McDonald's workers in 10 US cities to strike Sept. 18

McDonald's isn't saying much about its workers in 10 U.S. cities planning to strike Sept. 18 in an effort to push leadership to do more about sexual harassment in the workplace. The lunchtime walk-out, according to the Guardian newspaper, targets some stores in:

  • Los Angeles and San Francisco in California
  • Orlando and Miami in Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Plans for the walkout — to start at lunchtime on Sept. 18 — have been approved in recent days by "women's committees" formed by employees at dozens of McDonald's restaurants across the U.S. Lead organizers include several women who filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May alleging pervasive harassment at some of McDonald's franchise restaurants.

The walk-out was apparently initiated by a number of women's groups of McDonald's employees, including some of those who filed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints last May, the Guardian said, quoting a labor lawyer involved with those cases, Mary Joyce Carlson, who said the company has not made any changes relative to the filed sexual harassment complaints and that "Whatever policy they have is not effective."

When reached for comment and response to questions concerning the complaints and the planned strike Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the chain emailed this statement:

"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."

Strike organizers told the Guardian the workers want:

  • Better methods to report and receive action on harassment. 
  • Workforce and management anti-harassment training.
  • National anti-sexual harassment committee formation including workers, corporate and franchise leaders and national women's groups. 

McDonald's workers are not unionized. 

Topics: Human Resources, Legal Issues, Staffing & Training, Workforce Management

Companies: McDonald's

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