Socialist Worker

Breaking chains

Issue No. 1729

YOUNG WORKERS at McDonald's in France have shown how to take on the fast food multinational and win. McDonald's workers struck and occupied the Boulevard St German outlet in the centre of Paris just before Christmas. Their 15-day occupation won huge support.

'We are not hamburgers! We are striking because we are fed up with how we are treated,' said Jerome, one of the strikers. Some 80 percent of McDonald's workers in France are students, working part time and paid the minimum wage. 'Most of us work here all year though, so we decided to fight like workers,' said Jerome.

The strikers joined unions. 'We prepared outside working hours,' explained Jerome. 'We saw every worker, one by one. Everyone said they wouldn't put up with the way they were treated any more.' The strikers' determination saw them celebrate Christmas in the occupation. Finally on 28 December the strikers won.

They have promises of more secure jobs and better conditions. The strike also pushed McDonald's to make a deal with unions to pay a £30 Christmas bonus to all its employees in France.

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Sat 6 Jan 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1729
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