McDonald’s franchisee resigns from charity board – The Patriot News – 3/12/13

Embattled midstate McDonald’s franchisee resigns from Ronald McDonald House Charities board
The Patriot News

Eric Veronikis
March 12, 2013

Local McDonald’s franchisee, Andy Cheung, who has come under fire during the past week over his alleged treatment of foreign student workers, has resigned as secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Pennsylvania.

Foreign student workers employed at three of Cheung’s six Harrisburg-area McDonald’s, teamed with supporters to hold a work-stoppage protest at his Trindle Road restaurant in Hampden Township on March 6.

The workers, who participated in the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 Visa Visitor Exchange Program, said Cheung exploited them at work, and in housing he provided for them.

They said Cheung deducted rent from their minimum-wage paychecks after stuffing up to eight students at a time in the basements of houses he owns while they worked for him.

Cheung has not returned repeated interview requests since Wednesday.

Debra Barry, spokeswoman for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central PA, would not comment on why, or when, Cheung resigned from the charitable organization.

It appears Cheung resigned following the protest, as he was listed as the secretary of the board of trustees on the organization’s website as of Thursday.

Barry did not immediately know how long Cheung was a trustee with the group, and she would not comment further on his departure.

The Derry Township-based Ronald McDonald House issued the following statement regarding his resignation:

“Our board of trustees hold themselves to the highest professional and ethical standards. We rely upon the diverse experience of our entire board of trustees to ensure we deliver on our mission.

Up to 35 families each day rely on our Ronald McDonald House to provide stability and vital resources while they fight for the health of their child.

Rest assured, our staff and volunteers are focused on this mission each and everyday.

Mr. Cheung made the decision to step down from his position on our Board of Trustees.

We thank him for his time and commitment while he served on our Board of Trustees.”

The U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Labor are investigating complaints foreign student workers filed against Cheung.
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