Caroline Lucas has a message for the big hospitality companies threatened with strike action

Caroline Lucas
Brian Finlay

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has confirmed that 4 October will be a co-ordinated day of strike action. The extensive rally will include workers from JD Wetherspoon, McDonald’s, and TGI Fridays. As reported by the BBC, the strike aims to win pay of £10 per hour for workers.

Green Party of England and Wales MP Caroline Lucas has come out in support of:

All staff campaigning for the basic dignity of a living wage

Lucas took to Twitter to call on “big companies to reward employees for the massive contribution they make to profits”:

Caroline Lucas and McStrike

Lucas met with workers from The Bright Helm Wetherspoons and campaigners from McStrike in her constituency on 7 September. The group told Lucas it was balloting because of “poverty wages” and zero-hours contracts.

McStrike tweeted pictures of the meeting:

McStrike also shared a video of Lucas who laid bare the issues facing workers in hospitality. She said:

Trade union membership in hospitality

In hospitality, financial insecurity is rife for workers due to low pay and precarious working arrangements like zero-hours contracts. Trade union membership is also historically low among workers in the hospitality sector. However, the BFAWU feels campaigns like this can turn membership levels around.

As reported by the Guardian, Wetherspoons kitchen worker Chris Heppell said:

that every penny counted when he and his colleagues were struggling to get by. In his own case, more than half of what he earned each month went towards paying £450 in rent to share a cramped one-bedroom apartment.

He went on to say:

It’s impossible to save and you find yourself taking on more and more hours just to keep on top of the debt.

However, Heppell felt that things could now be turned around:

Up until recently I haven’t thought very much about the future because it is genuinely scary, but that has started to change.

Its not a big deal

As reported by the BBC, JD Wetherspoon said it had announced a £20 million worth of pay rises last year and £27 million this year. The chain also stated that managers will be changed to 40 hours contract rather than the current 42.5.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said:

Any suggestion that this activity is widespread and growing is not accurate  – we understand that fewer of our employees are involved in potential industrial action than last May

Large companies have been making profit on the backs of the poorly paid for too long. And Caroline Lucas just got them telt!

Get Involved!

Follow McStrike on Twitter and show your support for the campaign

– We all deserve fair pay and stable working hours. Be part of that change, join a union.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via: Green Party of England and Wales/YouTube

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed

Brian Finlay