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22 Aug 2015

Anthony Boadle, Reuters

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

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“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…