Big Mac with pay rise: Fast food chain to increase workers' salaries

Jess Bower (centre) who was on strike from a McDonald's restaurant in Crayford, south east London, with supporters during a rally at Old Palace Yard
Jess Bower (centre) who was on strike from a McDonald's restaurant in Crayford, south east London, with supporters during a rally at Old Palace Yard
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Jeremy Corbyn has praised McDonald's workers who won a pay rise after staging the first UK strikes in the company's history.

The fast-food chain is introducing new pay rates at company-owned restaurants which will see some restaurant staff aged over 25 paid up to £10-an-hour.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) launched its McStrike campaign amid a dispute over pay and conditions that saw the restaurant's first walkout in September.

The union said McDonald's had also failed to end its use of zero-hour contracts despite promising to, while workers were also having to live on low wages.

McDonald's has told employees at its company-owned restaurants that they will be paid the new rates from January 22.

Around 15% of McDonald's restaurants in the UK are owned by the company, with the rest franchisees that set their own pay rates.

The Labour leader wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to McDonald's workers and @BFAWU1 for winning pay rises but the fight for £10 an hour is not over. We achieve more together than we can alone, which is why we should all join a trade union."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell also congratulated the workers, tweeting: "I pay tribute to the #McStrike @bfawu1 young workers who took on McDonalds resulting in today's pay rise victory. It demonstrates the vital role trade unions play and the importance of joining a union."

The new pay rates range from a minimum of £5.75-an-hour for "crew" aged between 16 and 17 up to £10-an-hour for crew aged over 25 between the hours of 6am and 12pm.

Staff who work outside this period will be paid an extra pound an hour.

A McDonald's spokesman said: "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."