Fast food chains targeted for Living Wage protests

Fast food chains including McDonald’s and Burger King will face protests from members of the GMB union about the Living Wage today.  

The union claims that big branded operators should pay £10 an hour and is calling for that to be the rate of the National Living Wage (NLW). The government is introducing an NLW of £7.20 an hour in April 2016. The union is also concerned about the prevalence of zero-hour contracts in some retailers.

GMB said a survey of its members, carried out in 2015, found that workers needed a minimum wage of £10 an hour with a full working week to live free of benefits.

It claimed that fast food workers were among the most “severely exploited” of the UK workforce and, on average, were paid no more than £7.20 an hour on zero hours or tiny hours contracts.

There will be nine protest demonstrations including all fast food outlets at New Street Station, Birmingham at 8am; Burger King Westfield Shopping Centre White City, London from 11:30am; McDonald’s Brixton at 1pm and Burger King in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester from 10am to 1pm.  

Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB national officer, said: “GMB is calling on big brand owners like Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, Burger King, Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust, Whistlestop, Millie’s Cookies and other big brands to pay a living wage of £10 per hour.”

GMB is also holding the protests in support of sister union in the USA, the Service Employees International Union, which is holding a  day of action to demand a minimum wage of $15 an hour for New York City’s fast food workers.

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