McDonald’s workers and their supporters protested outside the company’s headquarters in Finchley, north west London, today, Saturday.
Some 200 people joined the protest ahead of the first-ever strike by workers at the multinational fast food giant in Britain.
Members of the Bfawu union at two stores in Cambridge and Crayford, south east London, plan to walk out on Monday.
Shen, a Bfawu member at the Crayford store, told Socialist Worker, “People are feeling excited but also very nervous because we've never done this before.
“We've had managers from head office coming down into the store trying to intimidate people from striking. So this protest is important to show the workers that people are behind them."
The protest brought together trade unionists, campaigners and Labour Party members in their support.
Workers were balloted about issues specific to the stores. But their action is part of a broader struggle for fast food workers' rights—particularly the fight for a £10 an hour minimum wage.
As Shen said, “Even if we got rid of all the bullying managers, we still could not afford to live. We want to make sure that we have got a living wage.”
Every trade unionist and campaigner needs to build solidarity for the McDonald's workers struggle and build the fightback against poverty pay.
Workers will picket outside the two stores between 6 and 7am on Monday. They will then join a rally at 10.30 am in Old Palace Yard opposite parliament in central London.
Shen will speak alongside Bfawu general secretary Ronnie Draper at a Unite the Resistance solidarity meeting in central London that evening.
Activists are also organising solidarity events in towns and cities across Britain, including Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff, as part of a Fast Food Rights campaign day or action (see details below).
Workers are right to fight for a £10 an hour minimum wage now—not by 2020 as the Labour Party promised at the general election.
Joe Carolan from the Unite union in New Zealand, which organises McDonald's workers, told the rally, “We can't leave it to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
“If you want the Tories out by the end of the year, you've got to go and organise your McDonald's.”
We need more action at McDonald's—and the union leaders to call national action over pay.