McDonald’s faces first ever strike from UK workers today

Jeremy Corbyn has led support to those on the picket line of the #McStrike

Fast food giant McDonald’s is set to face its first ever strike from UK workers today, in a row over zero hours contracts and working conditions.

Even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has lent his support to those on the picket line, as workers at Cambridge and Crayford in south-east London began the 24-hour walk-out at midnight.

“We fully support the historic decision by these brave workers to stand up and fight back against McDonald’s – a company that has let them down one too many times,” Ian Hodson, national president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) told the BBC. “For far too long, workers in fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s have had to deal with poor working conditions, drastic cuts to employee hours, and even bullying in the workplace – viewed by many as a punishment for joining a union.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also lent his support to the strike, adding: “Our party offers support and solidarity to the brave McDonald’s workers, who are making history today. 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.”

The strikes come after the global fast food chain offered UK staff a choice of flexible or fixed contracts with minimum guaranteed hours. McDonald’s state that 86% have chosen to stay on flexible contracts, however grievances among workers continue.

A McDonald’s spokesman responded to the industrial action, saying: “We can confirm that, following a ballot process, the BFAWU has indicated that a small number of our people representing less than 0.01% of our workforce are intending to strike in two of our 1,270 UK restaurants.

“As per the terms of the ballot, the dispute is solely related to our internal grievance procedures and not concerning pay or contracts.

“McDonald’s UK and its franchisees have delivered three pay rises since April 2016, this has increased the average hourly pay rate by 15%.”

See photos from the scene and reactions to what is being dubbed the #McStrike below: