McDonald’s greed is forcing thousands of its workers to make an impossible choice: go to work sick or forgo your paycheck.
As an “essential employer” McDonald’s continues to profit through this crisis but forces its workers to show up with virtually no access to paid sick or family leave. McDonald's wants us to think that it can’t afford to offer ALL of its employees adequate paid sick leave. But the stats don’t lie.
The profit-hungry fast-food giant has an estimated enterprise value of 181 billion dollars. Offering paid sick leave to all its employees would be a drop in the bucket.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed just how dangerous this policy is. For every person who can’t stay home from work, McDonald's risks spreading the virus onto dozens of other workers and customers.
Right now, the fast-food giant is only offering paid sick leave to employees at its corporate-owned restaurants who are ordered to quarantine. That means the other 95% of frontline employees at franchised stores have no safety net if they get sick.
Black and Latinx communities are already some of the hardest hit by Covid-19. One of the main reasons for that is the number of Black and Latinx workers in essential industries like fast food. McDonald’s is no exception, so the fast-food giant could also help reduce racial injustice by giving proper sick leave to its workers.
McDonald's will say it can’t force franchises, who employ the vast majority of McDonald’s workers, to offer paid sick leave, but we know that's not true. Corporate executives already dictate minute details of its franchise operations, including what pickles to use!
So if we turn up the heat, we can force corporate executives to exert their authority for good and offer proper sick leave to all McDonald's frontline workers.
Together we have shown that when we come together to take on the biggest corporate giants, they have no choice but to listen. When we placed pressure on Uber at the beginning of this crisis, they quickly reacted by offering 14 days paid leave to workers diagnosed with Covid-19.
This is the biggest public health crisis of our time, and McDonald’s needs to act like it.