Striking McDonald’s worker interviewed

This 8 November 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Melissa Evans: Why I McStrike

First in a new series of Morning Star profiles, fast food worker Melissa Evans explains why it’s time for a strike at the red and yellow flagship brand of capitalism itself: McDonald’s.

McStrikers in Wandsworth. Photo: Ceren Sagir

McDonald’s bosses ‘won’t keep on getting away’ with paying poverty wages, McStrikers say: here.

McDonald’s refuses to serve British firefighters

This September 2017 video from Britain says about itself:

You can tell these McDonald’s workers by the burns on their arms

Breaking the Silence

Further reports on working conditions at McDonalds: here.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Union slams McDonald’s for refusing to serve firefighters

THE Fire Brigades Union (FBU) slammed fast-food chain McDonald’s today after staff refused to serve firefighters weary from dealing with a major blaze because they had no cash on them.

Yorkshire and Humber regional secretary Dave Williams said he did not blame McDonald’s staff but the company and its management regime of low pay and strict discipline.

The incident occurred at the weekend after fire engulfed Clifton Moor retail park outside York.

Ten fire appliances and crews were called out as a large area was covered in thick, dark smoke.

Two aerial appliances were used and firefighters were at the scene from 4.30pm on Saturday and overnight.

Some of them went into a local McDonald’s and asked for refreshments after new crews arrived to relieve them. They were refused because they had no money on them.

They left and were later brought drinks by a local resident.

Mr Williams told the Star: “It’s an indication of the capitalist society we live in.

McDonald’s staff are among the lowest-paid in the country and often adhere to company policy for fear of repercussions.

“Our sympathies are with that group of workers. They are often not unionised and feel too intimidated to stick out against company policies.” …

McDonald’s workers are campaigning for a £10-an-hour wage regardless of age and for trade union recognition, as are workers at restaurant chain TGI Fridays and pub group Wetherspoon.

The Unite union is recruiting at TGI Fridays, while the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union is organising at McDonald’s and Wetherspoon.

MCDONALD’S CEO OUT AFTER ROMANCING EMPLOYEE McDonald’s chief executive has been pushed out after violating company policy by engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee. The fast food giant said former president and CEO Steve Easterbrook demonstrated poor judgment. [AP]

‘Stop McDonald’s bosses’ sexual abuse’

McDonald's workers carry a banner and march towards a McDonald's in south Los Angeles, USA

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

McDonald’s workers stage walk out across the US over sexual harassment allegations

FAST-FOOD giant McDonald’s was at the centre of a #MeToo moment yesterday after workers walked our across several US states over sexual harassment allegations.

Workers picketed the Chicago headquarters of the world’s largest fast-food chain, chanting: “We’re here, we’re loud, sexual harassment is not allowed” and “Respect us, accept us, don’t try to touch us.”

McDonald’s is facing charges from 10 workers who have alleged that sexual harassment is common in the workplace and covered up by managers.

One of the workers bringing the claim, Tanya Harrell, claimed that one of her colleagues touched her breasts and backside while another tried to rape her.

When she reported the incidents, she alleges that her manager dismissed her claims and said she was acting “like a little girl.”

Others have claimed that managers have pressured younger staff members into having sex in the locker rooms and toilets of McDonald’s restaurants, with many fearful of speaking out.

But Teresa Cervantes told the Chicago rally: “We’re breaking our silence, we’re making history. So youth will have a better future.”

Staff at McDonald’s sites in Durham, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco and St Louis, Missouri, walked out making it the biggest multistate strike in the history of the company.

They demanded that the company address sexual abuse and harassment by establishing a committee made up of workers, company representatives and national women’s groups.

#MeToo and McDonald’s: here.

What’s next for #MeToo? The McDonald’s strikes have an answer.Workers walked out of McDonald’s restaurants to protest sexual harassment. By Alex Press. Updated Sep 19, 2018, 8:20am EDT.

Fast food workers rallying outside McDonald’s in Leicester Square, central London yesterday demanded ‘Fair Pay Now!’

‘WHAT do we want – fair pay! When do we want it – now!’ shouted hundreds of striking McDonald’s, TGI Fridays, Wetherspoons, and UberEats mostly young workers at a joint rally in London’s Leicester Square yesterday: here. And here.

Bernie Sanders calls for McDonald’s staff to get pay rise: here.

McDonald’s international tax-dodging exposed

Feeling the pressure: The international challenge to the fast food giant McDonald’s's tax arrangements comes hot on the heels of this strike action by British underpaid staff

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Unions expose McDonald’s international tax-dodging

INTERNATIONAL tax cheat McDonald’s has spent the past three years overhauling its financial structures to hide its money from inspectors, a coalition of trade unions charged yesterday.

A new report published by European and US unions showed that McDonald’s, being investigated by the European Commission, moved its international tax base from Luxembourg to the UK a day after the Brexit referendum.

Britain and its overseas territories form the world’s biggest tax haven.

Meanwhile McDonald’s moved its European franchising operation from Luxembourg to Delaware, a notorious US tax haven, and brought in a whole host of intermediary companies across the world.

It has had the effect of drastically limiting the amount of information the corporate giant has to publish about its financial dealings.

The EPSU, EFFAT and SEIU unions which published the report said that McDonald’s Luxembourg operation paid an effective 1.7 per cent rate of tax on its profits from 2009 to 2015.

Bakers’ union general secretary Ian Hodson, who represents McDonald’s workers currently fighting for union recognition and decent pay, told the Star: “If McDonald’s properly paid its taxes, we’d be able to properly fund our public services.

“Maybe council services would have been properly funded. Maybe Sure Start centres wouldn’t be shutting down.

“Maybe, just maybe, all the people who lost their lives during the recent NHS crisis might not have lost their lives.

“If we don’t do something about the corporations and their tax avoidance scams, then we will all end up paying.”

McDonald’s workers speak out against sexual harassment and low pay: here.

‘After the first McDonald’s strike, things started to change in my store. For the first time people saw us fighting – and winning’. More strikes are planned at fast-food chain McDonald’s. Morning Star northern reporter PETER LAZENBY talks to an inspirational young striker: here.

British McDonald’s workers strike on May Day

Striking McDonald's workers and supporters in England. Photo: Neil Terry Photography

By Marcus Barnett in England, 1 May 2018 :

McStrikers May Day action met with huge solidarity

MCDONALD’S workers were met with huge waves of solidarity on International Workers Day … as they walked out over zero-hours contracts and poor working conditions.

Workers at the fast food giant’s branches in Manchester and Watford joined their colleagues in Crayford and Cambridge in demanding a £10-an-hour living wage, fixed contracts, dignity at work and union recognition.

In Watford, home town of McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, more than 100 people turned out to support the strikers from various different branches, while more than 50 people joined the picket in Manchester.

Speaking on behalf of the strikers was Ali, a striker from Manchester who heralded the “determination” of his colleagues.

He said: “McDonald’s don’t respect us as workers. They don’t respect us as people.

“But we are showing our strength here. If we carry on, we will win and we will continue to fight to live the life we deserve.”

Joining the pickets was Labour MP Laura Pidcock, who was once a McDonald’s employee.

She told the workers that she understood what it was like to work in this environment and saluted the pickets for their “extraordinary act of bravery” in taking on one of the world’s largest corporations.

McDonald’s announced on Monday that it was creating 1,000 new managers’ jobs across Britain following its “excellent” start to the year.

It said it needed more managers over the coming months as it continued to refurbish its restaurants, upgrade kitchens and press ahead with new technology such as self-order screens.

The firm announced a 5.5 per cent increase in global sales for the first quarter of 2018, with a 0.8 per cent rise in the number of customers.

Young Labour’s national ordinary members representative Joe Bradley told the Star that, as a former McDonald’s worker, it was an inspiration to see them saying “enough is enough.”

He said: “I know from personal experience that McDonald’s take advantage of young workers, so it is incredible to see such large picket lines in defence of people who want decent wages and good contracts.”

McDonald’s employees organised by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union made waves in September with the first wave of strikes in British branches of the burger empire.

Since then, the dispute has only spread, with large numbers of fast food and restaurant workers joining trade unions and sparking disputes such as the ongoing confrontation between workers and management at TGI Friday’s.

On hearing of the dispute, a waiter working in a nearby chain restaurant chose to go to Greggs instead of crossing the picket line. He told the Star: “If my managers keep on behaving the way they are, that’ll be us next.”

In Manchester, striking worker Lauren McCourt said: “We’re walking off the job for a £10 per hour minimum wage and for the right to a union.

“We want respect at work and we’re willing to fight for it. We want this at our workplace, but, more than that, we want this for every industry in Britain.

“I work hard, but I’m still not sure I’m going to make enough to pay the rent. I’m often worried about being made homeless.

“The boss at McDonald’s earns thousands of pounds an hour while we scrape by. We’ve had enough. It takes drastic action to make the big change we’re demanding and it’s going to take all of us to achieve it.

“For my workmates and me this is huge.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has written to McDonald’s chief executive Mr Easterbrook saying the workers’ demands were “fair and reasonable” and suggesting a meeting to discuss issues such as pay and union recognition at the company.

He said: “I believe that every worker deserves what they are calling for — a real living wage of at least £10 an hour, security in work and a choice of fixed hours, the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age, and the right to form a trade union and for that union to be recognised by the company.

“Under a Labour government, all workers will be entitled to a real living wage of at least £10 an hour, an end to zero-hour contracts, an end to the unjust youth minimum wage rate, and powers for unions to support workers who wish to form a union.

“It is not too late to address the problems your workers have raised and to secure a reputation for your company as a good employer.”

British McDonald’s workers will strike on May Day

British McDonald's workers on strike

By Marcus Barnett in Britain, Tuesday, April 17, 2018:

McDonald’s workers to strike again on May Day

Unrest at fast food giant spreads to northern England

McDONALD’S workers have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a May Day nationwide strike.

Staff organised by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) voted by a majority of 95.2 per cent to strike on International Workers Day – including in Watford, the hometown of McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook.

The workers are demanding a £10-an-hour wage, choice in fixed-hour contracts, an end to unequal pay for young workers and for the formal recognition of BFAWU.

Two striking McDonald’s branches– Crayford and Cambridge – are the same branches that took historic industrial action in September 2017.

The other three stores in Manchester and Watford are newly organised.

BFAWU president Ian Hodson said: “The McStrike is on the road to victory.

“We will be supporting our members in McDonald’s as they take on the world’s second-largest employer.

“The time for change at McDonald’s is long overdue.”

On the ground, Manchester McDonald’s employee Lauren McCourt echoed Mr Hodson’s sentiment that change must come.

She said: “Zero-hour contracts mean we live in fear of losing the future hours we need to survive. If I don’t get the hours I need, how am I supposed to pay my rent?

It’s time for McDonald’s to respect its workers and give us the option of guaranteed hours.”

Watford McDonald’s worker Joshua Khan singled out Mr Easterbrook for criticism, attacking the millionaire for disregarding his hometown staff.

“He should get on his private jet and come talk to our union”, he said.

“We deserve a wage that means we can live with dignity.”

McDonald’s labour abuses in the USA

This 24 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

A settlement was announced this week between McDonalds and their franchise employees who have alleged that franchise owners have been engaged in labor abuses for years. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Peter Mougey discuss this.

British McDonald’s workers’ first ever strike

McDonald’s restaurant strikers from Cambridge and Crayford take their demand for £10 an hour to Parliament yesterday

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

First UK McDonald’s strike in history!

WORKERS at McDonald’s went on strike on Monday for the first time since the burger bar came to the UK in 1974.

About 40 workers from two restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, began a 24-hour strike yesterday over low wages, zero-hours contracts and the refusal of McDonald’s to recognise their union.

McDonald’s strikers from both the Cambridge and Crayford sites then joined a lively rally outside parliament called by the bakers’ union. At the rally, bakers’ union (BFAWU) striker from Cambridge Georgina Taplin told News Line: ‘We were on the picket line from 5.30am this morning and we got a very good response from customers.

‘Lots of cars tooted their horns in support. After today’s strike we are going to keep building and pushing till we get £10 an hour, union recognition and respect in the workplace.’

Striker Lewis Baker, who was on the picket at McDonald’s in Crayford from 6.00am, said: ‘The 20 or so strikers were joined by supporters from Bromley and Lewisham, it was a fantastic turnout.’

Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: ‘McDonald’s along with a number of other fast-food restaurants do not recognise a union. Lets face facts, this is a company which made a profit of a quarter of a billion pounds last year. They can afford to pay a tenner for the people working in their restaurants.

McDonald’s need to sit down and negotiate with an independent union and listen directly to the concerns of their workforce. Now one in ten workers in this country are working in vulnerable employment. They are either on zero hours, or short hours contracts for agencies, on casual contracts.

‘That means that there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people out there who would want to see more secure working contracts, more security in their day-to-day working lives. This is why the government should move to ban zero hours contracts to take exploitation out of our labour market.’

A McDONALD’S boss “laughed in the face” and cut the hours of a worker who told him she had experienced domestic violence, striking staff at the chain’s Crayford restaurant said today.

‘We’re doing this so we can afford the basics in life,’ say striking McDonald’s workers.

Workers must be prepared to defend McStrikers, says BFAWU leader: here.

“The labour movement can learn a lot from the McDonald’s strikers.

Forty members of the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union at McDonald’s branches in Cambridge and Crayford in South East London have voted to strike for these demands, as well as grievances over bullying of union activists by management — with over 95% in favour. Labour, committed to scrap zero hours contracts and a £10 an hour minimum wage, must rally round the strike and help spread its example. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have both said they support the strike and will be there on 4 September. Cambridge’s Labour MP Daniel Zeichner has pledged to join the picket line and other MPs have stated support, including former McDonald’s worker Laura Pidcock of North West Durham. But we need more, from the whole party and labour movement: here.

Solidarity actions in Brussels and elsewhere: here.

McStrike: McDonald’s workers win biggest pay rise in 10 years after successful strike action last year: here.

Fast-food workers in 300 US cities striking on Labor Day. LOCAL Miami cooks and cashiers from McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants announced they are walking off the job on America’s Labor Day, today [4 September 2017], joining strikes by fast-food workers in 300 cities from coast to coast: here.

Cardinal sells Saint Peter’s Square to McDonalds

This video from Italy says about itself:

20 April 2013

Visit the St. Peter’s Basilica and the St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Lean back and discover the beautiful Saint Peter’s Basilica and Saint Peter’s Square 3D in Google Earth.

Film & music by YourTVPlanet.

Jesus drives money changers from the Jerusalem temple

This 1875 picture, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, depicts Jesus driving the money changers from the Jerusalem temple, as told in the Christian Bible. However, it looks that today, at least one of the money changers is a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

From AFP news agency:

Cardinals in a tizz over Vatican McDonalds

Published October 15, 2016 10:41pm

ROME, Italy – The new McVatican comes with a side order of outrage.

Plans to open a McDonald’s next to Saint Peter’s Square in Rome have angered cardinals, including a group of the red-hatted “Princes of the Church” who live above the proposed site.

“It’s a controversial, perverse decision to say the least,” Cardinal Elio Sgreccia said in an interview with La Repubblica daily on Saturday.

Opening a branch of the US fast-food chain in a piazza to the right of the Vatican’s basilica is “by no means respectful of the architectural traditions of one of the most characteristic squares which look onto the colonnade of Saint Peters,” he said.

Sgreccia does not live in the building but was speaking on behalf of the seven cardinals who do reside above the site, which covers 538 square meters (5,800 square foot), and is being rented out by ASPA, the authority in charge of the Vatican’s real estate.

One angry cardinal has even written a letter to Pope Francis urging him to intervene against a commercial decision which would bring 30,000 euros ($33,000) a month into the Vatican’s coffers but at a noisy, burger-smelling price, La Repubblica said.

Moreno Prosperi, head of the Committee for the Protection of Borgo, the historic district around the Vatican where many cardinals live, told AFP that the planned outlet would be a further blow to the area which draws huge throngs of tourists.

“Over the last few years, the identity of this area has been lost” due to an increase in illegal souvenir stands and mini markets, he said.

Other members of the committee say it is madness to pack more people into an area considered at high risk of a terror attack.

Instead of a Golden Arches near the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, the space should be used to house entities which help the needy, in line with the pope’s call for “a poor Church for the poor“, Sgreccia said.

But Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, head of ASPA, told La Repubblica he was “not going to back down” because the deal is legally valid and he didn’t see “anything negative” about it.

See also here.

These disgusting photos of the inside of a McDonald’s ice cream machine are making us regret our choices this weekend.

MCDONALD’S workers are to strike in Britain for the first time after a beefy ballot yesterday backed action over unpalatable pay and conditions at two of its branches: here.

Anti-worker McDonald’s unwelcome at British Labour party

This video says about itself:

Why Are McDonald’s Workers On Strike? Russell Brand The Trews (E167)

14 October 2014

Russell Brand The Trews (E167) with special guest Dave DeGraw.

Reaction to news that fast-food workers from across the United States have been protesting for $15 hourly wages and union rights.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Labour bans anti-union McDonalds from conference

Tuesday 19th April 2016

Fast-food chain won’t get stand at conference

FAST-FOOD workers defended the decision to boot McDonald’s out of Labour Party conference yesterday after Blairite MPs accused Jeremy Corbyn of “snobbery.”

The fast-food chain, which refuses to recognise trade unions, was denied a slot by the business board of Labour’s national executive.

Labour MP Wes Streeting told the Murdoch-owned Sun on Sunday newspaper that the decision “smacks of a snobby attitude towards fast-food restaurants and people who work or eat at them.”

In a dig at vegetarian party leader Mr Corbyn, he said McDonald’s was not “the trendy falafel bar that some people in politics like to hang out at.”

But embarrassingly, he had previously tweeted about a “yummy” supper of “falafel, tebouleh and houmus (sic).”

Dudley MP Ian Austin, an arch critic of Mr Corbyn, joined in, asking: “Why has Labour turned down £30k from McDonald’s?”

But Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) president Ian Hodson said McDonald’s was “the pioneer of zero-hours.” On Twitter, BFAWU’s Hungry for Justice campaign said: “Labour is right in its decision.”

McDonald’s is not the only company to have been denied an exhibition stand at Labour’s conference.

In 2013 building giant Carillion was chucked out over its co-operation with the Consulting Association’s blacklist of union activists.

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said: “If turning down a stand at Labour conference focuses attention on trade union non-recognition at McDonald’s, it’s worth it.

“It must end its refusal to recognise trade unions.”

GMB national officer Martin Smith, who has led efforts to unionise McDonald’s workers alongside BFAWU said the row was a distraction from the real issues.

“It seems a strange thing to level at the leader’s office,” he said.

McDonald’s invented the McJob. It’s been shipping in these working practices into the UK for 30 years.

“We gave it an Asbo from the GMB because of the anti-social nature of its working hours and wages.

“We’re organising in McDonald’s and the main issue for our members is security of working hours. And it needs to give us access to organise, so we can negotiate a working-hours agreement.”

Mr Streeting said Mr Corbyn’s office was responsible for the decision, but a source close to the leader told the Star they had no involvement.