Organic Consumers Association

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The 7 Worst Things About McDonald's

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Fair Trade and Social Justice page and our Breaking the Chains page.

McDonald's has become synonymous with food that's terrible for you, low-wage jobs and overzealous marketing to children. Largely that's because of McDonald's scale; the company serves more customers each day than the entire population of Great Britain, and it hires some one million workers each year (reportedly one in eight Americans have been employed by McDonald's).

This is all to say that there's a lot to hate about McDonald's. As such, here is a not-comprehensive list of some of the more outrageous facts about McDonald's, past and present.

1. It wants employees to work Thanksgiving and Christmas without overtime pay.

McDonald's has a long history of terrible labor practices, but this is especially Scroogey: this holiday season the company urged franchisees to stay open on Thanksgiving and Christmas (McDonald's restaurants are usually closed on those holidays). Worse, employees who work those days don't get paid overtime. According to a company spokesperson, "When our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay."

Mark E. Andersen at the Daily Kos crunched the numbers and figured out that McDonald's made about $36 million in extra sales by staying open this Thanksgiving. Andersen notes, "It is bad enough that McDonald's pays crap wages but then they turn around and refuse to pay overtime for employees who volunteer to give up their holidays so that McDonald's can make several million dollars." Yup. 
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