McStrike to spread nationwide on 1 May

27 April 2018 - 12:00pm
Press release
  • Workers on strike at five McDonald’s stores on 1 May after strike ballot returned with over 95 percent support for industrial action.
  • UK McDonald’s workers went on strike for the first time ever last September. This time, workers in Crayford and Cambridge will be joined by colleagues from three new stores in Manchester and Watford, hometown of McDonald’s Global CEO Steve Easterbrook.
  • Over 90,000 #McStrike tweets were sent in the week before and after the first McStrike.
  • In January, McDonalds responded to September’s strike with largest pay increase for a decade.
Members of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) are striking for £10 per hour, an end to unequal pay for young workers, the choice of fixed hour contracts and a union.
Joshua Khan, a McDonald’s worker in Watford, said:
“We’re not just fighting for ourselves, it’s for everybody. No one who’s working hard should be worried sick about money every day. More than that, we all deserve the chance to save up and make choices in a world where so many doors are locked by income. To me, the right to join a union means the right to get our voices heard. If I was earning £10 per hour it would change my family’s lives. I’d be able to help my mum more, for me that’s the main thing.”
Owen Espley, War on Want’s senior Economic Justice Campaigner, said:
“McDonald’s global empire and vast profits are built on a business model that relies on exploiting precarious workers and dodging its taxes. Its business model is a weapon of mass inequality: creating vast wealth for shareholders and its CEO whilst workers suffer on poverty wages. McDonald’s has always sought to stop its workers coming together into trade unions to demand respect on the job and a fair share of the billions in profits their hard work creates. For many years it looked invincible, but the Rubicon has now been crossed: the McStrike is growing and spreading across the UK. McDonald’s workers are coming together to demand respect from this global giant. Their actions are a burning sign that another world is not only possible, it is on its way.”
Dr. Wil Chivers, leading researcher at the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods at Cardiff University said:
"Our research shows that when the McStrike happened last September, it was accompanied by a tidal wave of tweets that engaged potentially hundreds of thousands of people. Young employees at McDonald's took centre stage, and their stories, along with pictures and videos from the picket line, helped to personalise and give a symbolic power to the strike. The outcome of the McStrike shows what can happen when young people are mobilised effectively through their union online and offline."
Interviews with McStrikers, campaigners and union representatives are available on request. To request an interview, make contact via the details below.
Press Contacts
Marienna (‘Mya’) Pope-Weidemann                 Owen Espley
Press Officer                                                     Senior campaigner, Economic Justice
War on Want                                                     War on Want
media[@]                                  oespley [@]
020 7324 5060 / 07380 194 788                       07861 362 797
Notes to Editors
  • The McStrike and Fast Food Rights campaign are spearheaded by The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The campaign aims to ensure fast food workers have the right to a fair wage and decent working conditions across the country. You find  more information on the McStrike at

  • Twitter: @Fastfoodrights
  • War on Want supports the McStrike as part of its Stand With Migrant Workers: End Precarious Contracts campaign, which seeks equal rights for migrant and precarious workers. It calls for the right to work regardless of immigration status, equal social and labour rights for all workers, and an end to precarious contracts.

  • Dr Wil Chivers is part of a research team (also including Dr Helen Blakely and Dr Steve Davies) based at the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) at Cardiff University in the School of Social Sciences.  The research is part of WISERD Civil Society, a research centre funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Find out more about the research project here

  • Photo/Filming/Interview Opportunities: Workers will be available for interview at each of these locations. Please arrange in advance.
    • 00:01 Midnight Picket – Manchester  (36/38 Oxford Rd,  Manchester M1 5EJ)
    • 07:00–08:00 Manchester Morning Picket
    • 12:00–13:30 Watford Demonstration (128/130 High St, Watford)
  • Pickets will take place at the other stores striking:
    • ​08:00–09:00 Cambridge (639 Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8WL)
    • 08:00–09:00 Crayford (Crayford Rd, Dartford, DA1 4LD)



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