Calgacus
Calgacus

The EU Creates A Desert and Calls It Peace

Support the McStrike

Support the McStrike

The Bruges Group and other Brexit organisations should support the McDonalds strikers. Lady Thatcher's Bruges Group support strikers? Are you sure?


In Cambridge and Crawley, staff in McDonalds, a worldwide fast food outlet selling mainly beef-burgers, are striking for better pay and conditions and are supported by the BFAWU bakers' Union. They are after £10 an hour, which may sound a lot but is not much if you have to pay rents anywhere near Cambridge or Crayford, and an end to zero hours contracts and equal pay for those under 25 - yes, 25 not 18.

But surely people have a choice: they do not need to work at MacDonalds if they do not like the deal. But this is the very reason Bruges should take an interest in this dispute and have great sympathy with the strikers. Choice is being removed from working British people. Although it is claimed that there is effectively zero unemployment in Britain, very many of those counted as having jobs are in burger-flipping jobs and such seasonal careers as scaring birds in the fields. The people who own coffee shop chains have opposed Brexit precisely because their whole business model is based on importing sub-priced labour from overseas. It relies on maintaining a poor, very poor, underclass with no option but to live on zero hours contracts in these - hardly vital - areas of the economy. This is the reality of the free movement of Labour.

The over-population pushes up rents and commuting costs which enables one class to enjoy so much coffee but requires another class to live a life of serving it.

While this situation has evolved, real incomes of working people (that is to say, people like you and me before you get all pseudo-capitalist about it) have fallen.

The success of this strike would be a step towards removing the incentive of uncompetetive business to import (and be reliant upon) sup-priced labour and thus a blow against the EU's right to transport serfs, or whatever they call it.

If you are of the "I'm alright, Jack" class that enjoys high rents from buy to let and cheap servants to clean the house(s) and nanny the kids then you probably voted "remain" as the over-population is in your short-term economic interests.
But the British economy has a problem as it shifts towards businesses that require third-world conditions for its workers: the economy becomes third world. There is a probelm in the British economy and that is low productivity.
While it is claimed that unemployment is close to zero, wages are not rising. Usually, when a commodity is in short supply, the price goes up.

But here, and what these strikers are opposing, is not just the solution to the requirements of economic growth being to import more cheaper labour - rather than the investment that boosts productivity and real wealth. What the strikers oppose is more: they are opposing the expansion of the economy precisely by increasing the low-wage, low productivity and third world sectors of the economy.
When imported labour is kept at these low levels it forces down the price of all labour. And since almost every reader of this article, almost every supporter of the Bruges Group, lives by selling their labour, this is bad news.

Isn't this racist?

I don't think so. I have not checked but I am willing to wager that the strikers are largely the victims of this very process, that is to say they are more than likely to be people who have been imported from overseas not as people but merely as units of as sub-price labour. They are people imported to work for nothing and live trapped in poverty. By standing for their own conditions and dignity they are standing for us all since it is the system that brings them that impoverishes us all.
But strike? Strike? Yes, strike. And strike again. Fight. Because what evils have been worked on us in these years when the British working class has been made so docile?