A Wandsworth Town McDonald's worker delivered an emotional plea yesterday as dozens called for pay rises.
Their "McStrike" was part of a global day of action for fast food employees called by the International Union of Food Workers, which will see events in countries including France, Belgium, Brazil, Chile and New Zealand.
In the UK, McDonald's workers are calling for wages of £15 an hour, an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of up to 40 hours a week, notice of shifts four weeks in advance and recognition of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).
Around 30 McDonald’s workers from six of the fast food branches gathered at the Wandsworth Road store on Tuesday with chants of “I believe that we will win, if we don’t get it shut it down."
McStriker Melissa Evans, who works at Wandsworth Town McDonalds said: “McDonald's need to start appreciating our hard work: our blood sweat and tears.
"They have no appreciation for it. They need to pay us enough to have a decent standard of living."We need security. Why don't we deserve better? It's not just flipping burgers.
"You can cry yourself to sleep and you hear the bleeps of McDonald's machines in your ears. Where is the accountability? We need a union to make McDonald's accountable.
"I want to show my son there's more to life than poverty that’s why I’m on strike today."
The workers also yesterday delivered an open letter for party leaders to Downing Street, calling on them to respond to their demand for a New Deal.
A McDonald's spokesman said: "We are extremely disappointed that a very small number of our people in just a handful of our restaurants are considering industrial action.
"We understand only nine people are involved across six restaurants, which is a tiny proportion of our 130,000 workforce and 1,300 restaurants.
"Their potential actions do not represent our people. We are committed to investing in our workforce, listening to and doing what is right by them.
"The BFAWU is calling for 40-hour guaranteed contracts, which is something we already offer - but has been chosen by very few of our people.
"With all given the choice, around 90% of our employees have chosen to remain on flexible contracts, valuing the ability to work their shifts around their lives."
Workers from Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford, Catford and Crayford stores all took part in the protests.