More than a hundred employees of McDonald’s in the United Kingdom say they have been victims of assault, sexual harassment or racism within the American fast food chain, according to revelations made on Tuesday July 18 by the BBC. This case adds to a wave of revelations about toxic sexual assault and behavior in the British working world a few years after the start of the #metoo movement. “Employees sometimes as young as 17 years old are touched without consent and are harassed almost daily”writes the BBC according to testimonies collected.
The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission has said ” worry ” of these accusations and is operating a confidential email alert channel for the benefit of those affected, according to a press release. McDonald’s, which has 177,000 employees in the UK, the majority of whom are very young or even teenagers, had already faced charges four years ago when the Bakery and Food Workers’ Union reported that more than a thousand female employees claimed to be victims of sexual harassment and abuse.
” Fear in the belly “
“McDonald’s has made legally binding commitments with us that we will monitor, including communicating its zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and conducting anonymous surveys of its employees about their workplace safety”underlines the commission.
Ex-employee Shelby, who was just 16 when she started working at McDonald’s last year, told the BBC she was constantly touched inappropriately and unwanted by older male employees in kitchen, one of them grabbing her from behind and pressing against him, among other incidents. She complained to management but nothing was done and she ended up quitting, describing in her leaving letter a “toxic work environment”. “Why do we have to go to work with fear in our stomachs? »asks Shelby in an interview with the BBC.
Contacted by the BBC, McDonald’s UK and Ireland managing director Alistair Macrow issued the group’s apologies for “clear shortcomings” in the protection of employees at work.