Staff at JD Wetherspoon, McDonald’s and TGI Fridays will partake in an unprecedented strike in the hospitality sector next month. In fact, more and more workers – who were not traditionally unionised – have joined a trade union after a campaign was launched to drive recruitment.
On 4 October 2018, unionised workers will strike for £10 an hour and union recognition. The co-ordination between staff from different franchises is the first of its kind.
A spokesperson for the Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) confirmed the Guardian’s report. Workers at two Wetherspoon’s in Brighton are in fact preparing to join the strike.
Last year, McDonald’s workers held their first UK strike. This was in protest of zero-hours contracts and working conditions.
A team Leader from one of the Brighton’s Wetherspoons, Chris Heppell, felt inspired by the McDonald’s strike. As a result, Chris and many other workers, joined the BFAWU.
Chris Heppell is a 29-year-old graduate who has said that the majority of his monthly earnings go towards rent.
“It’s impossible to save and you find yourself taking on more and more hours just to keep on top of the debt.”
Additionally, 19-year-old Wetherspoon’s kitchen worker Alex McIntyre also commented. According to him, working for JD Wetherspoon is “emotionally and physically draining”.
“I have an overdraft and rarely have a full fridge. I just thought that was what student life was, but there’s a sense now that this could change. Being paid £10 an hour would mean that I literally don’t have to choose between a food shop or getting a long needed haircut – basic things that people take for granted.”
“Now though, I’m being asked about union membership by friends and people from my generation on social media who wouldn’t have considered it before. The cards we have been dealt mean that a lot of us have tended to keep our heads down until now,” he said.
At 14:37 BST today, shares in JD Wetherspoon (LON:JDW) were trading at -0.15%.
At 09:41 GMT -4 today, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) shares were trading at +0.63%.