As the #MeToo movement gathers momentum, workers at McDonald’s deployed a potent tool from the labor movement to combat sexual harassment: a strike. Targeting not just individual harassers but the corporate system that enables and shields them, McDonald’s employees walked out of their restaurants on Sept. 18 in 10 cities across the United States.
“Today, fast-food workers just like me are breaking the silence, we’re taking the historic step and we’re going on strike to tell McDonald’s no more sexual harassment,” McDonald’s worker Adriana Alvarez said at a protest in Chicago.
The McDonald’s employees shared stories of persistent harassment — innuendo, propositions and outright groping — met with managerial indifference or complicity. Several women said they had kept silent about the harassment they’d experienced because complaints often resulted in termination or even more abuse.
The striking workers released a statement through Equal Rights Advocates, a group that is providing legal support to the strike, demanding that McDonald’s form a committee — made up of workers, representatives from corporate and franchise stores and leaders of national women’s groups — to address sexual harassment.
NBC, Sept. 18
Forbes, Sept. 18