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McDONALD’S is under fire from critics who say the fast-food giant has stopped trade unionists from speaking to its workforce.
Labour MP Faisal Rashid has led the charge and repeatedly raised the issue in Parliament.
The row escalated last week when he secured a back-bench debate on the topic.
He told fellow MPs: “Union representatives visiting branches of McDonald’s across the UK to speak to workers about the benefits of joining a trade union are routinely thrown out of stores, with their presence reported to senior regional managers.”
In response to his concerns, McDonald’s tried to deny the allegations by telling him: “We strongly dispute the notion that we are asking people to leave our restaurants based on their membership of a union.”
However the world’s largest restaurant chain then ominously added: “If anybody comes into a restaurant with the sole intention of disrupting our people while they work, or customers while they eat, we would ask them to leave regardless of their reason for causing disruption.”
Mr Rashid was unimpressed with the company’s mixed response and told Parliament: “Does that attitude not sum up the problem with the current legislation?
“The crucial work of our trade unions is simply a nuisance to these companies and is getting in the way of their exploitative practices and profiteering.”
He is demanding that the government pass a new Bill that would guarantee trade union access to workplaces.
His calls are supported by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU).
Its national president Ian Hodson told the Morning Star that the union would test the corporation’s claim that it allows access to organisers.
Mr Hodson said: “We welcome the change announced by McDonald’s that they will not be stopping our organisers and members speaking to employees, and we will seek to make arrangements that allow us to gain access at a mutually convenient time.
“I’m sure if McDonald’s are making such announcements to the media then no-one is preventing employees from hearing about the benefits of union membership.”
However he warned: “BFAWU has written to the company on several occasions to meet to discuss how we can ensure workers have access to their legal and human right to a union — but as of this time there has been no dialogue from McDonald’s.”
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