Student Guestworkers Demand Dignity at McDonald’s CEO’s Front Door – 3/26/13

Student Guestworkers Demand Dignity for All Workers at McDonald’s CEO’s Front Door

McDonald’s J-1 guestworkers march on CEO’s home March 26

WHAT:  McDonald’s student guestworkers march on CEO Don Thompson’s home to demand high level meeting on ending labor abuses
WHO:  International student guestworkers; members of Workers Organizing Committee of ChicagoRestaurant Opportunities Center, and labor, community allies
WHERE:  CEO Don Thompson’s Home, 8000 South Drew Ave, Burr Ridge IL 60527
WHEN:     Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 5:30 p.m. CT

Chicago,IL At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, J-1 student guestworkers who exposed severe exploitation and retaliation at McDonald’s restaurants will march on the home of CEO Don Thompson to personally deliver more than 100,000 petition signatures and demand an end to labor abuse.

The students delivered the petitions and demanded a high-level meeting at McDonald’s corporate headquarters yesterday, but Don Thompson refused to appear

At 5:30 p.m. they’ll bring their demands and petitions right to CEO Don Thompson’s home. Along with the petitions students will bring food from each of their countries to offer Don Thompson the cultural exchange that they were denied

McDonald’s student guestworkers from Latin America and Asia joined the National Guestworker Alliance as members and went on strike on Mar. 6 from the Central PA stores where they had worked, demanding that the fast food giant take responsibility for labor abuse at its restaurants. Their fight reached the pages of The NationNBC NewsNPR, and the Wall Street Journal.

Since going on strike on March 6th with a demonstration outside the Camp Hill, PA McDonalds where a number of students were employees, they and their allies have demonstrated at McDonald’s stores in Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C..

The McDonald’s student guestworkers have traveled the country to build support, and are seeking a high-level meeting with McDonald’s on their demands:

  1. That McDonald’s pay students back all the money they are owed, including the money they spent to come work for the company, unpaid overtime, and housing overcharges;
  2. That the McDonald’s franchisee offer dignified wages and full-time work to its U.S. McDonald’s workers, who are struggling with low wages and too few hours;
  3. That McDonald’s reveal all the guestworkers at its stores, sign an agreement guaranteeing their basic labor standards, including non-retaliation against workers who organize to stop abuse;
  4. That the U.S. State Department protect future J-1 students by barring labor supplier GeoVisions from the J-1 program.
  5. That the U.S. State Department agree to create a policy protecting guestworkers from retaliation and deportation if they report workplace abuse.

“Employer retaliation almost blocked these students from exposing labor abuse. McDonald’s needs to disavow that retaliation and meet with the students directly,” said Saket Soni, executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance.

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