McDonald’s UK Workers to strike for the first time in history

PRESS RELEASE – London, 1 September 2017

McDonald’s UK workers will make history on Monday 4 September 2017 when they take
strike action.  They will strike in the UK for the first time, over a number of grievances.

These strikes will takeplace at two workplaces – Crayford and Cambridge. Workers are demanding a £10 an hour minimum wage, union recognition, and for action on scrapping zero hours contracts, to be taken by McDonald’s.

Photo/Filming/Interview Opportunities:
1. Pre-strike Demonstration:
a. 14:00 Saturday 2 September, McDonald’s HQ in East Finchley, London, [N2 8AW]
2. Picket lines:
a. 06:00-7:00am McDonalds, Cambridge, Newmarket Road, [CB5 8WL]
b. 06:00-7:30am McDonald’s, Crayford Road Branch, Crayford SE London, [DA1

3. Rally at Parliament Sq. with John McDonnell MP and co:
a. 10:30-12:00 Parliament Square [SW1A 0AA]

In July, the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) notified McDonald’s that workers at two stores, Crayford and Cambridge, were to be balloted, with a view to authorising a strike later this year. On 18 August it was announced that 95.7 percent of UK McDonald’s workers who were balloted voted in favour of the strike. The strike will take place on Monday 4 September. Workers have received the support of Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP and other senior Labour Party and Trade Union figures, including Unite New Zealand representatives who have successfully ended the use of zero-hour contracts in New Zealand. These and others will speak at the rally at Parliament Square.

Ian Hodson, National President of the BFAWU: “For the first time in UK history, McDonald’s workers and supporters of our movement will step out from the dark shadow of impoverishment cast by Ronald McDonald’s golden arches, and call for the rights they are entitled to – a £10 an hour minimum wage, secure employment contracts, and the recognition of their right to join a trade union.”

“For far too long, McDonald’s have taken advantage of its workers, taken away their voice, and taken away their freedoms. But this abhorrent behaviour can go on no longer – and it won’t. Their facing a global movement – whether it’s here in the UK, the US, Brazil, New Zealand – you name it. Workers are standing up. The fight for fairness has only just begun.”

Shen Batmaz, a McDonald’s worker at the Crayford store said: “Faced with the choice between putting food on our tables or shoes on our children’s feet, we are choosing to stand up for ourselves. We can’t afford not to take action. We have decided to strike because of the bullying we have faced and we know McDonald’s workers face every single day all around the world. 

“We have come together, and are ready to fight to have the money we need to live and to have respect in our job. We are ready to make history: McDonalds, the second largest employer in the world, sets the global standard for how companies treat their workers; when we win it will be a victory for all low paid workers everywhere.”

Monday’s historic strike forms part of the #FastFoodGlobal workers’ movement. In the USA, McDonald’s have come under significant pressure as part of the “Fight for $15” campaign – supported by the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU). The campaign has resulted in: more than 10 million US workers being on a path to $15 an hour; and wage increases for 20 million workers since 2012.

The protests will call on McDonald’s to follow through with their promise to offer workers the opportunity to move away from the use of zero-hours contracts. This was a promise the company made just earlier this year but – to date – no such action has been taken.

Workers are calling for a fair £10 per hour minimum wage, secure working hours, acceptable working conditions and the recognition of their right to form a trade union as employees of the company. Now, McDonald’s workers in the UK will fight to achieve the same impressive results seen by their transatlantic colleagues.