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McDONALD’S worker Daniel Nkwocha-Dyer told TUC delegates that it was “only by unionising and organising together” that millions of workers on poverty pay could secure a new deal and a better life.
Addressing the New Deal for Workers fringe meeting on Monday night, Mr Nkwocha-Dyer said workers “need to come together to ensure we’re treated like humans.”
He reminded listeners: “McDonald’s made $2.8 billion in the first six months of the year. It can afford to pay us a living wage.”
Announcing that he was “joining the McStrike” campaign led by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, he praised those who had walked out in pioneering McDonald’s strikes since last year for winning concessions like fixed-hours contracts.
Communication Workers Union leader Dave Ward said trade unionists needed to recognise, along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, that “tinkering at the edges of the system isn’t enough any more” and that workers needed to be ambitious about transforming the world of work.
GMB general secretary Tim Roache said unions needed to focus on building strength and leverage at workplace level. “We don’t want 1,000 new members in 1,000 workplaces, but 300 members in one workplace can make a difference,” he said.
New Economics Foundation chief executive Miatta Fahnbulleh slammed the growth of grotesque inequality in the workforce, pointing out that “30 years ago a typical chief executive was paid about 20 times the salary of the average worker, today it is nearly 120 times more.”
Economist and author Grace Blakeley argued that for the left to change the economic settlement as dramatically as Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s it would need to identify, as she did, the main forces likely to stand in the way of radical change, taking on the banks and finance sector directly.
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