McDonald's workers in Cambridge have gone on strike in protest over low pay and zero hour contracts
Staff at the Newmarket Road branch walked out for the second time in eight months today (May 1).
Fellow employees of the fast-food chain in Watford, Manchester and Crayford in Greater London also went out on strike.
Cambridge city councillors and other supporters joined striking staff on their picket line from 8am.
Members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union are calling for £10 an hour pay, a choice of fixed-hour contracts, the end of unequal pay for young workers, and for union recognition.
The Cambridge and Crayford branches are 'corporate stores', meaning they are fully owned by McDonald's who set workers' terms, rather than them being controlled by the store itself.
Annalise Peters, 20, who works at the Cambridge branch, wrote in the New Internationalist that nearly three times as many staff across the country were joining the strike compared to the first protest in September last year.
Jeep driver encounters picket line at Cambridge @McDonalds – after being told about todays #Mcstrike he agrees to grab breakfast elsewhere, to cheers all round. Rep from McD Head Office watches on nervously @FastfoodRights#Maydaypic.twitter.com/8u4cVofVGB
— Jack Shenker (@hackneylad) May 1, 2018
Ms Peters wrote: "Well be striking for £10 an hour, for an end to zero hour contracts and for union recognition. It doesnt sound like a lot – its not – but it has the power to change lives.
"Too many McDonalds workers struggle to get by every week. They dont know if theyll earn enough to pay their rent or bills. Everyones living with constant stress and its time for that to change.
"Ten pounds an hour is not much, especially considering – McDonalds makes billions in profit. A modest increase in wages would recognize the contribution that our work makes toward those the profits."
Ms Peters said zero hour contracts added instability to workers' lives and the McDonald's offer of fixed hour contracts was too difficult to access.
She added: "When we stand together were no longer alone. When we stand together as McDonalds workers we are powerful. We can support each other, and work together to solve our problems.
"The support for our strike in Cambridge has been overwhelming. Teachers, lecturers, firefighters, other trade unionists, community and campaign groups like War on Want have all sent messages of encouragement.
"Its been an incredible boost. Its been great to have the support of my family as well, having them understand the importance of what were doing."
Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “Labour councillors believe that McDonalds staff deserve a decent wage for the work they do which often involves long and unsocial hours and their younger workers deserve to be paid equally with all colleagues for the same work
"The company pay structure is complex but a move to £10 per hour as the minimum would be a real sign that the management recognise the contribution their staff make to the company and that the need to be paid properly to be able to afford housing costs in cities like Cambridge and London."
Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge, added: “I fully supported the McDonald strikers last September and am fully in support of their courageous action now, and I will be raising their case in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
"Their efforts in September showed that, with support from your union, workers can be heard by the bosses at the top.
"Those on strike are standing up for all McDonalds staff in looking for better pay and conditions and I hope that management listen to them. "
A spokesman for McDonald's said none of the affected by the strikes would close, and highlighted that only 11 workers out of a total of 120,000 were involved in the action.