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22 Aug 2015

Bruce Douglas, The Guardian (UK)

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

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“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.”…