PROTESTERS gathered at a York fast food outlet as part of a worldwide day of action.

Members of the Fast Food Right campaign, which was started by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), protested near McDonalds in Blake Street yesterday, with other protests at venues around the country aimed at low pay and zero hour contracts.

Martin Readle, 27, from Clifton, is from Youth Fight for Jobs Yorkshire, who gave the public leaflets about the issue, discussed their rights at work and raised awareness of a living wage.

He said: In cities like Seattle a minimum wage of $15 an hour has been passed recently.

"We're trying to take a lead from teh US, and trying to stop precarious work conditions and put the living wage into peoples' minds as something positive which could be done to make working actually pay."

Nigel Smith from Heworth is a member of the Socialist Party, and held a stall with a petition for living wage.

He said: "We are asking for agradual introduction of a £10 an hour living wage.

"We feel that's what the workers of this country deserve, not to live on benefits or live on handouts from the state, but to earn their living rather than rely on the state.

A McDonalds spokesman said: "We fully support the National Minimum Wage - all of our employees earn more than the National Minimum Wage and qualify for a range of benefits including holiday allowance, employee discounts and access to a full range of training and nationally recognised qualifications.

"We employ 97,000 people in the UK across 1,200 restaurants and the majority of our restaurant staff are employed on an hourly-paid basis. We pride ourselves on being a flexible employer and for many of our employees that is why they have chosen us as a place of work.

"Employee hours are scheduled in advance and we never ask people to be ‘on call’ or restrict people to working for us exclusively. If shifts become available due to staff illness or other circumstances, employees may be offered additional hours if they would like to work."