Restaurant and UberEats workers strike over low pay and precarious contracts

Restaurant and UberEats workers strike over low pay and precarious contracts

Workers from several UK food chains are on strike and holding a rally in London today calling for pay rises – the BBC reports.

A number of employees from JD Wetherspoon, McDonald's and TGI Fridays, along with drivers from UberEats, are taking part in the industrial action, which has been organised by War On Want, Unite and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers unions.

The McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and Wetherspoons workers are calling for better working conditions, pay of £10 an hour and an end to ‘precarious’ contracts. UberEats drivers want to be paid £5 per delivery, and a further £1 per mile for each delivery.

"The fact that UberEats drivers have decided to strike on the same day as us shows that low pay is an issue that affects people across the industry," a spokesman from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) told the BBC.

The Metro reports that Wetherspoons Chairman Tim Martin said that his chain intends to increase pay in real terms in most years, “subject to economic conditions, as we have tried to do in the past.”

“It is understandable that there is pressure on pay with low unemployment and a housing shortage,” he said.

“However, bonuses, free shares and other benefits should be taken into account in assessing pay.”

And UberEats defended its pay scheme by arguing that the majority of its couriers used delivery work to supplement existing incomes. "Last week couriers using our app in cities across the UK took home an average of £9-10 per hour during mealtimes, with many also using other delivery apps," the firm said in a statement.

The walkouts come a week after Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich Laura Smith called on supporters to help “topple this cruel and callous tory government” with a general strike.

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“If we can’t get a general election, we should organise with our brothers and sisters in the trade unions and bring an end to this government with a general strike,” she said.

If such a strike was to occur, it would be the first general strike since 1926 when vast numbers of British people across several industries refused to work as a result of coal miners having their wages cut and hours increased, the BBC reports.

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