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McDonald's staff stage first ever UK strike in call for higher pay and more secure contracts

View profile for Sally Morris
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Staff working for multinational fast food chain McDonald’s recently went on strike for the first time known in the UK, in a bid to secure more favourable employment rights.

According to reports, approximately 40 members of staff at two restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, South East London, went on strike on Monday in hopes of sparking industrial action over a number of concerns.

The disgruntled members of staff claimed to have had enough of the fast food chain’s ubiquitous use of controversial zero-hours contracts, coupled with low pay and wider concerns about workplace bullying and general working conditions.

Staff at the two restaurants held a 24-hour strike on Monday, calling for a wage of £10 an hour or more, on top of more secure working hours and union recognition, The Guardian has reported.

In response to the action, McDonald’s has said that it will be offering all of its 115,000 staff across the UK the opportunity of switching to a contract with guaranteed hours by the end of the year.

However, the company insists that, so far, the vast majority (86 per cent) of staff offered such contracts have chosen to stay on flexible contracts.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reportedly backed the strike action in Cambridge and Crayford earlier this week.

He said: “Our party offers support and solidarity to the brave McDonald’s workers, who are making history today. They are standing up for workers’ rights by leading the first ever strike at McDonald’s in the UK.

“Their demands – an end to zero-hours contracts by the end of the year, union recognition and a £10 per hour minimum wage – are just, and should be met.”

A McDonald’s spokesperson has insisted that all of its hourly pay rates in the UK are currently above the National Living Wage (NLW).

They said: “We are proud of our people at McDonald’s. They are at the heart of all we do and we work hard to ensure that our teams are treated fairly. Our internal processes underpin that commitment.”    

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