McDonald’s employees from several large U.S. cities said they would walk out of work on Tuesday over claims of alleged sexual harassment while some are urging workers to unionize.
According to the Fight for $15 group, employees at 10 cities have committed to going on strike for one day to protest against alleged harassment incidents involving employees. They will also “demand that McDonald’s stop wasting time and listen to workers when it comes to fixing rampant sexual harassment in their store,” the left-wing group wrote on Facebook last week, while on Monday, it accused “bosses” of engaging in activities to “steal wages” from workers.
McDonald’s workers have previously gone on strike to demand a $15 minimum wage. Opponents of $15 per hour wages say the provision—if mandated by Congress or state Legislatures at the national or state level—would reduce job opportunities for young, inexperienced, or poorly educated people.
In a statement to news outlets ahead of the strike, the company’s corporate office said that “every single person working at a McDonald’s restaurant deserves to feel safe and respected when they come to work, and sexual harassment and assault have no place in any McDonald’s restaurant.”
“We know more work is needed to further our workplace ambitions, which is why all 40,000 McDonald’s restaurants will be assessed and accountable to Global Brand Standards,” the statement continued.
The Epoch Times has contacted McDonald’s for comment on the strike.
In February, McDonald’s corporate office wrote that the company will investigate any allegations foisted by workers at its corporate-owned establishments.
“If ever we find that we’ve fallen short of our values, we must acknowledge our mistakes and make them right,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said at the time. The company in April announced mandatory training starting next year for its hundreds of thousands of employees.
The strike appears to have stemmed from an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit that was filed by several employees against McDonald’s, alleging that a franchisee did not properly respond to complaints of harassment at 22 locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona.
A separate lawsuit was filed by a teenager in Pittsburgh against the fast-food giant earlier this year, alleging that the manager of the location was a previously convicted sex offender.
“They advertise everywhere this is your first best job and attract these…mostly young women,” Alan Perer, the unnamed teenager’s attorney, said in a statement to news outlets. “To place them in harm’s way and not protect them by not hiring properly and not overseeing what’s going on is just shocking.”
McDonald’s shares as of midday trading were down by about 0.67 percent.