Food workers union Bfawu, Unite the Resistance and left wing Labour MP John McDonnell have teamed up to fight for fast food workers’ rights.
The Fast Food Rights campaign was set to hold its first open planning meeting in the House of Commons on Wednesday of this week.
John McDonnell told Socialist Worker, “Fast food workers are exploited on low wages, zero hours contracts and poor conditions of employment.
“With little trade union representation in this sector, they are also vulnerable to bullying and victimisation.
“This campaign is aimed at mobilising the labour and trade union movement to assist these workers secure their rights.
“We have mobilised to give strength to the cleaners campaigning for decent wages and conditions.
“This campaign calls upon trade unionists and students to join us in a direct action campaign to support fast food workers and recruit them into trade unions.”
The campaign comes after a dramatic year of strikes and protests in the fast food industry in the US.
Thousands of workers in dozens of cities have walked out to demand a living wage and union rights.
It also follows a major victory over zero hours contracts by Bfawu members at Hovis in Wigan, who struck for several weeks last autumn.
Bfawu president Ian Hodson said, “It would appear that forcing workers into poverty and having them rely on benefits to pay for basics is acceptable in David Cameron’s ‘big society’ Britain. Well it isn’t.
“We are calling on these massive, fast food companies to stop this shameful exploitation.”
He added that bosses should “ensure that employees are provided with proper contracts of employment” and wages that didn’t leave them depending on benefits.
Unite the Resistance will hold meetings around Britain to discuss how to beat zero hours contracts, starting in Leeds on 22 January.
Sean Vernell from Unite the Resistance said, “Low paid workers in sectors like this are at the sharp end of the bosses’ attacks. This is a good opportunity to build a campaign that helps organise and fight back.”