McDonald’s ordered to close franchises due to abuse allegations

Berita, Bisnis185 Dilihat

The chair of the Business and Trade Committee has advocated for McDonald’s to end franchise agreements if branches are found to be “non-compliant with labor laws.”

MP Darren Jones described the claims of sexual assault, harassment, racism, and bullying by current and former UK staff from the fast-food chain as “some of the most appalling” he has encountered.

According to a BBC investigation, workers, some as young as 17, have reported experiencing routine groping and harassment. McDonald’s has issued a “deep apology” in response.

Acknowledging its shortcomings, the fast-food giant admitted that it had “fallen short.” The BBC initiated an investigation into working conditions at McDonald’s in February, prompted by the company’s legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to safeguard staff from sexual harassment.

Initially, McDonald’s claimed to have a “strong track record in this area,” but the investigation presented a contrasting reality. Over the past five months, it uncovered more than 100 allegations from McDonald’s workers concerning sexual assault, harassment, racism, and homophobia.

The allegations are “deeply concerning,” stated a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The majority of workers are not employed directly by the company, as McDonald’s operates using a franchise system. This means that individual operators are licensed to manage the outlets and hire their own staff.

As one of the UK’s largest private-sector employers, McDonald’s employs over 170,000 individuals across its 1,450 restaurants.

Labour MP Mr. Jones emphasized on the BBC’s Today programme that the fast food chain needs to address inquiries concerning compliance with employment laws in its franchises. He also raised concerns about whether such policies are incorporated into its contracts with local restaurants.

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He expressed confidence that they carry out evaluations on the quality of their burgers, adherence to marketing standards, and customer satisfaction with their milkshakes.

“However, are they also engaging with the staff and ensuring they are treated fairly and in accordance with the law? It appears that they might not be,” he remarked.

According to a McDonald’s spokesperson, the franchisees are obligated to sign an agreement, which includes a provision requiring them to comply with UK law.

He mentioned that their franchise agreement contains termination provisions in the event of non-compliance with these standards.

According to the statement, “Within our standards, we have dedicated People Brand Standards, ensuring that restaurants operate in full compliance with UK law, promoting a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace. Regular training and monitoring on preventing harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence are integral to this approach.”

Multiple workers disclosed to the BBC that McDonald’s managers at various outlets across the UK were accountable for the harassment and assaults.

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