An international coalition of unions announced that they had filed a complaint with the OECD on Monday against the McDonald's group, accused of having failed to combat " systematic sexual harassment " in its restaurants in several countries of the world.
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The complaint was sent to a Dutch center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, responsible for its supervision, according to a statement. Also targeted are two investment banks, the Dutch APG Asset Management and the Norwegian Norges Bank, which hold shares in the capital of the global restaurant giant to the tune of $ 1.7 billion, according to the unions.
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According to the coalition, this is the first complaint for “ widespread sexual harassment in a multinational company ” within the framework of the Organization's guiding principles. These principles notably provide that multinationals and their shareholders respect labor rights such as the protection of employees against sexual violence.
Unions have gathered evidence, with allegations ranging from “ vulgar comments to physical assault ” against workers in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. " Gender-based violence and harassment is part of McDonald's culture ," they say, citing " touching, forced kissing and other forms of unwanted physical contact (which) is a form of assault." sex violating the physical integrity of victims ”. " McDonald's workers have sounded the alarm for years about sexual harassment and gender-based violence, but the company with a rotten culture from the top has failed to take action, " said Sue Longley, general secretary. of the International Food Workers Union.
The complaint must be studied by the Dutch government, which will decide within three months whether it will initiate mediation with the company. McDonald's, headquartered in the United States, incorrectly claims not to be responsible for the working conditions of employees because 90% of its restaurants are franchised, according to the complaint. The unions chose the Netherlands because the country is the “ nerve center ” of McDonald's in Europe and the headquarters of the bank APG.