NEWS
03/01/2018 18:06 GMT

McDonald's Strike Workers Cheer Victory Over Inflation-Busting Pay Rise

But it's not the biggest for 10 years, the firm says.

George Bowden/HuffPost UK
Workers out on strike at a McDonald's in Crayford, south west London, in September

McDonald’s UK is to give staff in its wholly-owned restaurants an above inflation pay rise, just months after the company encountered its first ever strike by workers.

In a move hailed as a modest victory by campaigners, the American burger giant will offer some staff in its non-franchised branches an increase of 5.2%.

Other staff will see different levels of increases depending on their age, job role and location, according to a rate card given to Mirror Online by a worker at a restaurant in London and confirmed as correct by the firm on Wednesday.

George Bowden/HuffPost UK
McDonald's worker Kayleigh Logan joined a dozen colleagues in a protest outside the Crayford branch

For example, according to current job advertisements, workers over 25-years-old starting at branches in central London are paid £7.60 an hour.

But according to the rate card, under the new pay rates, they will begin on a minimum of £8 an hour up to a maximum of £10 an hour.

Gareth Lane, an organiser with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers trade union which represented many of those on strike last year, told HuffPost UK the increase will improve workers’ lives.

He said: “A pay increase like this will prove our members’ lives. It shows how workers taking action and saying their wages are too low makes McDonald’s listen.

“We don’t know if [the strike] has caused this, but I’d hope McDonald’s listens to its staff.”

But Lane cautioned over the impact of the rise in the capital, where the highest rates will be paid.

He added: “We welcome any increase in pay, but when you consider the London Living Wage is £10.20 an hour, it’s not enough [for workers there].”

Not biggest rise in decade

McDonald’s on Wednesday moved to dampen reports that the rise is the biggest for a decade, denying that is the case.

But some of the increases do outpace inflation which hit 3.1% in November 2017, the latest month for which figures are available.

And latest estimates found average weekly earnings in real terms fell last month by 0.4%, excluding bonuses.

In September, 40 workers at McDonald’s branches in Crayford, south west London, and Cambridge, walked out over pay and conditions.  

The movement, dubbed the McStrike, garnered huge media attention as the first of its kind to rock the British arm of the US firm, which has experienced similar walk outs across the Atlantic.

It gained support from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who said the party supported the bravery of those out on strike.

The firm employs around 85,000 people in Britain, 25,000 of which work at wholly-owned stores.

The firm says the new rates act as a recommendation to franchisees.

A McDonald’s UK spokesperson confirmed the rates in the Facebook post and said in a statement sent to HuffPost: “Our people are at the heart of our business and, as a responsible and proud employer, we are committed to investing in them. 

“Reward and recognition for our people and their contribution is a key priority, and to ensure we can attract and retain the best people, we regularly review pay and benefits. 

“While our franchisees set their own pay rates, we have recommended an increase across all age bands for our hourly employees to be implemented from 22 January.

“From kitchen to counter to front of house, our success would not be possible without the hard work of our people, so we will keep working hard to do right by them.”