This gentleman deserves a spot in my hero section. Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers Food And Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). Fighting for employee’s rights, particularly fast food workers. He has this spot as a great supporter, but also as a representation for all Union Leaders and Members, and those who struggle for better work and living conditions no matter where in the world.
I am still new to the whole idea of unions because I never needed it or was in any kind of trouble until I worked in Pret A Manger. I was often under the impression that Unions seem just a little too “aggressive”, or using poor workers’ stories to advance their own political agenda. But I stand corrected and want to apologize for that thought! I never ever had problems with my bosses in other companies, and I worked in 3 countries, Germany, the USA, and here in the UK, mostly in the catering industry since I was 16 years old, and that is a while ago!
And maybe it is the trend of our times that in fast-food and other workplaces discrimination, bullying tactics and fear management is on the rise, and more and more an acceptable form of controlling employees for the greedy elite few at the top of the “food chain”. I don’t know, but my story is so way out there, a Hollywood script could not have come up with this. I was too naive and plainly stupid to have “fought” on my own, not wanting to involve help because I always play with open and fair cards, assuming when I do the right thing, fairly and with integrity I would be treated fairly. Oh boy! Did I have to learn a lesson, and learn it the hard way! Welcome to reality! I survived to write about it myself.
If you work or someone you know works in a fast food place or anywhere at that, join this or any union! Take it from me, I wasn’t so smart and had to learn the hard way, never imagining that my life will get so out of sync. I am still suffering as I write this and am receiving long-term mental health services. But I am taking my life and sanity back! And I will be loud and unmistakably clear!
The BFAWU was instrumental in the historic McStrike movement in the UK, supporting McDonald’s employees to stand up for the first time ever in the UK’s fast-food industry. I hope the McD workers forgive me, but I have been boycotting McDonald’s for decades now especially because of how the employees are treated, apart from not liking the food, but employees are the ones making it happen. I boycott McD for life, but their workers have my support anytime. Massive respect for standing up against a giant like this.
Dear Ian Hodson,