Which fast food workers are most likely to be unionised?
It has been a long and arduous road for fast food employees to become full-fledged members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
A number of recent cases have highlighted how difficult it is to win an employment dispute, and how hard it is for unionised fast food industry workers to access the same benefits as their non-union counterparts.
The latest example was when a McDonald’s worker in the UK was able to challenge his dismissal after he challenged a pay dispute over working conditions.
It has now been revealed that fast food company McDonald’s UK has signed up to the union and has agreed to pay a $2m settlement to a UK worker.
The worker, who works in the Fast Food Industry Group (FFIG), was dismissed for not meeting a minimum wage requirement, according to The Telegraph.
The dispute arose when a manager at the company decided to increase the hourly wage of a McDonalds UK staff member by a third in line with the UK’s minimum wage.
The McDonalds spokesperson told the paper that this was to comply with the EU’s minimum-wage rules, and the worker was not paid a living wage.
McDonald’s has previously said that it had “never discriminated against any of our UK franchisees” and that “we would be surprised if any of these cases had ever come to light.”
The fast food group has said that the pay hike was for “financial reasons”.
The issue of fast food employment rights has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months, as fast food companies struggle to win back employees in the United States and Europe.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s paid a $50m fine in a class action lawsuit to resolve an unfair labour practices case brought against the company by workers.
The UK’s government has also been investigating the fast food sector’s pay and working conditions, and has promised to increase wages in the fast-food sector.
The National Union of Students (NUS) is also calling on fast food chains to end unfair dismissal, unfair treatment, and workplace harassment, while the National Union for People With Disabilities (NUPD) has called for a national pay freeze for all fast food employers and an increase in minimum wage for fast workers.