An Australian workers’ union that represents 250,000 employees is suing McDonald’s, claiming they were refused paid rest breaks.
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) spent two years conducting an investigation and now is targeting McDonald’s and 323 of its operators, claiming roughly 1,000 McDonald’s franchises ignored in a “systematic and deliberate” manner the mandatory 10 minute break for working four or more hours in a row. The union is seeking damages of $250 million.
“I felt that our health and safety at work was being ignored,” a former McDonald’s shift supervisor stated. “When a few workers spoke up about this, they were essentially told by management, ‘It is what it is.’”
The lawsuit also alleges that the parent company “aided and abetted” the franchisees.
McDonald’s Australia told 7NEWS.com.au it will counter the suit.
Although SDA secretary Gerard Dwyer declared, “The SDA has sought to fix this issue with McDonald’s and they’ve refused to resolve it, let alone admit any wrongdoing,” a McDonald’s spokesman countered:
Those arrangements have been known to the SDA for many years. The manner of taking breaks has not been challenged or raised by the SDA as a matter of concern throughout successive enterprise bargaining processes for new industrial agreements. We value our employees highly and the great contribution they make to the success of the business.
Despite inflation, McDonald’s has remained resilient; its global comps advanced 9.7% in the second quarter of 2022, its sixth consecutive quarter of comps growth, Nasdaq.com reported, adding, “In the past year, shares of McDonald’s have gained 9.6% against the industry’s fall of 13.2%.”
Last November, McDonald’s tested its meat-free McPlant burger in eight restaurants across the U.S. In mid-February, it tested it in 600 more locations.
According to industry analysts, consumers weren’t interested in the meat-free burger. BTIG analyst Peter Saleh said franchisees informed him McPlant sales did not meet higher expectations. He was echoed by J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman, CNBC reported.