Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers’ Rights – appeal for support

9 December 2015

Serving Up Change






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Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers’ Rights

A short documentary exposing the reality of exploitative zero hours contracts and encouraging young workers to join a trade union

The film

Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers Rights will be a short documentary film exploring the exploitative reality of zero hours contracts for many young workers across the country, specifically in the UK fast food industry: an industry where workers are beginning to organise for the first time. It will be comprised of interviews with workers on zero hours contracts, animations and industry footage.

The film will also look to the recent struggle of Fast Food workers in the USA who have been fighting for a $15 dollars an hour and union rights. These workers have started to make real gains with their demands and we will explore how similar movements are now developing in the UK in the fast food industry.

Zero hours contracts disproportionately affect those aged under 25 and they are becoming particularly widespread in a number of industries[1]. The film will document their experiences of work and life under these contracts.

The film will ultimately show how younger workers, and vulnerable workers such as those on zero hour contracts, can improve their working conditions by organising in the workplace, and by joining a trade union.

Our objectives

In the film: 

As young workers who have experienced the unfair reality of low-paid, zero hours contracts first hand, we wanted to create a documentary exposing their supposed ‘flexibility’ for the lie that it really is: naked exploitation.

The main objective of Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers Rights is to explore the real nature of working conditions for thousands of young workers on these contracts and to stress the importance of joining a trade union—and fighting back.


We want our film to be available as an educational resource for trade unions, activists and campaign groups to use to encourage young people, and vulnerable workers, to join a trade union.

Many young people are completely unaware of the role that trade unions play in improving rights and conditions in the workplace. TUC and STUC initiatives such as Unions into Schools are doing incredible work educating young people about the benefits of union membership, and we want to help.

Young people represent the next generation of workers. By emphasising the integral role that unions play in improving conditions and safeguarding employment rights, we hope to play our part in boosting the participation of under 25 year olds in trade unions across the country.

Who are we?

UniteFightFILM are a small group of young activists, trade unionists and filmmakers based in Glasgow, Scotland. We formed in June 2015, in response to the Tory government’s fresh attacks on trade unions and workers’ rights.

Involved in community and workplace organising, and active in a number of trade unions, we were brought together by a mutual love of film as a medium to effect change. We are all volunteers, juggling day jobs and work on a not-for-profit basis.


We are approaching trade unions, campaigns and organisations to ask for any donations towards helping make our documentary a success. For a small, one-off donation we are happy to give unions the right to use our film as an educational resource.

Budget costs we have envisaged include:

Production costs:

  • interviewee expenses, production team, animator, graphic designer, composer


  • website cost, merchandise, domain copyright costs, printouts/posters

Film Launch:

– projector, speaker hire


  • sound recorder, camera equipment, editing software

Post-production costs:

– film and sound editing, sound track, sound design

A detailed breakdown of the budget is available to download, on request, as a spreadsheet.


Getting young people active in organisations is an issue that affects every trade union and the labour movement as a whole.

The involvement of those under 25 is crucial to the long-term sustainability of workers’ organisation. Serving Up Change: The Fight For Workers Rights is being made by young people, for young people, and we hope that it will help to improve the overall engagement of those under 25 with trade unions.

We need your help though. The BFAWU have recognised this and expressed an intention to contribute significantly to the project. In a spirit of solidarity, we are asking trade unions to consider sparing a donation to help us create a resource that will hopefully encourage young and vulnerable workers to join a union.

Whilst workers in your industry may not suffer from exploitative zero hours contracts currently, they are becoming increasingly widespread in many industries and represent a threat to your members’ rights that must be countered. Zero hours contracts not only exploit the most vulnerable workers in society, they also undermine the collective bargaining power unions have spent a century developing.

Please consider donating to our project to encourage young people to join a union: an injury to one, is an injury to all.


With Solidarity,



Contact us:










[1] Office for National Statistics press release, Sept 2015.–2015-update-/index.html



Go to the crowdfunding page here

Model Motion: Supporting the ‘Serving Up Change’ film project, by BFAWU fast food workers as part of the ‘Hungry for Justice’ Fast Food Rights campaign

This union branch/ committee/ executive/ organisation notes:

  • The upsurge of strikes and protests that have been ongoing since late 2013 by fast food workers and other low waged workers in the US demanding $15 an hour and union rights. This movement has seen workers in every major town and city, in every state in the US, hit by strikes. More than half of the US fast food industry’s 3.65 million low paid workers are forced to rely on benefits to top up their income. Some 68 percent of these low paid fast food workers are the main breadwinner in their household, with over a quarter raising children.
  • That the Fast Food Rights campaign, launched on 8 January 2014, initiated by John McDonnell MP, the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), and Unite the Resistance, has been actively and consistently campaigning on the demand for £10 an hour, the scrapping of zero hours contracts and union rights. That as a result, fast food workers have been able to make links with fast food strikers in the US, and have been inspired to join the union and start building organisation and resistance in the fast food industry.
  • As a part of this, BFAWU fast food members in Glasgow are producing a film, ‘Serving Up Change’, featuring fast food workers from the UK and the US with the aim of exposing the reality of working conditions in the fast food industry. The film will also emphasise how zero hours contracts and low pay affects young workers across all industries. Relating to younger workers in this unorganised sector, this film will stress the need for young people to join a trade union and the need for young workers to get organised.

This union branch/ committee/ executive/ organisation believes:

  • That the multi billion profits of the fast food industry based on the super exploitation of tens of thousands of workers.
  • That the inspiring resistance of US fast food workers that we are seeing shows what is possible in terms of unionising and organising fast food workers to defend their rights as workers.

This union branch/ committee/ executive/ organisation resolves:

  • To support the ‘Serving Up Change’ film project initiative by BFAWU young members and fast food workers by donating £…….. from this branch, and sharing and publishing the film amongst our members

For more info:  Website: Twitter: @FastfoodRights  @serving_up Facebook: Serving Up Change Instagram: serving_up


 Contact: 07934 602 313 (Lorna McKinnon, BFAWU Glasgow)

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