Fast food outlets are treating employees like slaves, according to campaigners.
A global day of action saw people across the world take to the streets to highlight the plight of workers in the fast food industry, many of whom are on zero hour contracts.
Campaigners in the UK were largely organised by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) who are calling for a £10 hourly minimum wage and the scrapping of zero hour contracts for those working at outlets like McDonalds, Burger King and KFC.
In Darlington, protestors from BFAWU and Darlington Against Cuts manned a stall close to McDonalds on Northgate and encouraged passersby to take up the fight against “slave labour”.
BFAWU representative Alan Milne said: “Zero hour contracts are going back to the dark ages.
“Fast food workers can go to work and be sent home with no pay despite paying expenses to get there or arranging child care.
“It’s fundamentally wrong and harks back to the shipyard days when people would stand outside waiting for work – it’s disgusting and needs to change.”
A former zero hours worker said:
“I worked in Darlington on a zero hour contract and had my work cut from 40 hours a week to 18.
“It’s slave labour – what’s next, work camps?”
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) representative Alan Docherty called on workers to fight back.
“People are locked in these contracts as they rely on the money but they’re scared to speak out as if you upset your boss, you won’t get the hours.
“The only way to combat this is to get organised and fight back.”
Source – Northern Echo, 16 Apr 2015
Fast food workers will be calling for an end to zero hours contracts at a protest next week.
The Darlington Trade Union Council (TUC) is backing a global day of action on Wednesday, April 15 in support of fast food workers across the country.
Organised by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, the protest will see fast food workers calling for a £10 per hour minimum wage, and an end to zero hours contracts.
The action is also being supported by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Alan Docherty, the party’s parliamentary candidate in Darlington, said:
“The message is clear – join a union and get organised.
“In the USA fast food workers have organised successful strikes and won. Members of my party have been instrumental in winning victories that have brought about a $15(£10) per hour minimum wage.
“This was first enacted into legislation in Seattle and now several more cities and states have followed. We can do the same here.”
The protest will take place outside Queen Street Shopping Centre from noon.
Source – Northern Echo, 08 Apr 2015