McDonald’s is facing its first employee strike since the burger chain opened during 1974 in the UK, along with protests by both the public and unions at several locations over working conditions and pay.
About 40 members of the McDonald’s staff started their strike Monday at two locations in Crayford and Cambridge, after a ballot that was in favor of the strike amidst concerns over zero-hours contracts and low wages.
The burger behemoth has been a huge user of the zero-hours contract in Britain, though it recently has started to offer it workers the option of moving over to a fixed-hour schedule.
One of the oldest British trade unions, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, said that staff had been demanding wages of £10 minimum per hour, working hours that were more secure as well as union recognition.
This strike was supported by Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Labour who said that his party offers the solidarity and support to the brave workers at McDonalds who made history on Monday.
They have stood up for the rights of workers by leading the first strike ever at a UK McDonald’s.
The demands are an end to the zero-hour contracts before the end of 2017, union recognition as well as minimum wage per hour of £10.
McDonald’s said that those who were taking action accounted for only 0.01% of its workforce in the UK and that the dispute had been related to internal grievance procedures.
Staff in both Crayford and Cambridge is mounting picket lines during the early morning prior to attending another rally in Westminster.
McDonald’s said all its staff of 115,000 in the UK would be given the option of taking a guaranteed-hours contract before the end of 2017. It said thus far 86% of its employees chose to remain with the flexible hour contracts.
Over 100 Labour Party and union members with workers from McDonald’s protested in front of the company’s East Finchley headquarters on Saturday.
The burger company was expecting more solidarity protests in front of several of its restaurants Monday, but stressed that all its locations would remain open since not all of its employees were involved with the protests or picketing.
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook last year took in a total payment package of more than $15.35 million.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said that as was announced during April earlier this year, together will all franchisees, we are providing the option of guaranteed contracts and all locations will have the contracts in place before the end of this year.