British McDonald’s workers go on strike for higher pay

McDonald's workers in Britain went on strike Monday to demand higher wages and an end to zero-hour contracts. Photo by Jean Shaw/UPI

Sept. 5 (UPI) — As American fast food workers protested for living wages on Labor Day, McDonald’s employees in Britain went on strike for the first time to demand higher wages and better working conditions.

About 40 McDonald’s employees in Cambridge and southeast London took to the streets for a £10 per hour minimum wage and an end to zero-hours contracts, which do not give workers any guaranteed amount of work, reported the Guardian.

McDonald’s is considered one of the biggest users of zero-hours contracts in the country, but have recently been increasing their fixed hours contracts.

The minimum wage in Britain for people over 25 is £7.50

The McDonald’s workers protest earned support from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as worker union leaders.

“Their demands — an end to zero-hours contracts by the end of the year, union recognition and a £10 per hour minimum wage — are just, and should be met,” Corbyn said.

“We fully support the historic decision by these brave workers to stand up and fight back against McDonald’s — a company that has let them down one too many times,” Ian Hodson, national president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) told the BBC. “For far too long, workers in fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s have had to deal with poor working conditions, drastic cuts to employee hours, and even bullying in the workplace — viewed by many as a punishment for joining a union.”

But McDonald’s said the protests by approximately 40 employees do not reflect the desires of most employees.

“A small number of our people representing less than 0.01% of our workforce took strike action in two of our 1,270 UK restaurants,” said the company.

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