Workers’ Strike over Sexual Harassment in McDonald’s
McDonald’s employees went on a one day strike on 18th September 2018 to protest against sexual harassment in the company’s franchise stores in 10 cities in the US. The employees had resorted to strike in protest against sexual harassment after their attempts to try other avenues to address the concern hit a snag. For many years, McDonald’s employees, especially minority groups in the low-wage category have been experiencing sexual harassment both from fellow employees in higher hierarchies such as managers and some customers (NBC News, 2019).They have tried to report the issues to their immediate managers but they have not been sufficiently successful. Whenever employees report such issues to their managers, they are sometimes dismissed or told to report to the next superior manager. This tendency discourages employees from reporting future cases of sexual harassment since they think that no action would be taken against the perpetrators, which is mostly the case.
The employees’ plight was exposed only after they reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is estimated that approximately 90% of all female and 70% of male employees have experienced sexual harassment in the company’s franchise stores (Forbes.com, 2019) These big figures indicate that the policies set against sexual harassment at McDonald’s have not been appropriately reinforced. McDonald’s did not take action against those who perpetrated sexual harassment. However, it hired experts from a law firm and an anti-sexual harassment firm to reinforce its sexual harassment policies.
Timeline of the sexual harassment strike by McDonald’s employees
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Strike Ordeal to Employees and Employer
|The difficulty of sexual harassment at McDonald was highlighted to the whole world. As such, the perpetrators of sexual harassment will be afraid to continue harassing employees.||Some employees who took part in the strike, especially those who were highly vocal on the issue of sexual harassment can be sacked by the franchises since a significant number of the perpetrators of sexual harassment were managers.|
|After the case of sexual harassment was highlighted in the media through the strike, managers are more likely to take action against perpetrators in case employees make similar reports in the future (Vox, 2019)||Strike is a boycott of duty, so employees who went on strike can be viewed as not representing the best interest of the company, which can result to their demotion or the striking employees may not receive the money for the time that they were on strike (Marx, Singh and Fleming 2015).|
|The company and its franchises will be on the spotlight on issues regarding sexual harassment, which will make managers more committed to addressing the issue|
|Victims of sexual harassment are likely to get justice since the organization that highlighted their plight (EEOC) can help them press charges against the aggressors.|
|The strike compelled the company to contract a law-training firm and an organization against sexual harassment to reinforce anti-sexual harassment policies, which will significantly reduce future cases of sexual harassment in the organization.|
|The company contracted two firms to reinforce its policies on employee welfare on matters of sexual harassment, which will improve employee motivation.||Negative publicity that shows the employer does not put enough emphasis on its policies to safeguard employees against sexual harassment (Equalityhumanrights.com, 2019)|
|The strike made the company to have the real idea concerning the competence and laxity, at which its managers in its franchises enforce core organizational policies meant to safeguard employee welfare (Forbes.com, 2019)It thus can take appropriate action on the culprit managers who did not take any action against the perpetrators.||Loss of confidence among loyal consumers, especially those who value human rights, which can reduce the company’s revenues due to boycotts by such consumers.|
Forbes.com. (2019). McDonald’s Workers Are Striking Over Sexual Harassment, But Will The Company Act?. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2018/09/17/mcdonalds-workers-strike-over-sexual-harassment-but-will-mcdonalds-act / [Accessed 12 Feb. 2019].
Marx, M., Singh, J., & Fleming, L. (2015). Regional disadvantage? Employee non-compete agreements and brain drain. Research Policy.
NBC News. (2019). McDonald’s workers go on strike over sexual harassment. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mcdonald-s-workers-go-strike-over-sexual-harassment-n910656 [Accessed 12 Feb. 2019].
Vox. (2019). Women who work at McDonald’s plan walkout Tuesday over sexual harassment. [online] Available at: https://www.vox.com/2018/9/13/17855198/mcdonalds-strike-me-too [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].
Before June 2018
Rampant cases of sexual harassment in McDonald’s franchises
Employees report sexual harassment but the management takes no action against agressors
June 15th 2018
Employees announce that they would go on strike from 18th September 2018
Employees seek help from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over issues of sexual harassment
EEOC help to make the issue of sexual harassment at McDonalds
Employees union in McDonald’s plan to go on strike
Employees agree to go on strike over sexual harassment
September 18th 2018
Employees go on strike over sexual harassment
September 19th 2018
McDonald’s management contracts a law-training firm and an anti sexual harassment firm to reinforce its policies against sexual harassment
Employees end their strike