The theme of the annual UN youth day on the 12 of august is this year “Youth engagement for global action”. This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has proven this to be a very important issue. According to ILO, 1 in every 6th young person has stopped working during the pandemic. The effects of the pandemic have hit young workers across Europe extra hard. This has proven to be a problem across every sector, especially in the fast food sector. This sector was even before the pandemic riddled with precarious working conditions and low wages, and the Covid-19 crisis has magnified these issues.
Across Europe, young workers have been faced with a reality of lower income during extended period of time. Many government furloughing schemes have left some workers with a substantially lower wage, while others have been left without any income at all. For a group that often already struggle with living from one paycheck to the next paycheck, even a small pay cut is devastating.
Even in countries where fast food outlets have remained open, fully or partially, young workers of the fast food sector have been affected by lack of personal protection equipment, health and safety procedures and other measures to protect these workers.
Meanwhile workers in the fast food sector are struggling during the pandemic, McDonald’s and many other corporations still pay dividends to their shareholders even though many of these companies have received government aid.
EFFAT believes that no worker, including young workers, should carry the weight of the pandemic, and therefore we demand that:
– The wages in the fast food sector are increased to a living wage
– Precarious working conditions are abolished
– Instead of paying dividends to shareholders, fast food companies should invest in their workers
– No worker should have to risk their life. Fast food companies need to ensure workers have access to PPE, hand sanitizer and follow proper health and safety procedures