How can McDonald’s claim to be a family restaurant when so many of their own workers and their families are living in destitution?
They should be ashamed. That’s why I, along with other McDonald’s workers, am striking on November 12.
We’re striking for a decent wage of £15 an hour for all ages, guaranteed hours, and the respect that comes with having a union. I’m doing this for my son, to show him that there’s something more to life than poverty.
I was born into poverty, and now I’m bringing my son up in poverty. He needs to see that there’s actually something else out there in the world, so he can aim for something better.
Steve Easterbrook was fired from his £12million-a-year job as CEO of McDonald’s for abusing his power. When I heard how much he got paid, it hurt. He’s going to end up on another multi-million salary – and he got a $675,000 pay-out. He’s not going to be down at the Jobcentre.
But McDonald’s workers all around the world are paid poverty wages. I’m on £9.45 an hour, and it makes me feel so trapped. I am trapped in poverty. I’m trapped in the amount of time I can put towards my family. I can work 40 hours a week, and still do not have enough to pay my rent.
My wage also means that I have to claim benefits. I’ve been working with McDonald’s for over two years now, full time – there should be no reason why I’m still on benefits.
Together, with fast food workers around the world, we are powerful
I work so hard, yet sometimes I have to choose between putting gas and electric in my house over paying my rent. I make sure there’s food in the house for my son, but then I’ll eat at work. Those work meals are the only meals I’m eating in a day, and I know I’m not the only one doing this.
When I first got my job, I was under the impression I was on a guaranteed-hours contract. It was only recently I found out I was on a zero-hour contract. I am now on 28 hours a week, and it’s not enough. I had been working 40 hours a week, and so to be put on 28 hours is a huge loss.
The people I work with are the most wonderful people. But we’re all under so much stress and strain on a daily basis that we can’t think ahead, and sometimes we can’t even function.
We are hard-working and skilled – yet our abilities are not recognised by managers or the public. We get shouted at. We get disrespected. I don’t go to work to be spoken to like a child. I know exactly what I’m doing.
It might just be McDonald’s to everyone else, but for us it’s where we work – it’s where we earn our bread. No one has the right to make me feel worthless just because of where I work.
Coming together on Tuesday is how we will get the respect we deserve. I worked with people for two years and yet knew nothing about them. But now we make plans, and most importantly we talk to each other. We’ve created a bond and we have each other’s backs. Together, with fast food workers around the world, we are powerful.
The new CEO has to listen to us – the workers – and end the exploitation. We need a New Deal for McDonald’s Workers.
We are striking to make sure of this, together with fast food workers all around the world. We are just like everybody else, we deserve decent pay and conditions at work. And when we win, it is going to benefit everybody.
Workers from six south London McDonald’s are striking. Come out and support us at Wandsworth Town McDonald’s at 9am, and see us deliver an open letter to Downing Street at 1pm.
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