McDonald’s Workers in Chicago Asking OSHA to Look into Pattern of Violence

By | May 22, 2019

Every 36 hours on average, American local news outlets deliver a new report on violence at a McDonald’s. A group of employees in Chicago say workers bear the brunt of such incidents, enough to constitute a pattern of regular on-the-job violence they want the company to address across the U.S.

In a complaint filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday, the workers at one location described being threatened with guns, attacked with hot coffee and having to dodge food thrown by a disturbed customer.

“Despite the frequent incidence of workplace violence, our employer has done nothing to implement safety measures to protect us,” the workers allege in the complaint, which names McDonald’s Corp. and franchisee Oscar Perretta.

The employees and other Chicago-area workers, who are working with the union-backed Fight for $15 campaign, are also sending a letter asking OSHA to open a “systemic” investigation into the corporation’s handling of workplace violence in its thousands of U.S. locations.

Their letter cites data from the National Employment Law Project, which counted 721 local media reports of violence at U.S. McDonald’s stores over the past three years, most of them involving guns.

Training Push

When asked about the letter, McDonald’s said it’s rolling out national training programs in its company-owned restaurants this year focused on workplace safety.

“We believe every person working in McDonald’s restaurants deserves to do so in a safe and respectful environment and, along with our franchisees, have invested in programs that promote safe environments for customers and crew members,” the company said in a statement. “This includes clear policies that strictly prohibit violence, threats of violence and other conduct that jeopardizes or harms the safety of employees and others in the workplace.”

Perretta didn’t respond to messages left at his company, Nornat.

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