Thousands protest at McDonald's HQ
May 21, 2015
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
OAK BROOK, Ill. – Nearly 2,000 protestors marched around McDonald's Corp.'s headquarters May 20 calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and a union, according to news reports. The protests came as McDonald’s prepared to convene its annual shareholders’ meeting.
Buses transported demonstrators to the McDonald's campus. At least 100 demonstrators were arrested for trespassing. Individuals blocked two streets around the McDonald’s campus, shutting down at least one building. A nearby McDonald's restaurant was closed.
In April, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook announced a wage increase of $1 above the local minimum wage, paid time off and other benefits. But protesters say the increase isn't enough to put them above the poverty line, and the benefits only apply to employees at company owned stores.
McDonald’s responded, saying the demonstrations are part of a union attack against the company.
The protests come at a difficult time for McDonald’s as the company strives to reverse slipping sales. Declining customer traffic and ongoing competitive activity led to a 2.3 percent drop in April comparable sales in the United States.
Also, the company is in a legal fight with the National Labor Relations Board over whether the company should be held liable for labor law violations committed by its franchisees. An NLRB win would be a major setback to the company’s franchise model which is key to McDonald’s growth.