Following numerous reports of sexual harassment and racism at McDonald’s stores in Brazil and intensive campaigning from the Sem Direitos Não é Legal Campaign, Brazil’s Senate Commission on Human Rights held a public hearing recently to discuss working conditions for young people in fast food chains. Ten current and former fast food workers and trade union representatives from across Brazil gave testimonies together with representatives from the fast food campaign in Chile. Despite being invited to take part in the hearing fast food employers declined to do so.
- As a result of the hearing, a report detailing the outrageous harassment fast food workers face every day will be sent to the Brazilian government for review
- For years, fast food workers have testified about their appalling working conditions with sexual harassment described as endemic in the sector
- Fast food workers from across the globe gathered in Geneva in June to take public action against these companies and to develop strategies to fight for better conditions in the workplace; these actions follow an OECD complaint filed against McDonald’s by the IUF, the IUF European regional organization EFFAT, North American IUF affiliate SEIU and Brazilian confederation UGT on the company’s failure to protect workers from sexual harassment
As Weliton Carlos, a former McDonald’s worker, stated, “It’s not making the burgers that exhausts you: it’s the racism and work pressure as well as the humiliation that results from the way we are treated.”