McDonald’s has been in the news this year in the US as workers have mobilized to demand a livable wage, just one area (alongside health issues) where the company faces criticism. But McDonald’s is not just the target of critiques in the US.
Yesterday, McDonald’s was called before the Brazilian Senate’s Human Rights Committee over labor abuses, tax evasion, and “unfair competition.” Regarding labor violations, around 2000 McDonald’s workers in Brazil protested this week, saying workers are paid less than the minimum wage, not paid for overtime, not given raises with experience and promotions, and not given legally-ordained breaks. Additionally, the workers said the company hires minors to work in the least-sanitary and -appealing jobs. Workers have been meeting with politicians, and the result was yesterday’s meeting before the commission. While the outcome remains to be seen, the company could face up to a $342 million fine. It demonstrates just one more way that McDonald’s practices, unquestioned or unchallenged in the past, are now finally facing real pushback not just in the US, but globally.