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Brazil: McDonald's Brazil is under global scrutiny at senate's human rights hearing for alleged labour, health & safety abuses; includes company statement

Brazil protest against Mcdonald's_credit_Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom_Agencia Brasil_http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/en/educacao/noticia/2015-08/mcdonalds-be-testified-against-senate-hearingMcDonald's Brazil is under global scrutiny. On 20 August 2015, workers, trade unionists and politicians from across the globe testified at the Human Rights Committee of the Brazilian Senate.  They alleged the company has abused labour, health, safety and freedom of association rights. It includes company statement.

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Article
22 August 2015

Brazil: Mcdonald’s faces accusations of labour, health, safety and freedom of association abuses; includes company comments

Author: Anthony Boadle, Reuters

“McDonald's grilled over labor, tax practices at Brazil hearing”, 20 August 2015

McDonald's…was accused of mistreating its employees and dodging taxes on Thursday during a Senate hearing in Brazil, where politicians, union leaders and workers from five continents voiced allegations. McDonald's has come under increasing scrutiny worldwide for allegations of labor abuses, health and safety violations, plus tax evasion in Europe, and Brazilian Senator Pablo Paim called a hearing to allow both sides to make their cases...Arcos Dorados..., the world's largest McDonald's franchisee and its main operator in Latin America,…was invited to attend the hearing but chose not to…"We are absolutely convinced that the company has complied with labor laws ever since it opened its first restaurant in Brazil 36 years ago," Arcos Dorados said…Union representatives told the hearing that McDonald's franchisees in Brazil have denied workers’ pay for extra time worked, not allowed them to join unions and employed teenagers in their kitchens without protective gear, causing some to suffer burns from frying grease and grills…Witnesses at the hearing called on Brazil's Congress to open an investigation into the labor practices of the fast food industry…The call for an inquiry was backed by 19-year-old Lucas da Cruz Marques, who worked for 18 months at a McDonald's at a Sao Paulo metro station until he was fired last month after joining a union to press for better working conditions…

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Article
22 August 2015

Brazil: Mcdonald’s faces accusations of poor labour conditions; includes company comments

Author: Bruce Douglas, The Guardian (UK)

“McDonald's faces global scrutiny at Brazilian senate's human rights hearing-Workers, trade unionists and politicians from five continents testify to Brazilian senate over allegations of tax evasion and unfair competition”, 20 August 2015

The McDonald’s business model came under unprecedented global scrutiny in a hearing of the Brazilian senate’s human rights committee...[on 20 August 2015]…Workers, trade unionists and politicians from five continents testified in Brasília, over low pay and poor working conditions at the fast-food giant. McDonald’s is currently battling lawsuits in the US and Latin America, as well as a European Commission investigation…The senate hearing marked the culmination of a week of action that began last Friday, when Brazil’s General Workers’ Union filed a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office calling for a civil inquiry into allegations of tax evasion, unfair competition and the violation of franchise laws by McDonald’s and its Latin American franchisee, Arcos Dourados…On Monday, McDonald’s workers held talks with three Brazilian government ministers over work practices in the fast-food industry. The following day, protesters succeeded in blocking part of Avenida Paulista...The company has been under pressure in Brazil since February, when the country’s three largest trade unions filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s and Arcos Dourados,accusing it of “social dumping” – widespread and systematic labour abuses…Leonardo Mendoça, a prosecutor from Brazil’s labour ministry, announced the formation of a new taskforce to investigate McDonald’s working practices…“McDonald’s is one of the biggest employers in Brazil, but it also has one of the worst records on workers rights,” Moacyr Roberto Tesch Auersvald, from the Nova Central trade union, said…Arcos Dourados said that its more than 40,000 employees were represented by more than 80 trade unions and that it complied with all Brazilian labour laws…Paulo Paim, the senator from the ruling Workers party (PT) who organised the hearing, said …“Trade unions in Brazil took it upon themselves to bring their concerns to the human rights committee,” he said. “This gave other countries the same idea, but perhaps they do not have this same route [of a senate hearing] available to them.”

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Article
22 August 2015

Brazil: Trade unions sue Mcdonald`s again for alleged labour, health & safety abuses; includes company comments

Author: Asher Levine, Reuters

“Brazilian unions file 2nd lawsuit against McDonald's operator”, 18 March 2015

Brazilian unions on Wednesday filed another lawsuit against the largest operator of McDonald's restaurants in Latin America, alleging that the firm violates the country's labor laws. The suit against Arcos Dourados Comércio de Alimentos…came just days after McDonald's Corp workers from 19 U.S. cities filed state and federal complaints over working conditions. It also followed a similar filing made by Brazilian unions in late February. Wednesday's lawsuit aims to "guarantee health and safety in the workplace," according to a joint statement from the unions, which are backed by CUT and UTG…The unions demand that Arcos Dourados establish specific job functions for each employee and hire more workers under that model while paying compensation for any moral and punitive damages caused to current and former employees...An Arcos Dorados spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the company had not yet been officially informed of the lawsuit."Still, the company continues to reaffirm, with conviction, that it complies with all labor laws, respects the rights of all its workers, and maintains labor practices that have been recognized by the market," the statement said.

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Article
22 August 2015

Brazil: Trade unions sue Mcdonald`s for alleged widespread and systematic labour abuses; includes company comments

Author: Bruce Douglas, The Guardian (UK)

“McDonald’s discrimination lawsuit seeks to stop chain expanding in Brazil-

Major lawsuit brought by nine labour organisations alleges that McDonald’s and its franchisee have engaged in systematic violations over three decades”, 25 February 2015

A major lawsuit filed against McDonald’s in Brazil is seeking to stop the fast food chain from opening any further stores in the country until it amends its working practices. Nine labour organisations, including Brazil’s three largest trade unions, allege that McDonald’s and its franchisee, Arcos Dourados (Golden Arches), have engaged in “social dumping” – their term for widespread and systematic labour violations over the past three decades.Among the claims in the suit, filed at an industrial tribunal in Brasília, Arcos Dourados stands accused of paying less than the minimum wage, employing underage staff and failing to pay overtime. It also alleges staff were exposed to unsanitary working conditions and obliged to work variable shift patterns,… prohibited by…labour laws. “McDonald’s turns a blind eye to Brazilian laws to ensure greater business profit, gaining an unfair advantage for itself over companies that respect the rule of the law,” Moacyr Roberto Tesch Auersvald, president of Contratuh, a tourism and hospitality workers’ union, said…The plaintiffs are also seeking workers’ compensation…McDonald’s said that it has not been officially notified of the lawsuit: “…the company…working practices fulfil all rules and legislations in the areas in which it operates. All of the company’s employees are registered in accordance with legislation and receive remuneration and benefits in line with the collective agreements signed with the country’s respective unions.”…

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