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McDonald’s Workers Go on Strike in London Over Low Wages and Precarious Work

Staff at six McDonald’s in London will be joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell and union supporters

McDonald’s workers go on strike over pay at fast food chain
Pictures from last year’s McStrike, which repeats itself today, 12 November
Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

McDonald’s employees protest against low wages and precarious work

Staff at six McDonald’s restaurants in London will go on strike today, demanding that the fast food chain — projected to make £100 billion in global sales this year — offer guaranteed working hours, a £15 base wage, and four weeks’ notice of shifts to afford the flexibility that large corporations so often cite as a benefit of zero hours contracts. Staff will join an international day of strike action organised by the International Union of Food Workers (IUFW,) according to Metro.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell will join the strike, and told Metro:

“Low pay and insecure work is endemic in the fast food industry. A Labour government will take on the big corporations such as McDonald’s to stop them from paying out poverty wages.”

McDonald’s chose to emphasise that only nine staff across the six restaurants — in Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford, Catford and Crayford — are striking, and doubled down on the fact that “The BFAWU is calling for 40-hour guaranteed contracts, which is something we already offer – but has been chosen by very few of our people.” Occam’s razor suggests that only nine staff are striking, because striking could threaten employment; it may be true that, currently, the 40-hour contract does not suit a majority of employees, but guaranteed working hours can eliminate the precarity that can trap workers in an unsustainable job cycle. This will likely not be the last McStrike. [Metro]

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