South LA McDonald's workers strike for safer workplace

Workers at a McDonald’s in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles planned to walk out and strike Tuesday.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Fight for $15 organized the strike and announced workers would be walking out for health and safety reasons at 9:30 a.m. 

Union representatives said the McDonald’s is an unsafe place to work and there have been numerous violent incidents at the location. They cited public records they say indicate there have been 350 911 calls over the past two years, which averages to about one call every four days.

McDonald’s USA Operations Officer Jackie Bunting released the following statement:

"We are outraged by this senseless act of violence that has no place in our restaurants. Fostering a safe workplace for crew is incredibly important to us, and we have multiple layers of established security measures in the restaurant, including security personnel and an updated security system. In this instance, protocol was followed, and law enforcement were contacted immediately to intervene.  We were proud to welcome the impacted employee back to work and will continue to focus on safely serving our communities."

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Some of the reported incidents include fights that have taken place inside the restaurant, leaving workers no choice but to break them up. They also said workers have been assaulted by customers and some employees have even been robbed at gunpoint while working at the drive-thru.

They are filing complaints with CAL/OSHA and with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

Representatives are also calling for the passage of the FAST Recovery Act, which was defeated this year at the California State Assembly, but is set to be reintroduced next year. The act creates a fast-food sector council to establish industry-wide minimum standards including wages, working hours and working conditions.

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