Socialist Worker

McDonald’s workers supersize their strike—and bosses are not loving it

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2601

McDonalds workers on strike last September

McDonald's workers on strike last September (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at five McDonald’s stores in England were set to strike on Tuesday of next week.

Two stores in Watford, north of London, are out—as well as one each in Manchester, Cambridge and Crayford in south east London.

The Bfawu union members voted by 95 percent for strikes.

They are fighting for £10 an hour, fixed hour contracts, equal pay for young workers and union recognition.

After one-hour pickets at McDonald’s stores from 7am in Manchester, and 8am in Cambridge and Crayford, workers will move to Watford to protest at 12 noon.

Watford is the home town of McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook. Workers hope to shame the multimillionaire who earns over £5,500 an hour.

“Steve Easterbrook needs to get on his private jet and come to Watford to meet with us and our union,” said Watford McDonald’s worker Richard.


“It’s time for Easterbrook to answer to the people of Watford and treat his workers with respect.

“While he earns thousands of pounds an hour, we’re barely scraping by.”

Workers have called for supporters to come down to their picket lines and join them on the protest in Watford.

The strike comes as insecurity in the workplace is becoming more widespread. The Office for National Statistics on Monday released new figures showing the number of zero hours contracts increased to around two million in November 2017. But the McDonald’s strikes show that workers on zero hours contracts can fight back.

Annalise from the Cambridge store said, “This international workers’ day we will send a message to McDonald’s, the world’s second largest employer, that the labour movement is back and ready for action.

“We won’t stop until McDonald’s respects our human right to a living wage of £10 an hour and our right to a union.”

Send messages of support to the bakers’ union at [email protected]

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