Entirely, gloriously, classic

It’s time for McDonald’s to give its workers a new deal. I’ve worked at McDonald’s for six years, and today I’m on strike for the fourth time.

OK.

London is one of the most expensive cities in world to live in, yet McDonald’s pays barely more than the minimum wage. I get £8.80 an hour, and by the time I’ve paid rent and bills, I don’t have enough to live on. I had to work full time while I was studying at university just to be able to support myself.

Wonder what that degree was in, eh?

The truly weird thing here being that McDonald’s is well known for being a truly great place to try to work yourself up. Show any aptitude at all and they’ll have you on management track like a ferret up a Northern trouser leg.

Really would be fun to know what that degree was in…..

27 comments on “Entirely, gloriously, classic

  1. Some of my friends worked in McDonalds as teenagers, they all praised the place afterwards – they learned social skills, work discipline, how to manage people and most importantly, time management. They weren’t hanging around at a central bus station, littering, drinking alcohol and using drugs.

  2. Politics, journalism, or self-promotion, judging from the number of outlets his ‘story’ has appeared in (Google [“Lewis Baker” university mcdonald’s] or [crayford university “lewis baker”])

    It would also seem that Mr. Lewis has form: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/pdf/issue/962/962.pdf (Sep ’17):

    “Ronnie Draper, general secretary of the BFAWU bakers’ union, came to the platform with Lewis Baker, a McDonalds striker from Crayford. Some young workers are on just £4.05 an hour.”

    And in a separate ‘article’

    “‘McStriker’ addresses Greenwich trade unionists”

    I think I’ll got for a ‘degree in politics’ of some sort.

  3. I did a stint when I was younger flipping burgers in a Maccy D’s in Dublin.
    One of the cleanest restaurants that I’ve ever been in ( I know, I did a lot of the cleaning!)
    Also one of the best run and well organised. The staff at the time were also the best educated cadre of any place I’ve worked in – most co workers were Uni students , either undergrads or going for their Masters.
    Yes, the work wasn’t the greatest, or the pay, but as a stopgap job to earn a few extra shekels it did the job. It was evident too as you say, that anyone with the right attitude and motivation had a clear path up the management tree.
    Of course it has changed now, instead of a part time job for students on their way to better things, it’s mostly a career now for immigrants and those incapable of getting anything better.

  4. 30 strikers from 6 branches….
    How many employees does McDonald’s have in London?
    Google says it has 76 branches, so presumably somewhere in the low thousands
    So 97+% satisfied, <3% dissatisfied

  5. ”Has it occurred to him to get a different job?”

    . . . or to move out of London?

    As someone who lives in London myself (but on a fair bit more than a McDonald’s income…) I have to agree. I can never understand why anyone on these kinds of jobs stays in London. Move anywhere else and see your expenses drop >50% with barely any change in your income. It’s not like you can have any fun in London on that kind of income anyway so what’s keeping them?!

  6. He’s really getting paid by the union, isn’t he? Stay at the lowest level job in McDs as the poster child for the abused worker while trying to get union recognition.

  7. I know people from my student trot days that still 7-8 years later are doing minimum wage shit jobs and butch about the terrible work, low pay and crap hours.

    I’ve lost any sympathy as I know they have chosen that life for whatever reason and could have easily got a boring office job for more money, better conditions and hours but chose not to.

    6 years and still a flipper? That’s on you mate. What have you been playing at? Also if your elders in the SP have told you to organise I this place, you are on a hiding to nothing. High turnover of staff through leaving or better things a d the workforce generally doesnt have much time for your politics at all.

    Idiot

  8. Mal Reynolds,

    “It’s not like you can have any fun in London on that kind of income anyway so what’s keeping them?!”

    As I keep observing, there’s really very few advantages to London now. It used to be that it was an amazing place for nightlife, had the best bookshops, rare music shops, restaurants serving exotic cuisine. Best bookshop is amazon.co.uk now. You can get foie gras and Chicago house music delivered to Monkton Farleigh.

  9. Working full time as a full time student?
    Yes, there are some of us who do that. Its not easy but it can be done. I knew several others at my uni who did that. None worked in McDonalds though.

    Worker in a job with wages higher than millions of people get demands more money. Sorry, is he worth more money for what is effectively a minimum wage job.
    Degree educated, no need to stay in a low paid job if ambition pushes them higher.

    No sympathy for him. He chooses to work that job, not for me or anyone else to prevent him carrying on in such a job until he reaches state retirement age.

  10. I know folk who stayed in low-paid work after uni, but it was cushy, easy work: tutoring rich kids, paper-pushing at minor charities, the sort of thing where you can drift in late and mess around for hours. If you’re a graduate capable of getting up at 6am and working solidly through the day, you can do better than McDonalds.

  11. “As I keep observing, there’s really very few advantages to London now.” I like the National Portrait Gallery. But do I wish to brave a phalanx of yoofs with blades to get there?

    Of course there are museums but, just between you and me, I’ve always thought most museums overrated.

  12. ‘It’s time for McDonald’s to give its workers a new deal.’

    Why? Because you say so?

    Notice that ‘new deal’ rhymes with Green New Deal.

    ‘I’ve worked at McDonald’s for six years, and today I’m on strike for the fourth time.’

    Government protecting him. Otherwise, he’d have been fired the first time.

    ‘London is one of the most expensive cities in world to live in, yet McDonald’s pays barely more than the minimum wage.’

    They are getting all the employees they need. Why should they pay more?

    ‘I get £8.80 an hour, and by the time I’ve paid rent and bills, I don’t have enough to live on.’

    An appeal for slavery? He wishes his employer to have responsibility for him? You can’t have responsibility without authority.

    ‘I had to work full time while I was studying at university just to be able to support myself.’

    WHAH! WHAH! WHAH!

  13. “I’ve worked at McDonald’s for 6 years”

    Unless you are so brain damaged that holding down any kind of job is an enormous achievement we should praise wholeheartedly, isn’t that the biggest declaration of personal failure imaginable?

  14. Striking FOUR times in six years seems like a competing failure.

    Striking against McDonald’s, a universally recognized good employer, seems stupid, too.

    What a looser!

  15. A true story. Two 16yo school leavers, one of my acquaintance, joined a small business. Filing, making tea, picking up the boss’s dry cleaning, that sort of thing. One of them, egged on by her idiot father, decided she was being exploited and underpaid and moaned all day about what a shit job it was. Eventually father came in to the office demanding a better deal for his princess or she would leave. Sent away with a flea in his ear and took Princess with him. Fast forward 10 years. My acquaintance, a grafter with a sensible head on her shoulders, is marketing director with a company BMW. Dunno and don’t care where the other one is. But I’d bet that BMW that it’s no better than burger flipping. Do a good job of a shit job and you’ll get a better job. Should be on a card handed out to every school leaver.

  16. Aren’t most MacDonald’s franchises? How does employment law work now? I thought it was up to the franchise owner how they ran their business within the confines of their licence and I can’t see that including employment clauses otherwise MacDonald’s would be liable if the franchise went bust.

  17. BinD
    that is my understanding….
    I also did a 2 month stint in one of the busiest maccy d’s in Munich in 1990….started off cleaning and flipping burgers in the kitchen, promoted to customer facing when i managed to master a few words of german (other than understanding what “ein big mac” means)….great employers, good hourly rate, interesting mix of people, quite a few refugees from Albania iirc…..

  18. Adam,

    Which illustrates that McD’s is a starter job. Like the pint pulling I did for a starter job. Unless you actually climb the career ladder in that company or use it to learn the trade to set up your own, you have basically failed at life to still be flipping burgers after 6 years. There is no way that kind of job will ever attract living-wages pay off student debt and raise a family pay.

  19. BiGiHK
    Absolutely, i was at the start of a 4 year travel trip in my early 20s, killing 2 months til i started a ski season job in the December….interestingly, i ended up back in Munich in September 1991 supposedly for 3 months and got a job in Burger King…. ended up working there for 9 months cos i was getting paid well and having so much fun….made my trip to Oz a lot more fun as well…

  20. Most of the “strikers in the protest were not McD eemployees. They were War on Want “charity” and BFAW Union paid protestors plus McDonell & other Corbynistas

    Melissa Evans, 32, who works at the Wandsworth Town branch, said: “I need £15 an hour so I can show my son that poverty is not the only option. Me and my colleagues
    #MeMeMe

    Lewis Baker, who is 28, and has worked in the Crayford branch of McDonald’s for about six years, currently as a crew trainer

    Soon to be ex-crew trainer?

    Lewis Baker degree? I’d guess Media Studies

    @Ken

    Good work, thanks

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