Protests Begin in 30+ Countries to Target McDonald’s Labor Abuse – 6/6/13

Protests Begin in 30+ Countries to Target McDonald’s Labor Abuse

Student guestworker fight from U.S. becomes global campaign against labor abuse, for freedom of association

WHAT:  Global day of action in 30+ countries against McDonald’s labor abuse

WHO:  National Guestworker Alliance members, current and former McDonald’s workers, global unions, and community members

WHERE: McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., Belgium, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, Slovakia, Thailand, Uruguay, and more (see for details)

WHEN: Thursday, June 6, 2013



NEW YORK, NY—A Global Day of Action against McDonald’s labor abuse began on June 6 with protests in IndonesiaIndia, and Belgium – three of more than 30 countries holding actions over the course of the day.

Workers, international unions, and community members are demanding that McDonald’s take responsibility for ending the abuse of international contract workers at its restaurants, and guarantee all its workers the freedom to organize without threats or retaliation at all 34,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide.

The actions mark the three-month anniversary of a historic strike by McDonald’s student guestworkers in the U.S. against labor abuse.

Joining the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) in organizing the actions are members of national and global unions, students, and human rights organizations including IUF affiliates around the globe, Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) in Mexico, Ver.di in Germany, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) in India, and affiliates of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The March 2013 exposé of McDonald’s labor abuse against student guestworkers in the U.S. created an international media firestorm, from the Wall Street Journal to Argentina’s Misiones.

The students’ strike forced McDonald’s to cut ties with the franchisee where the students worked, but McDonald’s refused to meet with the students about ending labor abuse—even when they delivered 100,000 petitions to the CEO’s doorstep. They and their allies will demand that McDonald’s put an end abuse of international contract labor by signing an agreement with the guestworkers in its restaurants, and guarantee freedom of association for all its workers worldwide.

Cases of labor abuse at McDonald’s show the fast food giant’s failure to set even the most basic labor standards for any of the 1.8 million workers at its 34,000 restaurants around the world. McDonald’s sets standards for its franchise owners on trivial aspects of food presentation—while having no standards to protect the workers who generate $27.6 billion in annual revenue for the corporation.

“McDonald’s used a global labor supply chain to source cheap, exploitable workers from around the world and hold down wages and conditions for U.S. workers,” said Saket Soni, executive director of the NGA. “Now workers have built a global movement to challenge McDonald’s abuse and demand the right to organize against abuse.”



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