Why the McStrike was so important to the trade union movement

While more than half of workers were  union members in 1979, today the figure is less than a quarter. It is the younger workers who are  least likely to be unionised, 8% of workers below the age of 25 are trade union members!!

For a long time now, unions have been trying to engage with young workers and find ways to get them involved and active. A lot of younger people don’t even know what unions are and the majority of those that do have a very out of date idea regarding unions.

In my opinion the best thing that has happened regarding engaging young people into trade unionism was the McStrike in October this year. This was when retail and hospitality workers at JD Wetherspoon, McDonald’s, Uber Eats and TGI Fridays decided to take strike action together. This was a group of younger workers from different, exploited workplaces who were coming together to stand up to fight for things such as, £10 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and removing youth rates in the workplace. It’s shocking that in 2018 workers are having to take strike action to fight for these things!

This is a new generation of workers from different organisations coming together to fight for basic rights. I think these young workers showing solidarity to one another and standing up for their rights, they have made trade unions more relevant to younger people and got a lot of young workers engaged and interested in the trade union movement.

Thank you to all McStrikers, we are behind you every step of the way.

Elli Long
CWU Young worker
Greater Mersey And SW LancsBranch