HeartUnions: Why we're backing the McStrikers and showing some love for public servants

Published date
12 Feb 2018
HeartUnions week, which kicks off today, is a chance to celebrate the great work of unions and reps and to show how unions offer everyone a voice at work. 

This week, we’ll be showing our solidarity with brave young McDonald’s workers who last year went out on ‘McStrike’ for the first time ever in the UK. They’ve already scored some impressive wins – including the biggest pay rise in a decade – but there’s much more to do.

McDonald’s staff too often experience harassment, abuse and even violence from customers. So they’re calling for the company to implement a clear, zero-tolerance policy on customer abuse. You can sign their petition here.

And we’ll be calling for McDonald’s to recognise the Baker’s Union (BFAWU), which represents fast food workers. While this year’s pay rise is welcome, collective bargaining is always the best way to ensure that all workers make a decent living wage. 

That’s why right around the country, union activists will be setting up stalls at McDonald’s branches, and having conversations with workers and customers about the difference unions can make.

McDonald’s claims to be a responsible employer, committed to investing in its people. This is their opportunity to prove it.

Show some love for public sector workers

In the last year, our public sector workers have gone far above and beyond. Through tragedies like those in Manchester, at London Bridge and at Grenfell Tower they’ve shown immense courage. 

And as our public services come to the brink of collapse after years of cuts, it’s the good will and dedication of staff that’s keeping the show on the road. For example, recent TUC research shows that NHS staff are putting in £1.6bn worth of overtime every year. 

And yet, public sector workers are in their eighth year of real-terms pay cuts, forcing many into hardship and even poverty. 

That’s not good enough. We need to keep the pressure on government and get all our public servants the pay rise they deserve. So this week, join our campaign and show some love for public sector workers. 

Join a union

This year, the TUC marks its 150th birthday. And while we’re celebrating our proud history, we also need to set out our stall as a modern, confident movement with a more important role than ever.

But achieving that will take work from all of us. Trade unions have never been run from the top down and never should be. Our power comes from communities of working people, coming together to make working life better for everyone. 

So this week, tell your friends, neighbours, family and, most importantly, your co-workers to join a union. As 150 years of experience tell us, it’s the very best way to change the world of work for good.