A union representing fast food workers has accused McDonald’s of a serious culture of sexual harassment.
The Australian Retail and Fast Food Workers Unions claims young employees experience harassment and abuse.
Union says harassment and abuse common at McDonald’s
As a result of the reports, RFFW Union secretary Josh Cullinan says it is documenting cases of sexual harassment and assaults in Australia.
For example, employees allege they are grabbed and harassed at drive-through windows or while serving at counters.
Furthermore, they say management is aware of the issues however they don’t take them seriously.
The union says 80 percent of McDonald’s workers are under 21-years of age, and half under 18-years of age.
As a result, the union wants the company to require all managers to have working with children’s checks.
Cullinan told SBS News:
“Those kinds of behaviours of direct sexual harassment of children and other adults are just common at McDonald’s.
“Everyone at McDonald’s will have a story to tell and these are always raised with management.”
Additionally, Cullinan says McDonald’s has refused to introduce drive-through cameras to capture license plate numbers of customers who harass staff.
Company says it takes accusations seriously
However, McDonald’s Australia says it takes accusations of harassment and abuse seriously.
A spokesperson said in statement:
“The health and safety of our people is our priority and we take any incidents or accusations of harassment in the workplace extremely seriously.
“We have robust policies in place to guide, protect and assist our people.
“All McDonald’s restaurants have CCTV installed, operating and capturing footage in our drive-throughs and throughout our restaurants in the best interests of the safety of our people and our customers.”
Despite this, the RFFW union is considering joining an international complaint against McDonald’s.
A group of labour unions lodged the complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the Netherlands.
Sue Longley, general secretary of the International Union of Foodworkers, said in a statement:
“McDonald’s workers have sounded the alarm about sexual harassment and gender-based violence for years, but a company with a culture rotten from the top has failed to take meaningful action to address the problem.”
It is the first time the OECD has received a complaint aimed at tackling systematic sexual harassment at a multinational company.
The document outlines witness testimony of specific incidents.
For example, attempted rape, indecent exposure, groping, and sexual offers.
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