McDonald’s faces more strikes as workers balloted over pay and zero-hours contracts

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McDonald’s faces a fresh round of strikes as a union ballots members at six restaurants across the UK. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has notified the fast food chain about the ballot and said industrial action will take place next year if workers vote for it.

McDonald’s employees at Crayford, Manchester, Cambridge, one central London branch and two outlets in Watford are involved. 

Ian Hodson, president of the BFAWU, said on Monday that union representatives from six stores wished to be balloted on issues of pay, unequal wages for young workers, and to demand to be given a choice of fixed hours. 

“The union is committed to supporting its members and campaigning for £10 an hour, an end to zero-hour contracts, and to give McDonald’s workers a voice,” Mr Hodson said.

The current ballot will close on 16 April and the BFAWU said it would release the results of the ballot once the company has been informed of the result. 

Tristan Bentley, a McDonald’s worker in Crayford, south-east London, said: “Workers across the country came together to decide to ballot for industrial action. We want a better deal. We are the McStrikers, and we will not be silent, we will not be scared. We will do whatever it takes to win a better life for all McDonald’s workers.”

Staff at the Cambridge and Crayford branches became the first McDonald’s workers to strike in the UK when they staged a walkout in September in protest over the use of a grievance procedure. Employees also expressed anger over low pay and the use of zero-hour contracts.

McDonald’s announced the roll-out of a policy of allowing staff to choose between a flexible or fixed-hours contract in 2016. It said last year that the majority of staff who had been given the option had chosen the flexible contract.

The latest action is part of the #McStrike campaign which is linked to a global movement of fast food workers fighting for improved pay and conditions. 

In the US, McDonald’s has come under significant pressure from the “Fight for $15” campaign, supported by the Service Employee’s International Union. 

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