs are on mega-salaries. Yet the workers who make the profits are living in poverty. Here in Britain, fast food workers are organising and joining the BFAWU bakers’ union. Join the day of action!

There will be a big focus in Wakefield, where on the day there will be a demonstration and social (see programme of events here).
 There will also be protests led by BFAWU fast food workers in Glasgow, Scarborough and Cambridge as well as the events in Wakefield.
Watch this space for details of what is planned in these localities on the day.
In London there will be a delegation travelling together to Wakefield.
Contact fastfoodrights@mail.com if you are London based and want to be part of the delegation so we have an idea of numbers for transport options.
Please send us information ASAP of anything planned in your area to fastfoodrights@mail.com. 
FFRs 15 April colour placard £10 nowFFRs 15 April colour placard No Zero Hours
a) ‘Solidarity selfie’ poster for supporters to use on social media on 14 April to support the global day of action. 

FFRs 1 April FoolsGold Protest FINALPROTEST 1 APRIL: 

12pm Downing St
We won’t be fooled by Osborne’s gimmick wage! Fast Food Rights has called a protest around the Tories’ announcement over the rise in the minimum wage. We will be going for a musical theatrical stunt outside Downing street to highlight how the ‘rise’ is not enough and the need for a real wage workers can live on. Use #FoolsGold  Download the leaflet here

Jeremy Corbyn pledges support for Fast Food Rights at 200 strong BFAWU fringe meeting at Labour Youth Conference

Report by Steve, BFAWU fast food worker

FFRs Scarborough 3On Saturday 27 February the BFAWU Fast Food Rights campaign held a campaign rally and social as a fringe event at the Young Labour conference, where fast food worker members of the union spoke on a platform alongside Jeremy Corbyn and others.

The event was attended by around 200 people– delegates, local trade unionists and fast food workers–who came to hear about our campaign. We had pledges of support from the FBU firefighters’ union, Bill Adams the regional secretary of Yorkshire and Humber TUC, the chairman of Scarborough Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party.
Jeremy Corbyn standing with BFAWU fast food workers

Jeremy Corbyn standing with BFAWU fast food workers

FFRs Scarborough selfie

Corbyn pledged his support for the 14 April, a Global Day Of Action by fast food workers and unions across the world, coinciding with a major US-wide strike in the ongoing and hugely inspiring Fight for 15 campaign. Corbyn told the rally, “I fully support the campaign by the bakers’ union for a £10 an Hour minimum wage”.

FFRs Scarborough 4 FFRs Scarborough 5
It was fantastic too see many people enthused by our campaign, and understanding its importance in bringing young people into the trade union movement.
We are the most under-represented demographic of people in this country to not be protected at work and by engaging with young people in the jobs we will help to ensure they understand the importance of uniting together to tackle a wide range of issues.
Many young people in fast food employment are also students, but by engaging with them now we will ensure they seek out further trade union involvement in future workplaces.
We’ve had 5 people join the union during the event from 3 local fast food workplaces, which of course will help us now move into these workplaces and, as a collective, tackle the issues they have specific to them as well as our wider campaign of £10 & a Union.
Watch this space for more action to come as our union grows in strength.
NOTE: Next London planning meeting for the campaign’s actions around the 14 April Global Day of Action is on Tues 8 March, 5pm at Parliament, St Stephens Gate entrance, in Room W just off Westminster Hall inside parliament.

Wed 13 Jan: Fast Food Rights Protest and Forum with John McDonnell: US and UK workers join forces

BFAWU fast food worker members led the charge for £10 an hour and union rights on 15 April global day of action

BFAWU fast food worker members led the charge for £10 an hour and union rights on 15 April global day of action

US strike pic for 2015 leaflet

Tens of thousands of fast food workers in the US have led strikes involving low paid workers demanding $15 an hour and a union

On Wednesday 13 January, Fast Food Rights will be hosting an forum at parliament, London, with a delegation of US fast food workers and organisers who are leading the inspiring Fight For $15 strike movement.

The forum will see the US fast food workers sharing a platform with UK fast food workers, sharing experiences on a panel discussion. They will be joined on the panel by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who founded the Fast Food Rights campaign alongside the BFAWU bakers’ union in 2014, and other leading figures from the trade union and anti-austerity movement.

McDonald’s Whitehall 

FORUM with John McDonnell: 6.30PM

ROOM 8 Parliment Westminster

Tom Woodruff SEIU
Dawn Butler Labour MP Brent Central
John McDonnell Labour Shadow Chancellor
Kevin Rowan TUC
Owen Espley War on Want
Fast food workers from the US and the UK

We are calling on the wider trade union movement for solidarity on the day to support our fast food workers leading the charge for unionisation and £10 an hour.

Bring banners to show the trade union movement is behind them!

FFRs Forum & Protest..Download the PDF to print leaflets here

The reason for the US delegation is that as part of the global campaign by fast food workers, the US campaign is helping to organise a press event in Brussels on 12 January.


Unions and allies will be gathering in Brussels to press their case at the EU that McDonald’s must reform its practices towards workers, consumers, and society as whole. UK fast food workers and BFAWU delegates will take part in the Brussels event, but the main focus for us all will be the event in London the following day, 13 January.


Protest and Forum supported by

Unite the Resistance
Youth Fight for Jobs
Unite Hotel Workers’ Branch London


War on Want
Disabled People Against Cuts
Thompsons Soliciters
Walkers union /Slater and Gordon
Labour Representation Committee