A precarious and exploited workforce has had enough: young employees are joining unions and demanding to be heard

The day McDonald’s workers walked out on strike was the best day of Shen Batmaz’s life: she has even tattooed the date on her arm. “I was so tired and overwhelmed,” she recalls as she stood on a picket line outside a branch of the fast-food chain in Crawley. “I was standing there with people I worked with and loved; we were working together to achieve something. It was the most powerful I’d ever felt in my life.” McStrike was born.

This week, retail and hospitality workers at JD Wetherspoon, McDonald’s, Uber Eats and TGI Fridays will march out together in a coordinated strike. It is a battle that may determine the future of an increasingly precarious and exploited workforce.

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