McDonald's workers hail support for strike in pay row

PA

Workers at five McDonald's restaurants have walked out on strike in a dispute over pay and union recognition.

Staff in Manchester, Cambridge, Crayford, south-east London, and two branches in Watford, formed picket lines as part of the action.

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The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union is seeking formal recognition from the US fast food giant as well as campaigning for a £10-an-hour minimum wage and an end to lower rates for younger workers.

A union spokesman said members of the public, trade unionists, Labour Party members and others have been offering support to the strikers.

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Lewis Baker, a McDonald's worker from Crayford, said: "Every message of support builds our confidence as we demand a fair wage and respect for the job."

Annalise Peters, who work at McDonald's in Cambridge, said: "The public and the labour movement have given us so much support and encouragement. When we went on strike last September it felt like a new workers' movement was being born."

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Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald's UK, said none of the affected stores would close, pointing out that only 11 workers out of a total of 120,000 were involved in the action.

He added that he prided himself on listening to staff, saying: "We survey them twice a year, and have recently increased the starting pay rate, giving the biggest increase to younger workers."

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The union said more than 11 workers were taking action.