Around 40 McDonald’s staff went out on strike yesterday, at two restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London. The reasons cited included concern over the use of zero hours’ contracts but the CEO of McDonald’s UK said that workers were given the option of moving to fixed hours. He stated that, throughout a trial of both fixed hour and zero-hour contracts, the majority of participants (around 80%) chose to stay on their existing flexible contracts; with only 20% opting for fixed hours.
However, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), said staff were demanding a wage of at least £10 an hour, more secure working hours and union recognition, saying that McDonald’s workers are living in poverty.
The fast food chain says all its hourly pay rates are above the national living wage. For under-18s this is £5.42, for 18- to 20-year-olds it is £6.84, for 21- to 24-year-olds the rate is £8.13 and for over-25s it is £8.31. The chain added that those taking action represented 0.01% of its UK manpower, saying the concern was related to internal grievance procedures.