Happy Meals on Hold as UK McDonald’s Workers Prepare for First Strike

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Staff are demanding a US$12 per hour minimum wage and the end of zero-hour contracts.
McDonald’s workers protest in New Zealand. Photo credit: Unite

Source: TeleSUR TV / The Dawn News / September 1, 2017

For the first time, workers at two McDonald’s restaurants in the UK are due to go on strike on September 4, coinciding with U.S. Labor Day.

95.7 percent of employees at the Cambridge and Crayford outlets in the southeast of the country voted in favor of the action last month.

The strikes are scheduled to start early on Monday morning and a rally will follow towards parliament at Westminster in London, featuring speeches from the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Finance Minister, John McDonnell.

Workers are demanding a US$12 per hour minimum wage and the end of zero-hour contracts.

Currently, the UK minimum wage stands at US$9.70 for ages 25 and over, and US$9.13 for ages 21 to 24.

Staff at the striking McDonald’s are living with no guarantee of hours despite a promise from the company to remove the practice last year along with low wages.

“In spite of being a global giant and a household name, the conditions McDonald’s workers are subjected to across the world are simply not up to scratch. This strike in the UK is part of a global movement advocating for fair salaries and decent working conditions,” said Shen Batmaz, a McDonald’s worker in Crayford in a press release published by The Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union, BFAWU.

The strike follows the lead of the successful Fight for US$15 movement in the United States which has achieved considerable gains for fast food workers.

The move to hold the strike on U.S. Labor Day was also decided on by the UK McDonald’s workers to show international solidarity.

The Fight For US$15 campaign has also pushed dozens of cities and some states in the U.S. to implement the workers’ minimum wage demands.

During Monday’s action, supporters of the strikers will also be taking their fight onto social media using the hashtags #McStrike and #FastFoodGlobal.

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