Fair pay for fast food workers

FAST Food workers in Britain last week joined a one day international protest for higher pay, just days after mainstream politicians promised modest rises in the legal minimum wage.

Demonstrations in London began at McDonalds in Marble Arch on Wednesday 15th April morning, where activists went on to occupy the restaurant.

Thirty protests are took place across the country according to campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs, and are inspired by the Fight for $15, a movement for higher wages in the US.

The actions are supported by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), Unite the Union and campaign group War on Want.

Workers are demanding a £10-per-hour “living wage” and an end to zero-hours contracts, which do not guarantee employees a minimum number of hours.

The action comes days after political parties issued pledges for modest increases in the legal minimum wage in their election promises.

Labour pledged to increase the minimum wage, which currently stands at £6.50 per hour for those aged 21 and over, to £8 per hour by 2020. The Conservative Party has also promised to raise it to £8 per hour by 2020, and also to increase the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 in the next parliament.

Ian Hodson, National President of BFAWU, joined activists at the McDonald’s branch in Marble Arch. He described the protest as a “good turnout” from a variety of different groups.

He said: “We managed to get inside and blocked off the place for 10-15 minutes. Management agreed to let their workers talk to the trade unions in return for us leaving.”