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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2018

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

Catering and courier workers on their joint strike rally in Leicester Square, 4.10.18, photo by Scott Jones

Catering and courier workers on their joint strike rally in Leicester Square, 4.10.18, photo by Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)

Workers at several branches of McDonald's, Wetherspoon and TGI Fridays have struck together, joined by couriers for Uber Eats and other gig economy workers.

The 'Fast Food Shutdown' on 4 October - #FFS410 - was called by five trade unions: BFAWU, Unite, IWW, IWGB and GMB. Here we carry reports of some of the actions.


London

The Socialist spoke to TGI Fridays worker Lauren at the central strike rally:

Striking together with workers at McDonald's, Uber Eats and bar staff taking action for the first time at Wetherspoon is brilliant. It gives us confidence and shows the power that we have when we strike together.

We are striking over the removal of tips, but just like our McDonald's, Wetherspoons, Deliveroo and Uber Eats comrades, we are fighting for a real living wage and an end to unfair age-restricted rates of pay.

By going on strike we believe that we can win. McStrikers forced McDonald's to give them a pay rise after they first took strike action, and our action in TGI Fridays has forced the Tories to attack employers for stealing tips.

But we won't stop until we see real action to halt bosses doing this and force them to pay us proper wages and recognise our trade unions. And I strongly encourage every waiter, bartender, delivery driver, chef and cleaner to take a stand and join a union.


Brighton

At midnight, workers at the Post and Telegraph pub in Brighton walked out of work, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of young trade unionists. They were soon joined by staff at the Bright Helm, another Wetherspoon-owned pub in town.

After travelling to a demonstration in London alongside workers from McDonald's and TGI Fridays, the Wetherspoon strikers returned to Brighton for a rally before separating into pickets outside each pub. The Post and Telegraph was forced to close early as a result.

Most young workers are struggling to get by, stuck in low-paying jobs and precarious contracts. In Brighton, the minimum wage is far below what is needed to live on, with some of the highest rents outside London.

But now many are fighting back, with unions such as BFAWU supporting them. Young workers should build on the lessons of these strikes and plan our own coordinated actions to win real change in conditions.

Connor Rosoman, Brighton Socialist Party

Manchester

Over 50 trade unionists, students and supporters attended a protest rally organised by Manchester Socialist Students outside McDonald's at Piccadilly in the city centre.

The protest was very well received by members of the public, who stopped to take leaflets and showed support for the primarily young workers. Older generations also understand the challenges faced by young workers, with many saying they do not understand how young people are supposed to 'get on in life' these days.

After speeches from young workers, students, the Socialist Party and the trade union council, we marched to TGI Fridays, where there were further speeches from students who had only recently got involved with Socialist Students. Again this action gained support from groups of onlookers.

Yazmin Magaby, Manchester Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 10 October 2018:


What we think

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election


Workplace news and analysis

We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

Another first: pub strike victory in south London!

Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the right

12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up

8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat


International socialist news and analysis

Polarisation, risks and resistance in Brazilian elections

US: #CancelKavanaugh

Mexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed

Ireland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."

Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns


Opinion

The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms

The Socialist Inbox


 

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