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Wednesday 2nd
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

Fast-food giant ‘punishing union members’

MCDONALD’S workers are set to go on strike over bullying and cuts to their hours, the Star can reveal today.

The fast-food giant has been accused of “punishing” workers who have joined unions at two London restaurants.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) said the company had failed to deliver on new arrangements it had promised would replace zero-hours contracts. Forty workers across the two restaurants will be balloted for strike action.

The workers say they have “no alternative” but to take action as they feel they have been victimised.

McDonald’s has found itself at the centre of a global struggle by fast-food workers for fair pay, with staff in the US fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage. A strike by US fast-food workers in November 2015 saw McDonald’s restaurants closed across the country.

British unions including BFAWU and GMB have raised a similar demand for a £10 an hour rate — and have been steadily recruiting workers at McDonald’s restaurants.

If the ballot goes ahead, staff at other McDonald’s restaurants — which operate on a franchise model — could follow suit.

McDonald’s Cambridge worker Tom Holliday said: “McDonald’s is a multinational corporation with unacceptable working conditions.

“We are asking to be treated with dignity and to be paid a decent wage, and for our right to form a union to be recognised by our employer.

“McDonald’s must consider reinvesting its huge amount of net profits back into its workforce. We believe it is our right to ask for a fair treatment for the hard work we perform.”

In April, McDonald’s announced it would offer its 115,000 employees in Britain the chance to switch from zero-hours contracts to fixed hours.

Shen Batmaz, a McDonald’s worker in Crayford, added: “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. McDonald’s should listen to all its employees around the world and take immediate action.”

The Star approached McDonald’s for comment, but the company had not responded at the time of going to press.