Socialist Worker

Right to Work protest at McDonald's after Tories' partial retreat

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2292

The protest on Oxford Street  (Pic: Smallman )

The protest on Oxford Street (Pic: Guy Smallman)

McDonald’s was once more the target for anti-workfare protesters tonight, Wednesday, as their campaign forced the Tories onto the retreat.

Around 40 Right to Work protesters picketed a McDonald’s on London’s Oxford Street.

Left wing Labour MP John McDonnell came to congratulate the protesters on “a real victory”.

The government today backed down over docking the benefits of unemployed people who leave one of its forced labour programmes.

But McDonnell also pointed out that the fight against the schemes goes on.

“The next stage is to end workfare once and for all,” he told the crowd. “We just want jobs on a living wage. That shouldn’t be something we have to beg for – it should be a right.”

Banners on the protest included three UCU union branches, the regional PCS union banner and the Islington Pensioners Forum.

“When we had a pensioners’ march lots of young people came to support us,” Annette Thomas told Socialist Worker. “Coming here today is the least we could do.

“It’s outrageous that they’re being made to work and never come home with a wage. It denigrates young people.

“This fight is part of a much bigger picture. It’s about the NHS, pensions – everything the Tories are attacking.”

The protesters chanted, “McDonald’s bosses hear us say, we won’t work for no pay”.

Zita Holbourne, from the PCS and Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, addressed them.

“We need to carry on the campaign,” she said. “We need to stand up to this government.”

Hector Wesley, a member of the PCS executive committee, added that unemployed people should have “proper, paid jobs”.

“PCS supports the Right to Work campaign,” he said. “The government wouldn’t have made the concession it made today without this campaign.

“Now we need to keep going.”

Right to Work is backing a national day of protests against workfare this weekend called by the Boycott Workfare campaign.

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