Fast food and hospitality workers speak out from lock down to demand #100Percent pay from their employers.
- Many furloughed workers receive first payslip on 80% of pay today.
- Fast food workers join forces with Wetherspoon’s workers who won U-Turn
- Workers speak out in video made from Lockdown
Fast food and hospitality workers, from Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wetherspoon’s are today launching a campaign to demand their employers top up the government’s 80% wage support so they can receive “#100Percent”. Most workers will receive their first paycheck with only 80% of their normal wages today.
Fast food workers in the Mcstrike will join force with Wetherspoons workers in the SpoonStrike who successfully forced their employer to u-turn last week and pay them before the company is reimbursed by the government’s wage support scheme.
Workers are demanding that their employers prevent them from sliding into deeper poverty and top up the millions in pounds of subsidy they will receive from the government and pay them 100% of their average wages.
Workers speak out in a video made from “lockdown” where they talk about the impact receiving only 80% of their usual wages will have on their lives. They highlight how 80% will force them to choose between paying the rent, bills or putting food on the table. Endemic low pay in the sector means workers do not have savings to carry them over and they risk sliding into debt.
Melissa Evans, a McDonald’s worker from Wandsworth Town, London said: “80% is just not enough, we already live on poverty wages and struggle to get by day to day. Our energy consumption and food costs are going to go up. Our bills are still going to have to be paid. There is too much going out for us to take a 20% cut in wages. Our employer has a moral responsibility to make sure that we are able to survive. We got them where they are it’s time for them to give back and pay us #100Percent”
Victoria Jordan, a Wetherspoon’s worker from Brighton said:
“We were already on poverty pay and insecure contracts before the Coronavirus. This has just highlighted what was already going on. But we’re not going to stand for it. We’ve been loyal to the company for years, they can afford to pay us 100percent whilst we can’t afford to live on 80%.”
Joey Cotton a KFC worker from Sheffield said:
“#100percent would mean i don’t have to make difficult decisions about rent or bills or food, i could just afford all of them. Fast food wages are not brilliant at the best of times.”
Alex McIntyre, a Wetherspoon’s worker from Brighton said:
“I need #100percent because I need hope. I need certainty. We all need the drive to get through the crisis that the whole world is in right now. None of us asked for this to happen. We shouldn’t have to be worrying about how we’ll pay our rent, our bills or our food. The least they can do is pay us our full wages.”
Many employers in the hospitality and fast food sector are requesting support under the government’s wage support scheme, which allows 80% of workers’ average pay to be claimed from the government. Instead of topping up the remaining 20%, workers are often offered 80% under threat of redundancy. The great majority of workers in fast food and hospitality sectors are on zero-hour or minimum-hour contracts which give them little contractual rights. Poverty wages (below the real living wage) are endemic across the hospitality and fast food sectors.
The workers are supported by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union [BFAWU] and anti-poverty charity War on Want.
Notes to editors:
For further information / to organise interviews with workers please contact: Owen Espley oespley[@]waronwant.org / mobile: 07861- 362 – 797
1) Video of workers speaking out from Lock down is available here: https://twitter.com/WarOnWant/status/1245664354676203520
Contact for high-res versions.
2) The #McStrike campaign brings fast food workers together to challenge low pay and insecurity. It is supported by The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) and War on Want.
3) #SpoonStrike: JD Wetherspoons workers were inspired by the McStrike and joined the BFAWU. Wetherspoon’s workers made history when they went on strike for the first time alongside fast food workers in October 2018.
4) The BFAWU is the largest independent trade union in the food sector in the British Isles.
5) Follow on Twitter at @FastFoodRights and @SpoonStrike