Largest McStrike launched at 6 South London stores

25 October 2019 - 10:00am
Press release

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Largest McDonald’s workers strike and global day of action for fast food workers’ rights called for 12 November

The Bakers’ Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) will today notify six London McDonald’s stores that its members will go on strike on November 12 as part of an international day of action for fast food workers’ rights. 

The McDonald’s workers are calling for a New Deal that would include £15 an hour, an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of up to 40 hours a week, notice of shifts four weeks in advance, recognition of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union, and to be treated with respect and dignity at work.  

Melissa Evans, 32, a mum who works at McDonald’s in Wandsworth Town said: “I need £15 an hour so I can show my son that poverty is not the only option. Me and my colleagues are coming together in a union to show the world that McDonald’s workers deserve the same level of respect as everyone else. We are coming together to tackle poverty pay, insecurity of hours and lack of respect which has gone on at McDonald’s for too long. We are going on strike on 12 November 2019 as workers around the world take action to hold this global multinational to account for the way that it treats its workers. We are tired of being exploited, but together we are powerful. We will win a new deal for McDonald’s workers.”

The strike will take place on a global day of action called by the International Union of Food (IUF) workers, which will see fast food workers take to the streets around the world, including in France, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and many other countries. In the UK, War on Want and the TUC are organising actions across the UK to demonstrate public support for the McDonald’s workers. 

McDonald’s workers in the BFAWU have been on strike three times before: on 4 September 2017, 1 May 2018, and 4 October 2018. This strike will be the largest to date of McDonald’s workers with six stores going out on strike – more than ever before. 

Lewis Baker, a McStriker, 28, from Crayford, who will go on strike for the fourth time said: “McDonald’s can afford to pay us £15 an hour. It’s a reasonable request for a corporation that earns millions every day. Instead of listening to what we’ve been demanding, McDonald’s has tried to dismiss us, saying we were few. Yet McDonald’s workers everywhere face the same issues of poverty pay, insecure hours and a lack of basic respect. We are growing bigger with every strike. It's time for McDonald’s to give its workers a New Deal.”

Owen Espley, Senior Economic Justice Campaigner for War on Want, said: “McDonald’s business model is built on exploiting workers, often already marginalised young, black, women, and migrant workers. But McDonald’s workers are fighting back, demanding respect and a fair share of the profits. Through people power, with workers organising and supported by people of conscience, we can end the poverty wages and precarious conditions that fast food workers face globally.”

Press Contacts

TJ Chuah, Communications Officer, War on Want, media@waronwant.org, 020 7324 5065

Owen Espley, Senior Economic Justice Campaigner, War on Want, oespley@waronwant.org, 020 7324 5058

Notes to editors

  • The London McDonald’s stores where BFAWU members have decided to strike are:
    • Wandsworth Town          
    • Downham                    
    • Balham                          
    • Deptford                       
    • Catford                          
    • Crayford   
  • The global day of action will use the hashtag #FastFoodGlobal whilst the UK actions will use #McStrike 
  • The McStrike and Fight for 15 campaign are spearheaded by The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). They aim to ensure fast food workers have the right to a fair wage and decent working conditions across the country.
  • The BFAWU is the largest independent trade union in the food sector in the British Isles. The BFAWU works to ensure that employees are secure and safe in their workplace – and that they are paid an equitable wage for the work they do.
  • This day of action will take place during ‘Living Wage Week’ in the UK.

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