Boojum worker speaks out

A friend in hospitality argued that I’d be better off in McDonald’s as they’d just won a pay-rise and it was due to the collective action taken by workers with the help and guidance of a union. I thought we at Boojum could take similar action and contacted the union. Since Unite and Boojum workers started our campaign, the number of active members has grown and we’re slowly gaining concessions. We used to feel powerless, but now we feel empowered

A Boojum worker spoke to The Socialist about conditions in their workplace and their campaign to organise for change alongside Unite.

When you walk through Boojum’s doors, you’re greeted by friendly staff with big smiles and high energy. You see the guy at the till having the craic with his co-workers and think this must be a great place to work. You may ask yourself, how hard can it be to roll burritos for a living?

I have worked for Boojum for a number of years and have seen working conditions decline. Staff are regularly unpaid for hours they do past closing time of 11pm, many don’t get the breaks that they’re entitled to, tips are used for shortages in the tills, sexual harassment is rife, pay scales have disappeared and our hourly pay-rate doesn’t reflect the growing demands of the job. I’ve suffered numerous panic attacks and have witnessed many other staff members crumble under the pressures Boojum places on their workers.

A friend in hospitality argued that I’d be better off in McDonald’s as they’d just won a pay-rise and it was due to the collective action taken by workers with the help and guidance of a union. I thought we at Boojum could take similar action and contacted the union. Since Unite and Boojum workers started our campaign, the number of active members has grown and we’re slowly gaining concessions. We used to feel powerless, but now we feel empowered.

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