In March, McDonald’s turned its golden arches upside-down for International Women’s Day but in May 10 women and girls filed claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that McDonald’s had ignored their complaints about various forms of sexual harassment while working for McDonald’s. And on September 18, McDonald’s workers will stage a strike at the company’s restaurants to address sexual harassment issues, according to Associated Press. Organisers said that women at the restaurants are frequently the victim of sexual misconduct by their co-workers and the restaurant hasn’t taken enough action to stop the behaviour. International Women’s Day 2018: McDonald’s Is Celebrating Womanhood by Flipping Its Logo to W.
The AP reports that McDonald’s workers in multiple states have voted to stage a strike at lunchtime on September 18 as a means of urging management to do more to prevent and respond to sexual harassment on the job. It is expected to be the first multistate strike in the US as the strike is planned for 10 cities – Chicago, Durham, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco and St. Louis. Strikers demand that McDonald’s improve the procedures for receiving and responding to harassment complaints, make anti-harassment training mandatory and form a national committee to address sexual harassment.
Two advocacy groups, The Fight for 15 dollars and Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund have joined to help these workers organise against abuse that they say is rampant. In a statement provided to CNBC, McDonald’s said it has policies in place intended to protect employees. “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 franchises share this commitment.”
The statement further states: “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 (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) as well as legal compliance firm Seyfarth Shaw at Work, to evolve our policies, procedures and training.” It is however unclear that how many employees will participate in the strike and according to the Associated Press not every McDonald’s location in each of those cities will be participating.