McDonald’s Workers Demand Greater Safety and Economic Protection as COVID-19 Pandemic Intensifies

Covid19 virus

En español

The Governors of nearly every state and D.C. have declared the 3.8 million workers preparing food in restaurants like McDonald’s to be essential employees in this crisis. Every day, one in five food dollars are spent on meals prepared by fast-food workers like us.

McDonald’s, as the most profitable restaurant chain in the world, has lagged behind much smaller competitors, and leading companies in other sectors, by failing to adequately provide for the safety and economic security of employees providing food to communities across the country. Dozens of McDonald’s workers in 14 states have contracted the virus and in a recent survey 22 percent of McDonald’s workers report they have gone to work feeling sick during the COVID-19 pandemic because of a lack of paid sick leave, fear of management retaliation for missing shifts or because they simply cannot afford to miss a paycheck.

McDonald’s slow, inadequate and irresponsible response in this crisis has placed us, our families and customers at risk. It’s well past time that McDonald’s use its vast resources to be a leader on behalf of us— the workers who contribute so much to the corporation’s brand, reputation, and profits.

We demand McDonald’s adopt a comprehensive plan to protect customers and all workers at franchised and corporate-operated stores who wear the McDonald’s uniform and are the essential contributors to its billion dollar revenue and profits:

  • McDonald’s must adhere to the strictest safety standards based on the best available scientific evidence including the maintenance of social distancing, by ending lobby service in all stores and closing bathroom access to non-crew members, and supplying all Crew Members with critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks and essential cleaning supplies. If individual stores are unable to meet these essential safety standards, they should be closed.
  • McDonald’s must provide PAID sick leave to all workers who wear the McDonald’s uniform—in both corporate and franchised stores— in the event that they or their immediate family members show symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection. Sick leave must be provided to all workers beyond the pandemic as well.
  • McDonald’s must cover the cost of Covid-19 testing and treatment for all affected crew members. When McDonald’s crew members are diagnosed COVID-19 positive, McDonald’s must:

    1. Immediately close all store locations where the Crew Member(s) worked in the previous two weeks, whether or not they exhibited symptoms at work.
    2. Notify within 24 hours all crew members and the public at locations where COVID-19 positive crew members worked in the previous two weeks. Workers should be placed in quarantine and provided with two-weeks of quarantine pay.
    3. Conduct a deep clean of all locations where COVID-19 employees worked in accordance with health department guidelines to ensure that returning workers and customers are safe.
  • The Fight for $15 and a Union has long called for a $15/hour minimum wage for all workers. In this time, McDonald’s must provide Covid-19 Essential Worker Pay of at least double $15/hour for crew members who continue to serve the public during this pandemic.
  • McDonald’s must halt dividend payments for the remainder of 2020 to free resources needed to provide full protection from the COVID virus for every corporate and franchise worker wearing a McDonald’s uniform. Each and every one of us contributes to the McDonald’s Corporation’s bottom line and are in harm’s way. Our safety and economic security should come before extra dollars are put in shareholders’ pockets.