When I was a student, around 15 years ago, working in a McDonald’s in Milan was the only possibility I had to work and study. In addition, a 24 hour contract plus some overtime (when I could) allowed me to live independently as a student-worker. There were no other opportunities;
and I also looked for them; I won’t even tell you what I found, laughable proposals, nothing serious or economically worthy. The job was tough, but not tougher than other jobs I had done when I was younger and wanted to pay for my vacations. The advantage was in the time flexibility, and the possibility to work out of class hours. And by working hard, I also had the opportunity to have a career, that since I was pursuing a degree, I refused. Today, I remember those times with great satisfaction, but also with a great acknowledgment of the opportunity that company gave to me.
I usually have a look around the blogs talking about the company where I work and the forums of colleagues around Italy.
Issues are common, regardless of the region: abuse by superiors, low when not extremely low income, arrogance of customers that seem to consider us a step below normal human beings.
What has shocked me the most though was that only rarely the issue about the cancelation of our contract was mentioned. Is it possible that only a few of us are affected by this? I think it’s something very serious and even more so that McDonald’s as an employer association has disappeared without even giving the minimum hope of reestablishing contacts.
What will await us? A brand new contract, certainly worse, maybe bargained with a trade union representing 0,0% of workers? A mysterious company code of conduct, obviously written unilaterally? I know perfectly well that to talk about strike to colleagues that earn 400 euros a month is hard, and even harder if these people are suffering and being blackmailed daily, but I believe it is now the moment to rise and give a strong signal from every city. We must organize and start to hit them where it really matters: appearance and money.
My name is Gioele and I am not a Filcams shop steward, even if I am a member of the trade union, because in my workplace it is forbidden to join a union, or else you will be fired. Salaries are always “faulty” and if I didn’t self train myself I wouldn’t know how to explain all those acronyms to my colleagues. Companies will never pay for training, and workers will never go to a trade union, if there is even remotely the risk of being fired. In addition to all this, there is often a tense and unpleasant atmosphere. We are not free to organize our free time and we receive warning letters even if for a single day we did not shave.
My story may sound ordinary, but I am suffering each month.
The money I make at MC is really low, I work 20 hours and have a small daughter, I am single and more or less I earn 600 euro including family checks. Even if I am a bit ashamed, I admit starting to wait for the 6th (payday) already from half of the previous month, because for one reason or the other, I am afraid the money will not be wired.
Yesterday was the fateful 6th, and money still didn’t arrive…
I think I checked my online account something like 50 times, but still nothing…
I called my rep and she told me that MC always pays, sooner or later. But for me, that sooner or later makes a huge difference!!
How can they not understand that for some people, some hours in delaying the money transfer could mean the difference between not having the bus ticket to go to work? Today if I will not receive the money, I will call the office, but it’s Friday..if they don’t answer then we will have to discuss it on Monday, and by then the problems will be much more serious if compared to the bus ticket, I will have to invent something to eat for my daughter and me….
Sorry for the vent, I’ll go to check the bank account..