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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 October 2018

Catering and courier workers strike together

TGI Friday workers marching on the TUC demo, 12.5.18, photo Paul Mattsson

TGI Friday workers marching on the TUC demo, 12.5.18, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A Wetherspoon worker

Food and hospitality workers across the country are striking together on 4 October in the fight for union recognition and decent pay. The joint strike includes workers at McDonald's, Wetherspoon, TGI Fridays and Uber Eats couriers.

I work for the pub chain Wetherspoon where it's possible to work 6am-3pm one day and 3pm-12am the next - with only sporadic days off.

The fear of the first strike in the history of Wetherspoon has forced management to bring forward a raise.

From 5 November, the company is implementing a wage increase which will be significant for large numbers of staff. Under-18s are receiving a 50p pay rise, 18 to 20-year-olds get 1.85 extra, managers have two and half hours less to work with no change in salary, and there is a 1 premium when working between 12am and 6am.

So is it good news for workers? Partially, in the way that a plaster on a wound would be good news. The pay rise that is being given now means that no pay rise will be given in April - as is usually the case. Furthermore, a great deal of staff are ex-students with loans and overdrafts to pay off. When this is compounded with the exorbitant rent charged in cities, as well as the irregular hours - it's nowhere near enough.

Two pubs in Brighton will strike demanding a 10 an hour minimum wage, equal pay regardless of age, and recognition for the bakers' union BFAWU.

Joining them are TGI Fridays staff in Unite the Union in Milton Keynes, Covent Garden and east London, who are striking over low pay and not receiving their tips. McDonald's workers, also in BFAWU, are striking in Brixton, Crayford, Cambridge and Watford, demanding elimination of zero-hour contracts, and 10 an hour. And couriers at Uber Eats and Deliveroo are joining the action in a UK-wide strike called by the IWW union, supported by the IWGB and GMB unions.

Low-paid and gig economy workers are organising ourselves and fighting for our own interests. And this will only be the beginning. The previous rounds of McDonald's strikes began as a spark which rapidly spread, leading to a wage increase.

The mere mention of strike action has now caused Wetherspoon management to rapidly offer an (inadequate) pay rise. If we fight we can win!

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In The Socialist 3 October 2018:


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Labour conference shows: Blairites must be ousted

Socialist Party campaigns against the Blairites at Labour conference


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Tories must go' demonstration in Birmingham

Anti-fracking protesters jailed

Save Wirral NHS walk-in centres

More party than protest, but great response to socialist ideas at Leicester Pride


Socialist Party news and analysis

Zombie Tory government: general election now

Blood transfusion scandal

Shocking new data on declining life expectancy

NHS pay discrimination - militant union action can achieve fair pay for all

Maximus profitus: disabillity profiteering scandal

Tory Brexit Blues festival


Workplace news and analysis

Catering and courier workers strike together

Coordinated catering and courier strikes

York NHS workers strike against privatisation

Tube workers walk out

1,000 head teachers march on parliament

Camden - Unison members in pay fight


Socialist Party feature

Is this generation socialist?


International socialist news and analysis

USA: crisis follows Supreme Court justice nomination

Indonesia tsunami - a disaster compounded by capitalism


Socialist Students

Enthusiasm for Socialist ideas at the freshers fairs


Opinion

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists: one-man show's new take on lively socialist classic

The Socialist Inbox


 

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