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Fast Food

McDonald’s Employees Across U.S. Plan Lunchtime Walkout In Protest

If you’re planning on grabbing lunch at McDonald’s Tuesday, September 18, be aware that the restaurant might be a little short-staffed.

McDonald’s employees are reportedly planning a one-day strike, that will begin during the lunch rush hours, according to the Associated Press.

Dozens of restaurants, across 10 U.S. cities are said to be affected by a walkout that was organized by “women’s committees,” as employees feel McDonald’s has ignored sexual harassment complaints in the workplace.

The Fight For 15 organization, a movement for higher wages in the fast food industry, boldly Tweeted out that there have been instances of “groping, propositions for sex, and other illegal behavior in its stores.”

A recent example of complaints can be traced to a 2017 lawsuit, where a transgender former employee sued McDonald’s after alleging she got fired for reporting sexual harassment.

There have also been quotes from employees and former employees shared online, making anonymous harassment claims such as, “My coworker came up behind me, reached his arms around me, and grabbed my private area. I felt helpless after my managers did not take my complaint seriously.”

Another example from an Inc.com article quotes, “Kimberly Lawson, an employee at a franchise in Kansas City, said her supervisor sent her home early after she refused his sexual advances. She said she reported the incident with her general manager with no result. ”

Foodbeast reached out to McDonald’s about the strike, and the company stated:

“There is no place for harassment or discrimination of any kind at McDonald’s. Since our founding, we’ve been committed to a culture that fosters the respectful treatment of everyone. We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment.

Today, in addition to our existing initiatives, we are engaging third party experts known for their expertise in the areas of prevention and response including, RAINN and Seyfarth Shaw at Work, to evolve our policies, procedures and training. We will continue—as we always have—to look at ways to do even more to ensure that McDonald’s values are reflected in every restaurant, every day.”

McDonald’s did not address any preventative measures being taken for the strike, but it could affect a lot of customers, as the walkout is being planned for the lunch rush, and no specific stores have been identified as participants, so far.

The extent of public knowledge is that stores in Chicago, Durham, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco, and St. Louis are all believed to be affected.

Categories
Fast Food

Chipotle Staff Quits Because They Have to Work in ‘Sweatshop Conditions’

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Some Chipotle employees quit and walked out of a Penn State University store, claiming “borderline sweatshop conditions” as the reason.

Onward State reported four managers in the university restaurant quit within a two-day span, with additional crew following. The workers left a nifty note on the door that looked a lot like a Facebook post, but the message was “Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions. Almost the entire management and crew have resigned. People > Profit.” And they even dropped a #ChipotleSwag hashtag.

A former manager told Onward State they were severely understaffed, needing 13 to 15 workers on busy days, but only scheduling six to eight. That caused the workers to work 10 to 12 hour shifts, often without receiving breaks.

Of course, the letter was taken down soon after, and the Chipotle had to close temporarily, but ownership said they plan on reopening as soon as possible.

The burrito wrapping struggle is real.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

While Fast Food Protests Sweep the Country, Australia McDonald’s Pays $15 Per Hour

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On Thursday, August 29th, low-wage employees gathered to the streets, demanding wages of $15 per hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and the ability to form unions. The protests went viral early today, spreading to 50 cities including, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago — with throngs of employees working for large fast food chains walking out on their shifts.

It’s not livable,” Tyree Johnson told HuffPo. “I’ve been dedicated to McDonald’s for the past 21 years. I still make $8 an hour.”

Johnson’s story is one of many. “I’m tired of choosing between paying rent and eating,” Tamara Best-Watkins told the crowd outside the Rock N’ Roll McDonald’s in downtown Chicago. “I’m tired of choosing between taking my daughter out and paying rent.”

Officials in the restaurant industry warn that increased wages will hurt employees in the long run.

“Mandating increased wages would lead to higher prices for consumers, lower foot traffic and sales for franchise owners, and, ultimately, lost jobs and opportunities for employees to become managers or franchise owners,” Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive of the International Franchise Association, insisted in a statement. “The franchise industry is a proven job creator and career builder, yet efforts to double the minimum wage to $15 would clearly jeopardize opportunities for existing and prospective employees.”

While there is some truth to Caldeira’s words, he’s being a bit over-dramatic. Yes, US fast food chains would hurt, but only if wages were increased to $15 overnight. The key here would be to increase wages gradually while simultaneously creating a new business model. You need only to look at McDonald’s chains in Australia and France, where  full-time adult workers earn a minimum wage of $14.50 an hour and $12 an hour respectively, for an example of high wages and profits co-existing. Note that both country’s minimum wages and cost of living are significantly higher than the US’ and even these overseas models have their kinks.

In turn, franchises would have to hire fewer workers, create more efficient management and charge more for that beloved Whopper. But when it’s virtually impossible to live off the average salary of a fast food employee, this might just be the next necessary step.

H/T NRNThe Atlantic + PicThx Reuters