The fight back against the Fast Food industry’s squeeze on worker wages which started in American has reached the shores of Britain. McDonald’s workers at two outlets, in London and in Cambridge, are striking for living wages, an end to zero hour contracts and the right to join a union. To put this into perspective, the minimum wage is £7.50 an hour for those over 25 years old and there is a downward sliding scale with the bottom wage being £4.05 an hour for those under 16 years of age.
The living wage recommendation is £8.45 outside London and £9.75 in London an hour. There is a huge discrepancy between a wage needed to live a meaningful life against the current levels.
McDonald’s is valued at $106.4 billion according to Forbes. The CEO, Steve Easterbrook, earned $15 million in 2016. The Fast Food industry is not an ailing industry as people live fast paced lifestyles which demand food on the go but does not deem its’ workers to be a valuable part of this expanding industry except as modern wage slaves.
The strike has received much support notably from the prominent Labour politician, John McDonnell, shadow chancellor and member of DiEM25’s Advisory Panel. Mr McDonnell called the strike an “absolute inspiration” because “the best security we can have is them recognising trade unions so grievances can get resolved rather than strike action”.
DiEM25 supports the strike and the demands for a living wage and the right to join a union. We believe that job security is the best route for meaningful participation in a democracy.
Jane is a member of our London DSC and blogs at www.ambitiousmamas.co.uk on feminism, politics and race. You can also follow her on Twitter.
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