Just minutes after yesterday's protest in New York by striking workers, McDonald's announced that the franchise owner accused of exploiting temporary workers in the country on J-1 visas will be selling his three stores and will no longer be associated with the company, the Nation's Josh Eidelson reports. The workers from Latin America and Asia who worked at the Pennsylvania fast-food restaurants allege that store owner Andy Cheung provided them with sub-standard employer-owned housing to live in, forced them to work shifts of up to 25 consecutive hours and threatened them with retaliation if they complained or refused to work.
Additionally, McDonald's says it is trying to connect with the workers on an individual basis to address the alleged abuse and it would provide franchisees with information on the legal requirements related to the J-1 visa program. The workers say that while this was an important first step, it wasn't sufficient to end their planned rally in front of the company's Chicago headquarters on March 26. Eidelson reports:
In an e-mailed statement, striking students called the McDonald’s announcement 'an important admission of labor abuse at its stores,' but said that 'a change of management at three stores will not protect the [temporary] workers and U.S. workers at McDonald’s 14,000 other stores in the U.S.' The strikers reiterated their call for a meeting with the company’s CEO 'to come to an agreement on how to protect all McDonald’s workers.'