Category Archives: Campaigns

Newcastle Fast Food Rights public meeting – £10/hr animation launch – Thursday 19th February

Thursday 19th February will launch the Fast Food Rights £10/hr animation at a Newcastle public meeting, part of the campaign to raise the minimum wage. BFAWU (Bakers’ Union) President Ian Hodson will speak alongside local Youth Fight for Jobs supporter Paul Phillips. The full list of speakers includes;

Ian Hodson – Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers’ Union President

Beth Farhat – TUC Regional Secretary

Dave Anderson MP

Tim Roach – GMB trade union

Paul Phillips – Youth Fight for Jobs

Fast Food Rights public meeting – Newcastle
Thursday 19th February
TUC Commercial House

5th Floor
Pilgrim Street

Join the facebook event and share it! 

Youth Fight for Jobs were out in Newcastle for a day of action with Fast Food Rights and the Bakers’ Union, continuing the campaign to raise the minimum wage to £10/hr, on Saturday 14th February.

Tory workfare and Youth Fight for Jobs in the news!

Sick Tory plans to cut benefits for young people and force them onto unpaid workfare schemes were met with an angry response yesterday. Lots of people wanted to hear what Youth Fight for Jobs had to say in opposition.

Claire Laker-Mansfield on Sky News (part 1)

Claire Laker-Mansfield on Sky News (part 2)

Russia Today

Short clip of Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs regional organiser Iain Dalton on BCB Bradford radio – 1 min 15 secs in

Youth Fight for Jobs condemns new Tory workfare plans

Youth Fight for Jobs/Claire Laker-Mansfield on Sky News

Youth Fight for Jobs/Claire Laker-Mansfield on Sky News

The Youth Fight for Jobs campaign condemns Conservative plans to cut benefits and extend workfare for young people. The Tories would like to see thousands of 18-21 year olds stripped of the ability to claim JSA and forced to carry out 30 hours of unpaid work every week in exchange for a ‘youth allowance’. This is equivalent to a £1.91 hourly wage.

Claire Laker-Mansfield, from Youth Fight for Jobs, said:

“The Tories are attempting to shift blame away from their failed austerity policies, and onto young unemployed people who have done nothing wrong. The real problem is a lack of available jobs. There are currently around 4 people chasing every vacancy. Meanwhile, many of the jobs that are available offer only poverty pay and insecure zero-hour contracts.

Workfare will not solve unemployment – in fact, we believe it exacerbates the problem. Why employ someone in a permanent post with decent pay and proper contract, when you can get somebody from the Jobcentre to for work for free? Recent figures have shown more than 70% of those placed on the existing Work Programme remained out-of-work a year later.

Rather than creating real jobs for the next generation, the Tories have more of an eye on looking after the profits of their tax dodging donors. The government should be warned that it was policies like these that contributed to the rise of Syriza in Greece – a revolt against austerity”

Check out the video of Claire on Sky News and more of Claire on Sky plus Russia Today and Bradford BCB radio (1 min 15 secs in) - PLEASE SHARE!

Tweets on our Sky News interview:

Stand Up Be Counted @SkySUBC
.@youthfight4jobs says the PM should focus on creating more jobs to let young people live a “dignified existence”

 Ian Hodson @IanBFAWU
@helenpattison91@FastfoodRights@youthfight4jobs fantastic interview voice of ypung people so badly needed solidarity

 Hungry for Justice @FastfoodRights
@youthfight4jobs we think you are great you are doing a fantastic job in giving young people a voice solidarity #realjobs #£10now

 Martin Powell-Davies @MPDNUT
@SkySUBC@youthfight4jobs Refreshing change to hear the wealthy tax avoiders rightly getting the something-for-nothing label.

 Ian Hodson @IanBFAWU
@youthfight4jobs well done Claire for highlighting the exploitation of young people #TimeForChange#hungryforjustice #£10now

 Jessica Carpani @JessicaCarpani
Claire, I couldn’t have said it better myself. #AbsoluteJoke@youthfight4jobs “modern day slavery” @SkySUBC

Stand Up Be Counted @SkySUBC
.@youthfight4jobs says the PM should focus on creating more jobs to let young people live a “dignified existence”

Sports Direct: Pressure mounts on zero-hour contracts

Sports Direct, notorious for its widespread use of zero-hour employment contracts, has been forced to make clear in job adverts what its workers legal rights are. Although these ‘zero-hour’ jobs do any guarantee any work whatsoever, Sports Direct employees do qualify for statutory sick and holiday pay.

Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs

The company, owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, agreed to this change in an ‘out of court’ settlement after a former worker was due to take Sports Direct to an employment tribunal over its abuse of zero-hour contracts.

However, the company is not scrapping zero-hours – under which nearly 90% of its staff are employed – so the fight to end this casual employment practice goes on.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ), which has targeted Sports Direct with protests up and down the country over the last year, will continue to fight for permanent, full-time jobs on a living wage and for trade union rights – the best antidote to exploitation in the workplace.

Zero-hour contracts destroy jobs

David Cameron, George Osborne, and other leading millionaire Tories are too confused to explain how unemployment is down at the same time that wages are falling. But what the millionaires can’t add up is obvious to the millions who have been suffering under brutal austerity and rising use of zero-hour contracts for years. All the main political parties have defended the use of zero-hour contracts, and refused to have them banned.

Youth Fight for Jobs works closely with the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) in the Fast Food Rights campaign. Fast Food Rights next big protest will be Friday 21st November (2 days after students will march for free education) as we lobby Parliament when they discuss zero-hour contracts. Zero-hour contracts must be scrapped, and all workers deserve a living wage of at least £10/hr.

Fast Food Rights protest
Friday 21st November
Parliament, Old Palace Yard

For more info contact

If you would like to send us an anonymous story about what it’s like in your workplace, please email us at

Fast Food Rights and Youth Fight for Jobs protests across the country – Thursday 28th August and other dates!

Join us to show solidarity with fast food workers in the USA, and to fight for a £10/hr living wage and an end to zero-hour contracts hers in Britain.

If your protest isn’t included here, feel free to email us at

Day of Action – Thursday 28th August



Town Hall Square in city centre

4pm – 6pm
Argyle Street

Victoria Street
Freshney Place




Market Street

Pedestrianised crossroads of Lord Street / Paradise Street / Church Street

Meet at at Brixton tube at 1pm to target McDonalds with protests

5.30 PM
Piccadilly Gardens


West Gate

12pm – 2pm
Northumberland Street


town centre McDonalds

meet at the Buttercross



Blake Street

plus here are some protests on other days

Saturday 23rd August
International Market

Saturday 30th August


Saturday 30th August

St Peter’s Street

Saturday 30th August

St Peter’s Square, Lister Gate

Interview with Ian Hodson, Bakers’ Union President

In 2013 the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), along with Youth Fight for Jobs and others, initiated the Fast Food Rights campaign to fight for decent pay, terms and conditions for fast food workers. This came after the union’s successful strike against zero-hour contracts at the Hovis Factory in Wigan.
In the run up to the union’s annual national conference on 8 to 12 June BFAWU president Ian Hodson spoke to Claire Laker-Mansfield from Youth Fight for Jobs.

 Why did BFAWU initiate Fast Food Rights?

It was the issue of zero-hour contracts and the success we had at Hovis. The bosses see McDonalds, Subway, etc, as a great testing ground for the type of working conditions our members have been subject to in bread factories and sweet factories. All of those practices that have been in place for a long time in fast food are filtering through into everyday employment practices in our organised workplaces.

We saw this as an opportunity to help people who aren’t currently involved with a trade union, who don’t believe they have any rights. By joining together with the different elements – not just a trade union campaign but a community campaign and a political campaign – we can stop this race to the bottom.

Research shows that 80% of people who go into a workplace that has never been organised by a trade union will never join a trade union. We’re hoping this campaign will bring an understanding to people who work in this industry that there is an alternative to what they get told on a day-to-day basis. By doing the campaign we’re going to places we’ve never been – we normally organise outside factories, we don’t normally go on the high streets.


What were the lessons from the Hovis dispute?

It demonstrated that if people stand and fight together, they can win. The company tried all sorts of tactics – threats of closure, £1,000 to cross the picket line, bringing people in to intimidate the pickets.

But the workers said no, we’re not going to be intimidated, we’re not going to take the cash, we’re going to stand here until you recognise people should be treated fairly.

How have you been able to win people to the union in places like Greggs?

The first thing we did was organise the bakeries and then through our negotiations with the company we said we want access to the shops as well.

We’ve been able to represent a number of shop workers and demonstrate that by being in a union they can get better terms and conditions – they get a pay increase each year, they’re not on minimum wage, they don’t have to put up with zero-hour contracts, or accept that they’re not entitled to holiday pay.

What sort of demands should Fast Food Rights be making of politicians and the government?

Legislation that allows an employer to treat people like second class citizens or like they’re not important needs to be changed.

It can’t be right that politicians sit in the Houses of Parliament and debate about improving employment by making people more vulnerable, more insecure and worse paid. Politicians have a duty to actually start serving the electorate, not just the people who buy their dinners.

Since BFAWU’s founding in 1847 we’ve had a commitment to a living wage. One of the things this campaign has highlighted to me is that the youth rate needs to be scrapped.

What has inspired you to develop the campaign?

Something that’s really inspired me is what’s happening in places where people have been brave enough to actually put a figure on the minimum wage – like $15 in the US. We don’t currently have a figure as a trade union but I’m going to try and put one at our upcoming conference.

I think we need to give working class people a clear understanding of what our trade union is fighting for – a £10 figure, why shouldn’t working people get £10 an hour?

Even if they get the current living wage, it would still only give them enough to maybe afford to throw their children a party and maybe afford to pay for a holiday. I don’t want people to ‘maybe’ afford, I want them to be able to.

I went over and attended the International Union of Foodworkers conference in New York and listened to some of the McDonalds workers about why they decided to take action. One of them was a single mother, the other was a 22 year old young woman. I asked her what she would say to other young people about why they should join a union or take action.

She said: “because it’s all been given away and we’ve got to take it back. If we’re going to get out of the poverty we’re living in, so that I don’t have to make a choice between whether I catch a bus to work or I’m able to eat, then the only way to do it is to organise”. It was so inspiring!

Unemployment Kills

The heart-breaking story of 20 year old Martin Hadfield, who tragically took his own life following months struggling to find work, is a shocking reminder of the real lives broken by a system that offers so many so little hope.

The human cost of nearly one million young people unemployed can never be fully expressed in the form of cold numbers. As Martin’s stepdad eloquently put it: “He was never a statistic to us”.

Britain’s out of work youth are real people, with real hopes and dreams. Each of them is an individual with unique potential – with talents, skills and energy they’re desperate to use. It is both a tragedy and an outrage that so much of what this generation has to offer is being criminally laid to waste.

Just like for the vast majority of those who find themselves out of work, laziness was never a factor in Martin failing to find a job. A trained gardener, he became unemployed when the firm he worked for downsized.

Next he found himself faced with the demoralising task of sending out applications and CVs – only to be knocked back by rejections and employers who failed to even supply him with a courteous response.

For hundreds of thousands of young people this familiar process is no doubt made even more difficult by smug, privileged pro-capitalist politicians joining the right-wing press in a relentless campaign of myth-making about unemployed ‘scroungers’. Perhaps this kind of rhetoric played a part in Martin’s decision not to claim any benefits while out of work.

This human tragedy was the fault of an inhuman capitalist system. But any economic system which sees such vast accumulation of wealth for a few, while it presides over the wasting of the skills and talents of so many young people, does not deserve its continued existence.

The solution to youth unemployment is not ever harsher and more punitive treatment of those who are out of work; it’s the creation of millions of secure, well-paid socially useful jobs – jobs that can provide the foundation for stable and happy lives for the next generation, as well as homes and services for those who need them.

Not one of the mainstream political parties currently offers us that. For young people facing unemployment – anger, frustration, stress and even despair can be normal responses to the bleak prospects austerity offers. But a concerted fightback, by young people working alongside trade unionists, socialists and other campaigners, can challenge the cuts consensus and help secure a decent future for the ‘99%’.

Youth Fight for Jobs is helping to build this fight and to organise unemployed young people to demand their right to work. We say not one single young person should be left on the scrap heap. The cold cruelty of the Con-Dems leaves many thousands facing despair. But hope can come in fighting to change society.

PRESS RELEASE: Protests taking place across the country as part of ‘fast food rights’ campaign

Protesters involved in the ‘Fast Food Rights’ coalition are taking part in over 25 protests across the country this Saturday, 29 March as part of a newly launched campaign. The protesters are demanding a living wage for all workers and an end to the use of zero-hour contracts. Fast Food outlets including McDonalds , Costa and Burger King will all be targeted by protesters who will also be signing workers up to the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), who initiated the Fast Food Rights campaign.

Ian Pattison, spokesperson for Youth Fight for Jobs said

‘This day of action is part of building a campaign against the low-pay in security and exploitation taking place across the fast food industry at the present time. We are fighting for decent jobs – with guaranteed hours, a living wage and trade union rights. These multi-billion pound companies are making sky high profits by super-exploiting workers – especially young workers. But this campaign is building the fightback.’

Protests are taking place in towns and cities all over Britain.

A full list can be found here:

London events are as follows:

11 AM – Lewisham protest – meet by Lewisham Clock Tower

1.30 PM – meet at Leicester Square McDonald’s, on the corner of Swiss Court and Whitcomb Street

5 PM – Lewisham Public Meeting – Glass Mill Leisure Centre, 41 Loampit Vale, London, SE13 7FT

Protests across North West for Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Right day of action – Saturday 29th March

Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Rights protests in the North West - 29/03/14

Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Rights protests in the North West - 29/03/14

You can see a full list of the protests across the country here

Full list of protests – Saturday 29th March

Protest March 29th!

Check out a full list of Saturday’s protest below!

Youth Fight for Jobs & Fast Food Rights Day of Action

Scrap Zero-Hour Contracts
A living wage of £10 a hour
Join a union

List of events (more to follow)


11 AM – Lewisham protest – meet by the Clock Tower

1.30PM – Leicester Square leafleting

5PM – Lewisham Public Meeting – Glass Mill Leisure Centre, 41 Loampit Vale, London, SE13 7FT


11AM – Assemble at – Shirebrook Market Place to Target Sports Direct HQ – NG20 8AA


1PM – outside Primark, New Street


12 noon – outside McDonald’s in Western Road, Brighton


12 Noon – YFJ/ FFR Super-Stall – Meet outside BHS, Broadmead, BS1 3HB


11AM – Victoria Square, town centre


11AM – Meet by Café Rouge in Canterbury city centre


11AM – Queen Street, Nye Bevan’s statue targeting BK, FootLocker and Costa


11AM – Scotch Street city centre


11AM – Chester Cross, town centre


12 noon – Shelton Square (by Tesco in Coventry City Centre), CV1 1DG


12 noon – Exeter High Street


12 noon at Sauchiehall Street McDonald’s


Coming soon!


1pm outside Briggate/Boar Lane McDonalds


Meet 11am, the Clock Tower, Leicester Town Centre


12 noon – outside McDonald’s in the Cornhill, Lincoln


12 noon – Sports Direct – Parker Street, L1 1DJ


11AM – Sports Direct, Market Street, M1 1PW


12 noon – Northumberland Street Burger King


12 noon- Yorkshire Street, town centre


11AM – top of Fargate


11AM  – Meet outside the West Quay Shopping Centre, Above Bar Street

St Helens

11AM – Church Square, town centre


2pm – Meet outside McDonalds on Castle Square


10 AM – Outside McDonalds on Kirkgate


2pm - Standishgate, town centre