During this year’s Global Week of Action, IUF affiliates called for more organizing and an end to the rampant union busting that is common in the sector. Thousands of fast food workers across the United States went on strike, McDonald’s workers in Serbia spoke publicly for the first time in the media about their struggle, trade unions in Africa strategized about the sector, and workers mobilized to highlight the growing movement of fast food workers.
- Trade unionists from across Africa met to exchange experiences, to chart next steps to organize the fast food sector including the mapping of companies operating on the continent, and to continue developing organizing techniques
- In Europe and Latin America, workers in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom mobilized to highlight the ongoing struggle in the fast food sector through leafleting, press conferences, and messages of solidarity to the striking Starbucks workers in the United States
- Across the US, workers at over 100 Starbucks stores struck to push the company to the negotiating table, and fast food workers across California marched in support of the ground-breaking law AB257 which introduces sectoral bargaining in the fast food sector in the state; several fast food companies have opposed the new law claiming that it could “drastically increase food prices” and “create a massive new government bureaucracy,” while IUF affiliate SEIU has stated that AB257 will guarantee California fast-food workers the ability to shape industry-wide workplace standards and give them the power to hold corporations accountable
Uroš Milivojević, a McDonald’s worker from Serbia and union leader with IUF affiliate GS PUT Nezavisnost, stated, “These huge multinational companies are doing everything not to let workers have a seat at the table. When workers anywhere are being fired for joining a union and wanting a better life, Starbucks or McDonald’s are sending us all a message. Therefore, we must stand with all workers in solidarity and send the message that these tactics will not succeed in scaring us. We will continue and make them listen to us.”