Fast food low pay row

The GMB union has accused the burger
retailer McDonalds of age discrimination against its younger workers.

The row follows the introduction
of a new hourly pay scale. Until September 23, McDonalds used to pay all staff
members a flat hourly rate of £3.75. But now only 16 and 17 year olds receive
this bottom rate. Those aged 18 to 21 receive £3.90 and people over 21 receive
the new adult minimum wage of £4.10.

GMB organiser Martin Smith said
the company should have put all its workers on the higher flat rate
irrespective of age.

“They have made no attempt to
justify this action and are simply taking advantage of the age of their
workers. I’d call on McDonalds to think again and pay students the rate for the
job.

“When other firms discriminated
McDonalds resisted and even bragged about it. But now they have succumbed to
the temptation to squeeze more profit out of their younger workers,”

McDonald’s defended the move
saying that regional weighting can increase the starting rate for all ages and
that the published rates were a minimum level for each group.

By Ross Wigham

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