Burger chain appears to cave to demands after huge strike vote
by Felicity Collier
McDONALD’S staff were celebrating victory yesterday after the international burger chain caved in to their hungry demands for justice by offering them guaranteed hours.
The fast food chain confirmed that all restaurants will have fixed hours contracts in place by the end of this year, in an agreement that campaigners claim would effect 80,000 workers.
However the strike by zero-hours employees in Crayford, Kent and Cambridge, who voted 95.7 per cent in favour of action over insecure hours, will still go ahead according to the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union (BFAWU).
The union said it would be meeting with McDonald’s bosses today to confirm the strike dates.
As well as an end to exploitative contracts, workers are demanding a fair basic wage of £10 per hour and recognition of their right to form a trade union.
Shen Batmaz, who works at Crayford, said she was ready to fi ght and called for “respect” in her job, describing one of her bosses as “every definition of bullying.”
She also said it costs £950 or more to rent a one-bedroom fl at in the south east London area, and added: “We can’t afford to pay rent and buy food for ourselves, put the shoes on our kids’ feet.
“We have to decide between feeding our kids or paying our rent, and it’s not on anymore.
“Some of the workers here decided that we want to fight back against one of the biggest billion-pound employers in the world — the second biggest employer in the world — who sets a standard for how every company treats their workers.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave his full support to workers, along with the party’s shadow business minister Rebecca Long-Bailey.
BFAWU national president Ian Hodson told the Star: “These workers are making history, and we’re going to stand in solidarity with them.
“We recognise the importance of what they’re standing for, and already McDonald’s is offering guaranteed hours for workers across the business.
“This will offer people some security, and demonstrates the power of collectivism and how organising can win.
“We cautiously welcome these steps by McDonald’s, but we have been lied to before.
“We also want to ensure that we hold McDonald’s to this promise, so we will be inviting them to get round the table with us.”
Campaign group Hungry for Justice urged McDonald’s on Twitter yesterday: “Now sit down with the BFAWU and put it in writing.”