NO ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS AT McDonald’s

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Labour MP TOM WATSON (holding poster on left) joins the GMB demonstration outside McDonald’s headquarters in Finchley yesterday morning
Labour MP TOM WATSON (holding poster on left) joins the GMB demonstration outside McDonald’s headquarters in Finchley yesterday morning

RENT payments aren’t flexible and neither are gas bills or the weekly shopping bill, so flexible wages are not much use to anyone except McDonald’s, says the GMB union.

GMB members together with Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, yesterday presented a giant GMB ASBO to the senior managers at McDonald’s UK Head Office in Finchley, north London, in protest at offering zero-hours contracts to 83,000 employees in the UK.

The ASBO ordered them to allow staff to meet with the GMB at work and form a union.

Watson, a GMB and Unite-sponsored MP, arrived at McDonald’s headquarters in East Finchley to present the ASBO along with GMB National Organiser Martin Smith.

Smith told News Line: ‘McDonald’s invented the Mcjob and we don’t think we can build our economy on that.

‘Who would choose flexible wages; our bills and living expenses aren’t flexible. We’ve had loads and loads of complaints. It’s pushing people into massive poverty.

‘It is their business model. There is a hidden subsidy from low-paid workers. Workers need a living wage with enough hours.’

The company management has admitted 90 per cent of its workers are on the zero-hours contracts, which do not offer guaranteed work or a stable income.

Watson told News Line, ‘Mcdonald’s’ increasing use of this contract undermines workplace rights.

‘Zero-hours is a one-way street to drive down wages, and the company can ring up a worker to come in for two hours on the night shift and then send them back home without working.

‘Workers can’t be that flexible about paying their rent, their shopping or their mortgages.’

Stella George-Duesbury, regional GMB organiser for west London Hospitals, said: ‘It’s an extensive and massive issue in the NHS, as all outside contractors want to change the existing Agenda4Change contracts to zero-hours.

‘We should oppose it everywhere and drum up more campaigns to oppose it.’

Tony Warr, GMB senior organiser for London, said: ‘We demand proper contracts of employment and we will up the campaign against McDonald’s and other employers using zero-hours contracts.

‘It’s everywhere, especially in security work, local government care services and NHS contracts for catering and domestics.’