McDonalds Sexual Harassment Agreement with the EHRC

We have been aware of McDonald’s poor record on Sexual Harassment and their use of NDA’s to hide a problem which we believe is rife in the company.

In July 2019 we worked with the Independent to produce this news piece:

More than 1,000 reports of sexual abuse and harassment at UK McDonald’s, campaigners say | The Independent | The Independent

It is our understanding that the Equality and Human rights commission and McDonald’s are about to release a statement regarding an agreement. Although we do not fully understand the content of this agreement at this stage. We welcome the EHRCs intervention.

However, we would encourage caution in celebrating such an agreement.

Sarah Woolley General Secretary of the BFAWU says:

“McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski says “Sexual harassment in the workplace is an affront to

everything we stand for” But Sexual harassment is caused by the very structures within McDonald’s.

This is not a few bad apples this is caused by a system of zero hours contracts, when crew members must depend on the good will of managers to be allocated hours, when low pay is endemic and working women are expected to live pay cheque to pay cheque, when there’s a culture of cover up with the use of NDAs and when McDonald’s continue to victimise members of trade unions when unions form anywhere in McDonald’s.When all that continues to happen I’m afraid Sexual harassment will continue to be an issue in McDonalds.”

Ian Hodson National President of the BFAWU says:

“It’s shameful that one of the richest corporations on the planet doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously until we raise it. How can a company of its size, power and resources not understand it has a sexual harassment problem?

I pay tribute to all our members who have spoken out on this issue and encourage McDonalds to work with us in ending sexual harassment. The question I would like to ask McDonald’s is when our organisation was the catalyst for this agreement. Why are they so hostile to recognising our trade union to represent its members formally, only a process involving survivors and workers will suffice otherwise this agreement is doomed to be obsolete and will do nothing more than  whitewashing the brand”

A McDonald’s Worker says:

“My store has had a number of problems with managers being inappropriate, often the victim was too scared to raise the issue, as they would be reporting it to someone who is friends with the manager, we need a trade union we can trust to report these issues to. McDonald’s needs to thank our union for raising these issues and recognise it as important part of ending sexual harassment at work”.

Christine a survivor says:

“McDonald’s needs to understand it’s not ok, this is a big problem. If like me, you’re a survivor in McDonald’s stand up speak out now, think of those young women working there”.

Martin Mayer, Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council says:

“Zero hours contracts means low paid workers dare not complain about sexual harassment or bullying or they won’t be allocated work next week. In our research for our Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise project 80% of young women on zero hours who were interviewed said they had been sexually harassed at work by the boss. Nearly all of them said they hadn’t dare complain. We demand an end to zero hours contracts immediately. McDonalds is an industry leader in fast food and should be setting a high standard. Instead, it has been found wanting and too many other companies are following their example”

If you have experienced or witnesses inappropriate sexual behaviour at McDonalds, tell us about it here

The BFAWU (Bakers Food & Allied workers union) is Britain’s only independent union for food service worker.