European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

McDonald’s Workers to Call on MEPs to Take Action over Poor Working Conditions

29/11/2016

Workers to appear before Parliament committee to testify about zero-hours contracts, abuse of part-time hiring and deliberate obstruction of workers’ rights to choose representatives

Brussels, 29 November 2016 - Today, McDonald’s workers will appear before the European Parliament’s Petition Committee to discuss three petitions filed in January this year.

The petitioners from UK union BFAWU (Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union) focused on the zerohours contracts that demand constant availability but offer no guarantee of work, and make it harder for workers to qualify for student loans, mortgages and even phone contracts.

Their colleagues from Belgian union FGTB-ABVV Horval (Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique - Horeca-Voeding-Alimentation) called for an end to McDonald’s exploitation of loopholes for parttime hiring that allow the company to dodge complaints about working conditions and keep workers in precarious jobs.

Finally, petitioners from the Trade and Services Federation of the French union CGT (Fédération du Commerce et des Services de la CGT) decried deliberate obstruction of their right to choose trade union representatives and form works councils, due to the fragmented nature of the workforce between franchise and corporate stores.

Harald Wiedenhofer, EFFAT General Secretary said: “EFFAT calls upon MEPs to support the petitions and to take all measures they can to put an end to McDonald’s employment practices. Workers need decent jobs and fair working conditions, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said: “The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees “fair and just working conditions.” The petitioners have made compelling cases that McDonald’s has no respect for this. The onus is now on the European Commission to respond to the petitioners’ concerns.” Jutta Steinruck MEP said: “McDonald’s has a long list of charges against it, from tax avoidance to anti-competitive behaviour. Now we see concrete details of how the company has imposed unfair working conditions on its workers, causing precariousness while at the same time depriving them of the right to organise and fight back.”

Scott Courtney, Executive Vice President of SEIU said: "For years now, McDonald's has stashed billions in tax havens, ducked contributing to state coffers while simultaneously imposing poverty wages and unacceptable conditions on its workers. The company has a record of mistreating workers virtually everywhere it operates, and it’s high time that the company be held accountable."

About EFFAT: EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 2.6 million members towards the European Institutions, European employers' associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF. For more information please go to: www.effat.org

About SEIU: The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages, benefits and create better communities, while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.

Contact Jack Keevill +32 2 282 96 24

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.