Among issues cited in 28 health and safety objections filed against fast-food giant are understaffing and pressure to work fast without proper security gear
McDonalds workers who have suffered severe burns in their workplace filed 28 health and safety objections against the company in 19 cities over the past two weeks, a labor group announced on Monday.
The objections, which were filed with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as state safety and health authorities, be argued that many of the traumata passed because of understaffing and the pressure to work fast. After such accidents passed, management often absence first-aid supplies to treat the traumata and instead often told the workers to treat their burns with condiments.
McDonalds said in a statement that it is committed to providing safe working conditions for employees in the 14,000 McDonalds Brand US restaurants and will be examined by the allegations. A McDonalds spokeswoman, Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, said: It is important to note that these complaints are part of a larger strategy orchestrated by activists targeting our brand and designed to generate media coverage.
The grievances were filed with the assistance of labor organizing group Fight for $15, which is pushing for a higher minimum wage and union representation for fast-food employees. On Monday, Fight for $15 also launched a petition asking the US Department of Labor to analyse health and safety hazards in the fast-food industry.
My directors maintained pushing me to work faster, and while trying to meet their demands I slipped on a wet floor, catching my arm on a hot grill, Brittney Berry said on a conference call on Monday. Berry has worked at McDonalds in Chicago since 2011; when she slipped, she suffered a severe burn on her forearm and nerve damage from the accident. The managers told me to set mustard on it, but I objective up having to get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
Afterward, Berry missed three weeks of work without pay.
Using flavorings to allay workplace burns is more than only a one-time instance at McDonalds. According to a survey by Hart Research Associate, 33% of fast-food workers who were burned at work were told by their director to employ seasonings such mustard, butter or ketchup instead of burn cream.
Martisse Campbell works at McDonalds in Philadelphia and is often tasked with emptying the grease trap at his store.
One of my coworkers and I have to empty the grease trap without protective gear, and since we were never given the proper equipment or train, we just dump the hot grease into a plastic pouch in a box of ice, said Campbell. Once, my coworker got badly burned, and our administrator told him: Set mayonnaise on it, youll be good.
Campbell too has burned his hand with boiling grease from a fryer. Both he and Berry say that accidents such as these are exactly why employees at McDonalds need union rights.
McDonalds closely monitors all aspects of its franchisees operations, but when it comes to health and safety, it appears the other way with a wink and a nod, alleges Kendall Fells, organizing director of Fight for $15. McDonalds has the power to protect its employees, but its merely not doing it, told Fells.
Copies of the complaints revealed that in each of the complaints, employees had requested inspections of their worksite. Findings of the investigations triggered by such complaints are usually released within six months.
The workers say that they want the fast-food giant to take responsibility for the hazards in its eateries, from the pressure to clean the fryer while the oil is hot and the absence of protective gear, to basics like greasy and wet floors and missing or empty first-aid kits.
Our first-aid kit is just an empty box, Campbell said on Monday.
Four in five fast-food employees have been burned on the job in the past year, according to a Heart Research survey of 1,426 adults is currently working on a variety of fast-food eateries. The survey was conducted online, on platforms such as Facebook, and those who participated was later eligible to win a gift card.
About 58% of the surveyed workers have been burned multiple times; reasons why such accidents occur include understaffing and the pressure to work faster than is safe, according to the workers surveyed.
On Tuesday, fast-food employees plan to hold protests at McDonalds stores to demand that the company take responsibility for these perils. The 19 cities where complaints have been filed include Kansas City, Missouri; New York City; New Orleans and Philadelphia.
About 90% of US McDonalds restaurants are independently owned and operated by franchisees, according to McDonalds. Workers filed objections at both corporate and franchised locatings reporting the same health and safety hazards.
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