McDonald’s France may multiply the announcements on its commitments in favor of the fight against discrimination and harassment, the facts have once again contradict the communication of the multinational. “At McDonald’s at Le Havre station, one of the employees who had denounced serious cases of sexual and moral harassment was dismissed”, deplores the McDroits collective, created in December 2019 and which fights against discrimination and harassment in the kingdom of Ronald. Dismissed for “serious misconduct”, Mathilde, 21, is therefore asked to leave the company without notice or compensation. She announced this Friday her decision to enter the industrial tribunal.
The case dates back to 2018, when the young woman informed her hierarchy of the actions of one of her colleagues, now a staff representative. “He would tell me ‘you have a nice little ass” when I was in the kitchen, asking questions about my sex life … “ Mathilde confides to AFP. In the process, other employees of the restaurant complain of similar acts and management punishes the author of the facts of eight days of layoff. However, “His behavior does not stop”, affirms Mathilde. The atmosphere is so deleterious that, on October 24, 2020, around fifteen restaurant employees – including Mathilde – went on strike. Management then opens the promise box and announces the opening of an internal investigation. They “Assured the employees that a fair, independent and impartial investigation would be carried out in this matter”, notes the McDroits collective. At the same time, management is committed “To set up a psychological unit, to remove from his mandate the elected representative of the personnel involved and to set up training courses on harassment and management”, continues the collective. But, “To date, none of these measures have been put in place”. Worse, during interviews conducted by management as part of its “Internal investigation”, “many employees have indicated that their testimonies have been systematically discredited”, adds the collective.
“Management monitors employees in their private conversations”
It is in this context that, on December 19, 2020, Mathilde received her letter of dismissal. The management criticizes him for his positions on social networks and ensures that the sanction is “Unrelated to the strike of October 24”. But the argument is not convincing. “It’s dramatic to see that it is the whistleblower who was fired and that McDonald’s is monitoring employees in their private conversations”, denounces Loïc Roldan, of the CGT commerce and services, in charge of fast food. The McDroits collective is categorical: “It is obviously a question of getting rid of an employee who makes too much noise. “ “What is happening in Le Havre is symptomatic of the McDo system. Employees denounce, management does not react. In the 80 testimonies that we have collected all over France, it is always the same pattern ”,testifies a member of the collective.
Far from being an isolated case, Mathilde’s story sadly echoes the complaint lodged in May 2020 before the OECD by an international coalition of unions for “systematic sexual harassment” in the restaurants of the fast-food brand. . Hundreds of cases are listed there, in Australia, Brazil, Chile, United Kingdom, United States and France. The US management refuses to take its responsibilities, arguing that 90% of McDonald’s in the world are – as in Le Havre – franchised.