McDonald's Employees Are Going On Strike. Here's Why

As a massive fast food brand, McDonald's is not unfamiliar with controversies, and one of the issues that it has recently been associated with is sexual harassment. According to CBS News, in February 2021, employees at the fast food chain spoke about facing harassment at work. Notably, an employee mentioned how lonely they felt. "It kind of made me feel isolated. I thought I was the only one this is happening to right now, you know what I'm saying? So, I just felt, like, completely alone," the employee explained.

Meanwhile, a senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union said that this wasn't an isolated incident, and hundreds of fast food workers at McDonald's had experienced sexual harassment in some form. The attorney stated, "It is hard to believe that, in this day and age, that it's still happening this egregiously, this out in the open." In an earlier survey, many women said that they experienced dire consequences if they chose to speak about being sexually harassed at work. This issue isn't restricted to a specific gender, either. A Redditor mentioned that their brother was groped at work as a McDonald's employee. When he complained about it, he was simply told, "Well, man, sometimes you just gotta work with people you don't get along with!" After that incident, he allegedly chose to leave the job. 

Sadly, sexual harassment continues to be a problem at McDonald's, and, according to Eat This, Not That!, employees have now decided to protest against the issue.

McDonald's is being questioned for its approach

Scores of employees at McDonald's have decided to go on strike. According to Eat This, Not That!, staff members in at least 10 cities will skip their shifts on October 26. McDonald's workers from major locations such as Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Houston are going on a strike to hold the company accountable for not dealing with allegations of sexual assault at their outlets. 

Last month, a manager at a McDonald's outlet in Pittsburgh was accused of rape. In addition, the manager was recognized as a sex offender by law when hired (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The company only fired the accused after they were taken into custody by the police. A fast food worker from Florida, Jamelia Fairley, said, "I'm going on strike because despite years of protests, McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe" (via The Hill). According to the "Fight for $15" Facebook group, employees want McDonald's to quit wasting time and pay attention to their workers "when it comes to fixing rampant sexual harassment in their stores."

McDonald's reached out to Mashed with a statement on the ongoing situation: "Every single person working at a McDonald's restaurant deserves to feel safe and respected when they come to work, and sexual harassment and assault have no place in any McDonald's restaurant. We know more work is needed to further our workplace ambitions, which is why all 40,000 McDonald's restaurants will be assessed and accountable to Global Brand Standards. These Global Brand Standards prioritize action in multiple areas, including prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and ensure everyone understands and acts under a common set of McDonald's expectations for a safe and respectful workplace in both our company-owned and franchised restaurants."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).