McDonalds Workers to Go On Nationwide Strike

McDonald's Staff In 10 US Cities Protest Over Workplace Sexual Harassment

McDonalds Workers to Go On Nationwide Strike

McDonald's workers in 10 USA cities began a strike on Tuesday to demand that their employer do more to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

In Chicago, one of the targeted cities, several dozen protesters rallied in front of McDonald's headquarters while a plane flew overhead with a banner reading, "McDonald's: Stop Sexual Harassment". The statement in question claims, "This committee would chart a path forward to make sure nobody who works for McDonald's faces sexual harassment on the job".

In one example, Breauna Morrow, a 15-year-old cashier in St Louis, said that she had been "repeatedly harassed" by a co-worker using "graphic, sexual language".

"We have strong policies, procedures and training in place specifically created to prevent sexual harassment", McDonald's said.

RAINN is an anti-sexual violence organization that provides training and assists those affected by sexual violence. Harrell says she is still dealing with the impact of her experience at McDonald's.

"It is absurd that in response to workers' demands to strengthen sexual harassment and abuse policies, McDonald's has chosen to hire Seyfarth Shaw at Work", Shaunna Thomas, executive director of the women's advocacy group UltraViolet, said in an emailed statement.

McDonald's spokesperson Andrea Abate said in a statement, "We have strong policies, procedures and training in place specifically created to prevent sexual harassment". "When they have tainted lettuce in 17 states, they don't say, 'Oh, this is only a problem for the franchisee.' They go to work trying to solve the problem across the system".

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The Fight for $15, a national movement seeking to increase the minimum wage, has been pressurising the chain to increase wages and improve working conditions.

One of those employees making demands is Tanya Harrell, a McDonald's worker from Louisiana.

But Mary Joyce Carlson, an attorney for the Fight for $15 campaign, told Jezebel she doubts the company's stated commitment to ameliorating the complaints.

A colleague she occasionally gave lifts to started touching her inappropriately at work, grabbing her breasts and backside and asking her to touch his penis.

At the New Orleans protest, McDonald's employees arrived at a restaurant with red tape over their mouths emblazoned with the #MeToo phrase.

This week, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Del Taco, accusing the Lake Forest, Calif. -based chain of ignoring complaints of store supervisors sexually harassing female employees, including teenagers.

Workers want the fast food giant to form a committee - made up of workers, company management and leaders of national women's groups - to figure out how to address the issue.

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