“McDonald’s released a slew of Black Lives Matter support posts and digital ads on social media, but the company doesn’t have the policies in place to back up the claim they support their Black workers.
[…] McDonald’s is the latest company we’ve called out for joining the chorus of brands releasing hollow solidarity statements and launching a full on woke-washing marketing campaigns to profit from the Movement for Black Lives, while doing nothing to change worker policies that perpetuate systemic racism.
After the killing of George Floyd, McDonald’s produced a digital ad to honor Floyd and six other victims of police brutality. “We do not tolerate inequity, injustice, or racism,” reads the text that flashes momentarily on the screen before it ends with “Black Lives Matter.”
The ad begs the question — do Black lives REALLY matter to McDonald’s when it comes to its own workers? McDonald’s actions speak louder than words. The reality is that 80 percent of McDonald’s majority Black and Brown workforce don’t have access to paid sick leave. That is dangerous under normal circumstances; during a global pandemic, it’s deadly. By failing to ensure that workers have access to paid leave, the McDonald’s solidarity statement feels more like a PR stunt than a real commitment to the cause.
In another recent attempt to “woke-wash” its brand, last month McDonald’s used its live air time and social platforms during the BET awards to amplify Black voices — putting the spotlight on a number of Black artists, advocates, educators and more. While this tactic arguably did some good by elevating Black issues in the media, it was also a thinly veiled attempt to distract the public from the many ways McDonald’s exploits Black workers. Many Black McDonald’s workers have led protests and strikes for paid leave and basic COVID-19 protections for months. Workers have even filed lawsuits against the company, claiming the dangerous workplace conditions — including being told to use coffee filters and “puppy pads” as face masks — pose a “public nuisance” that put entire communities at risk. McDonald’s has so far failed to meet these worker demands and consistently discredits their advocacy — while paying shareholders nearly $2 billion since the pandemic began.
If McDonald’s wants to show it cares about Black and Brown people, it needs to begin the work to change company policies and practices that perpetuate inequality. Immediately adopting a policy that gives all workers access to paid sick days and family and medical leave is an important step in the right direction.
Failing to give its majority Black and Brown workforce paid time off to care for themselves and their families is just the tip of the iceberg. McDonald’s has a long record of failing to protect workers from racial discrimination and harassment.
For years, McDonald’s has ignored sexual harassment complaints from many women of color workers.[…]”
Read full article: ACLU | Nicole Regalado | July 20, 2020
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