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McDonald’s workers plan mass walkout over sexual harassment and assault allegations

McDonald’s workers are planning to stage a mass walkout over sexual harassment and assault allegations at the fast food giant.

Employees across at least 10 US cities including Chicago, Detroit, Houston, and Miami have joined forces to carry out the one-day strike Tuesday.

Fight for $15 and a Union, the group organizing the strike, says it is drawing attention to the fast food chain’s failures to protect staff facing harassment in the workplace and is calling for workers to unionize.

McDonald’s has been plagued by complaints over its handling of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations for years.

In September, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that teenage workers across 22 restaurants in Arizona, California and Nevada had been subjected to sexual harassment, including “constant groping”.

In one shocking incident, a registered sex offender working at a restaurant in Pittsburgh was accused of raping a 14-year-old colleague.

One worker at a Florida restaurant said little has changed over the years, despite repeated protests from workers.

“I’m going on strike because despite years of protests, McDonald’s still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe,” said Jamelia Fairley in a statement, obtained by Vice.

“No matter what McDonald’s says, not much has changed for workers like me.”

Ms Fairley has sued McDonald’s over alleged sexual harassment in the workplace.

McDonald’s new CEO Chris Kempczinski has vowed to clean up the company including announcing in April that two million worker would be put through workplace anti-harassment training.

Other changes include new staff surveys and channels for employees to report incidents.

More than 50 harassment complaints have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in recent years.

Meanwhile, former CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired in 2019 over a relationship with an employee. The relationship was consensual but the fast food giant said the top boss had exercised “poor judgement” and broken company policy.

The following year, McDonald’s claimed it had uncovered nude photos of women - including three other more junior employees - Easterbrook had sent from his corporate email account to personal email before his ousting.

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