McDonald’s workers in ten cities across the USA went on strike to demand better protection against sexual harassment.
“The walkout is believed to be the first U.S. strike to confront sexual harassment in more than 100 years,” said wage advocacy group Fight for $15, which is coordinating the strike. The strikes are the culmination of months of back-and-forth accusations and denials between the fast food giant and the advocacy group.
McDonald’s workers have accused the company of ignoring complaints of sexual harassment, including unwanted advances from managers, requests for sex in bathrooms and harassment through graphic language. In response, McDonald’s has claimed that it has “strong policies, procedures and training in place specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment.”
“To ensure we are doing all that can be done, we have engaged experts in the areas of prevention and response, including RAINN, to evolve our policies so everyone who works at McDonald’s does so in a secure environment every day.”
Fight for $15 said that this didn’t go far enough, as was calling on McDonald’s to form a committee to address the issues. Workers were also not convinced.
“It’s sad that we have to walk off the job in order to be treated with respect at McDonald’s, but we’re not going to stay quiet while the company ignores the harassment we’re facing,” said one worker in a statement. “McDonald’s has a responsibility to provide a safe place to work, and we’re going to keep speaking out until the company hears our calls for change.”