What's it like working in at McDonald's? The results

The Organise community includes over 2,000 McDonald's workers, here are some of their stories about what it's like working on a zero hours contract:

“I got into debt because I thought I could pay the loan back over Summer when I was told I'd be getting more shifts. However my number of shifts decreased to 2 a week and I'm really struggling to pay it off now.”
“I was deducted 3 shifts one week and I picked up £120 on payday, it was a horrible two weeks, I was borrowing money, I couldn't do anything, it was very embarrassing.”

Organise also surveyed 400 McDonald's workers from across the country and found that:

  • 71% of staff have had to borrow money because they were unexpectedly given less shifts/hours than usual.

  • 84% of staff want to work a guaranteed number of hours each week.

  • Of the 14% who want to stay on zero hours contracts - almost all of them are students.

  • 81% of McDonald’s staff are currently employed on a zero-hours contract.

Their reasons for wanting fixed-hour contracts all lean toward security:

”Dependable hours would mean I would know for certain what my monthly income is going to be, and that I wouldn't have to worry about having enough money to get me from month to month. It would give McDonald's staff a lot more stability, which is something a lot of us don't feel like we have at the minute.”

The Organise community is releasing a shocking mini-documentary about what it’s like to work at McDonald’s to support the McStrikers on Tuesday. It exposes the working conditions at McDonald’s and the realities of a zero hours contract - 81% of McDonald’s staff who took the survey are currently employed on a zero-hours contract.

Watch it here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/desperate-young-mum-whose-debts-12455972

Workers also shared hundreds of stories about severe injuries from unsafe equipment, a lack of training and bullying. Many of these incidents aren’t reported to McDonald’s management from workers fearing managers cutting their hours if they report it:

A burn from working on the meat grill without adequate protective gloves. January 2018

A burn from working on the meat grill without adequate protective gloves. January 2018

“I wasn't told how to properly clean down the top platens on grills. A huge blob of hot oil dripped onto my hand and ran down my skin. I watched my skin burning off and couldn't run it under water until about 20 minutes later after a sudden busy period. Afterwards I had a huge 'ping pong ball' sized blister and am now left permanently scarred down my hand”
“The tool they gave me cut my hand, leaving a layer of skin hanging, there was blood everywhere. I got a plaster and put it in the accident book. I wasn't given any safety gloves and the manager didn't care.”

“I once had a disagreement with a manager outside of work. This disagreement wasn't work related at all, and I didn't want to make it that way. However a couple of days later I looked at my schedule for the following week and I'd been given NO SHIFTS! I was mortified and very panicked.”

78% of respondents work in franchises. This figure is particularly important, because it shows that for these franchise staff, the only outlet for a concern is approaching the business manager. This is why we’re looking to McDonald’s UK Head Office to step in with a reasonable contract offer and updated equipment.

Got a story to tell about your workplace? Take part in our confidential survey here:

Nat Whalley