Britain: Historic McDonald’s strike ‘just the start’

McDonald's workers and supporters protest outside parliament in London.

The strike at two branches of McDonald’s in Britain was “just the start”, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on September 4. Speaking at a rally outside Parliament the day before, the shadow chancellor hailed the striking workers as an “absolute inspiration”.

Workers at the burger giant’s restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, downed aprons in protest at the harassment of workers and the victimisation of union members.

But striking workers told the Morning Star they hoped workers at many more branches to join a “second wave” of action.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), which represents the McDonald’s workers, has sought to emulate the tactics of campaigns for better pay and conditions for fast-food workers in the US and New Zealand. The union wants a £10 an hour minimum wage — now adopted as Labour Party policy — and an end to zero-hour contracts.

McDonnell offered Labour’s firm support for the strikers. He said the strike would be “completely avoidable if bosses would agree to pay workers a living wage” and “treated staff with respect”.
[Abridged from Morning Star Online.]