Employees in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, walked out yesterday in a row over insecure hours and ‘inexplicably’ low pay, demanding wages of at least £10 an hour and an end to zero-hours contracts.
They protested outside the two stores from around 5am, while a larger, combined rally was held outside Parliament, where protesters were egged on by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
Members of other trade unions joined early-morning picket lines outside the two restaurants, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn offered his backing.
The workers are calling for a wage of at least £10 an hour and more secure working hours.
Staff in Cambridge waved banners declaring the ‘McStrike’ and signs which read ‘McMeany’.
The fast-food chain – one of the biggest users of zero-hours contracts in Britain – has recently started offering workers the option of moving to fixed hours.
Staff are demanding a wage of at least £10 an hour, more secure working hours and union recognition, according to The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, one of Britain’s oldest trade unions.
McDonald’s crew members earn between £5.60 and £7.50 an hour, depending on age.
Crew members aged 18 and under earn around £4.50 an hour.
The national minimum wage for an adult over 25 is £7.50, aged 21 to 24 £7.05, aged 18 to 20 £5.60 and under 18 £4.05.
A union spokesman said: ‘It’s the first strike by McDonald’s workers in history.
‘Workers are demanding a £10 an hour minimum wage, union recognition, and for action on scrapping zero hours contracts, to be taken by McDonald’s.’