McDonald’s Workers In The UK Speak Out Over Sexual Abuse Claims

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UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – More than 100 current and former employees of McDonald’s outlets in the UK have come forward, alleging a toxic culture rampant with assault, harassment, racism, and bullying.

Disturbingly, these workers, some as young as 17, have reported being subjected to routine groping and harassment.

The UK equality watchdog has expressed its concern regarding the findings revealed by the BBC and has announced the launch of a new email hotline to address these issues.

McDonald’s has acknowledged its failure to provide a safe and inclusive environment and sincerely apologizes for its shortcomings. The company further emphasized that every employee deserves to work in a workplace that is secure, and respectful, and promotes inclusivity.

Working Conditions At Mcdonalds Being Investigated

According to a recent investigation conducted in February, it was discovered that McDonald’s, despite having entered into a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to safeguard its employees from harassment, failed to live up to its claims of maintaining favorable working conditions.

Initially, McDonald’s vehemently asserted that they had a commendable track record in this regard. However, our investigation has unearthed a starkly contrasting reality. Over a span of five months, we extensively interviewed McDonald’s workers to gain insights into their experiences within the organization.

Shockingly, out of the numerous employees we spoke to, more than 100 individuals came forward with allegations, with 31 of them pertaining to physical assault and 78 concerning various forms of harassment.

Furthermore, we were disheartened to learn that 18 individuals reported instances of racism, while six brave individuals shared their experiences of facing homophobia. It is evident that McDonald’s has fallen short of its commitment to providing a safe and inclusive work environment for its employees. This revelation raises serious concerns about the company’s ability to effectively address and prevent such issues.

Claims Of Getting Sexually Harrassed By Various Staff Members At Mcdonalds 

A 17-year-old employee in Cheshire recently reported an incident involving a colleague who is 20 years older than her. The colleague allegedly used a racial slur towards her and made inappropriate advances, expressing a desire to engage in a black-and-white relationship.

In another distressing incident, a former worker, who was only 17 at the time, experienced physical assault from a senior manager at a Plymouth restaurant. The manager choked her and groped her bottom. Additionally, a shift manager sent her explicit images, further exacerbating the situation.

Similarly, a manager in Hampshire suggested that a 16-year-old male employee engage in sexual acts in exchange for vapes, displaying a complete disregard for professional boundaries.

In a Cheshire restaurant, a manager targeted 16-year-old female newcomers, attempting to coerce them into engaging in inappropriate activities.

At an Aberdeen branch, a woman endured racial slurs and racist jokes, creating a hostile work environment.

Another current employee in Essex faced antisemitic abuse, which is completely unacceptable and goes against the principles of respect and inclusivity. Similarly, a current worker in Oxfordshire, originally from India, was subjected to mockery as crew members imitated her by speaking in gibberish. They also referred to a Pakistani colleague as a terrorist, displaying a complete lack of sensitivity and respect.

In a branch in Wales, male managers and crew members engaged in inappropriate behavior, making jokes about betting money on who could sleep with a new recruit first. Such behavior is highly unprofessional and creates a toxic work environment.

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Managers At Mcdonalds Turning A Blind Eye

Several workers have reported that, instead of being terminated, managers who received complaints were simply transferred to another McDonald’s restaurant within the franchise. This practice has left employees feeling frustrated and unheard.

In addition, some employees have chosen not to voice their concerns due to the fear of losing their jobs. Many young staff members at McDonald’s are employed on zero-hours contracts, which offer flexibility in terms of working hours but also make them vulnerable to the whims of shift managers who control their schedules.

Furthermore, staff members have shared with the BBC instances of inappropriate relationships between managers and their subordinates, a clear violation of company policy. Young women, in particular, have expressed feeling constantly scrutinized and judged based on their appearance. 

One current worker shared her experience of being objectified by her male colleagues when she first joined her branch in Nottingham. Other female employees have disclosed that they were coerced by managers into wearing uniforms that were ill-fitting and uncomfortable.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.