McDonald's Employees Walk Out In Protest Of No Air Conditioning After Crew Member Collapses

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posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 05:16 AM
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A New York City McDonald's crew walked out Friday, saying they were forced to work without air conditioning amid record-high temperatures. One worker collapsed from the heat.


Luisa Villa, an employee who participated in the walkout on Friday, said in an interview with The Huffington Post that the air conditioner in the restaurant's kitchen has been broken at least since she began working there nine years ago. The crew member who collapsed, Esheliz Méndez, had complained about the broken air conditioner numerous times, she added. A repair was made last year after another employee collapsed, Villa said, but the cooling system broke again within a week.

"[The owners of the store] make fun of us because they think we're animals," Villa said in Spanish. "We're not animals. We're people. We don't want to die and you can certainly die from the heat, you know."

www.huffingtonpost.com...


"The McDonald's branch in question, located in Washington Heights, is an independently owned franchise managed by Dominga De Jesus, according to the company's website. Seventy people work there in total, Villa said."

The McDonald's branch and the company's headquarters did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Even though it's independently owned, wouldn't the McDonald's franchise try to see about it since it's their name that is on the building? Or penalize the owners?
Not sure how that works.

Not only do they AC need for their employees but for the customers too.
And if a customer is not eating or drinking only using the AC, just politely ask them to leave, that they need the tables for paying patrons.




posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 05:20 AM
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The food is bad enough as is, but to have to eat it in the heat????


I feel for the employees though, something needs to be done.
There's no excuse in it.


**FIX THE A/C **



Whew, I feel better..........




edit on 24-7-2013 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 05:40 AM
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reply to post by snarky412
 


The franchisee probably wouldn't own the building, most seem to lease them, but it is still their primary responsibility to fix the AC.

McDonalds corporate might deem it necessary to fix the AC to protect the brand, but this is one of the reasons the franchise their # out--to avoid liability.

Other McDonalds workers should strike in solidarity!... worldwide



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 06:31 AM
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Serious safety issue there.

Lucky the worker who collapsed didn't end up face first in the deep fryer.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by snarky412
Even though it's independently owned, wouldn't the McDonald's franchise try to see about it since it's their name that is on the building? Or penalize the owners?
Not sure how that works.


As I understand it, a franchise is contractually required to support the brand, it makes no difference if it is independently owned, they are in a legal agreement to represent the brand in numerous ways. This includes everything from staff management and uniforms, to what's on the menu, pricing and preparation standards.

I can pretty much guarantee that they'll be seeking to remove this owner and sell the franchise to someone else. No brand with an ounce of common sense would allow this to continue, especially not after such bad publicity.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:08 AM
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Good for them! Some business owners think more about their own pocket book than the condition or work environment of their employees. Where I teach we have the same problem. The air conditioning unit in the school hasn't been working for the past 5 years! Classroom temperatures have hovered around 84 degrees in classrooms that don't have windows. There have been days where some classroom temperatures rise to 87 degrees! I have complained numerous times about the classroom temperature, grievances have been filed, yet the administration continues to ignore the issue due to the cost of replacing the school's air conditioning unit.

It's already difficult to get some students motivated to work on their classroom assignments, but how can you expect them to concentrate when they're sitting in a sweat box? I have four fans in my classroom that just circulates the warm air. It does nothing to bring the classroom temperature down. They're always complaining about the temperature in the room. I keep telling them the district administration will only listen to parent's concerns before they listen to the concerns of teachers. Unfortunately, either parents are not calling to complain, or not enough parents are calling to force the district to react to their concerns. Parents are paying enough school taxes, they should at least demand an environment that is conducive to learning. It's like everything else, until a student passes out from heat exhaustion, or kids start getting sick, is when the school district will sound the alarm for repairs.

I'm sure the owner of this McDonald's will finally feel the pressure to repair the restaurants air conditioner. Sometimes it takes someone getting sick or employees walking off the job to put pressure on an employer to fix a problem that's affecting their worker's health and productivity.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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This is how screwed up our society is.

Instead of just fixing the AC, we have to go through all of this.

Look at all the liability shifting attempts.
Typical life here in 'Merica.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by NuclearPaul
Serious safety issue there.


Agreed, why anybody would eat that stuff is beyond me.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by snarky412
 


I must ask the obvious. If this was such a big issue then why did Luisa Villa work there for 9 years with no AC? Walking out because temps were soaring into the mid 80's is funny to me.
Think about AC repairmen who work in your attack. They do manual labor in 120+ degrees here in Texas. They probably pray for mid 80's. Some here on ATS have spent weeks in a charcoal lined rubber suit and gas mask walking around the desert in the ME.

I don't know....to me this sounds like it was made into a big deal by Huffington Post. I believe I'd be looking for a new crew if they walked out on me.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:44 AM
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I refuse to eat at McDonalds and watch anything disney (no new star wars for me
) after I read fast food nation and discovering the practises these evil companys have practised in the past and still to this day.
Did you know that you can not join a Union If you work at Mcdonalds? let alone the actual food is processed #.
One day every McDonalds will burn with the ruddy clown hanging from the golden arches.#
You can bet the franchise will be closed due to bad publicity now, that is what they do.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 



I refuse to eat at McDonalds and watch anything disney (no new star wars for me ) after I read fast food nation and discovering the practises these evil companys have practised in the past and still to this day.

I no longer eat there either. Not because I'm boycotting their practices but because its unhealthy.




Did you know that you can not join a Union If you work at Mcdonalds?
Sounds like smart business. Unions destroyed the auto industry and do nothing but run businesses into the ground.




You can bet the franchise will be closed due to bad publicity now, that is what they do.
Not a chance! You have to have @$1,000,000 liquid assets to become a McDonalds franchisee these days. That guy didn't invest his time and money into his business just to walk away after one bad day.


Besides, nobody will remember this story tomorrow.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
This is how screwed up our society is.

Instead of just fixing the AC, we have to go through all of this.

Look at all the liability shifting attempts.
Typical life here in 'Merica.


It's all about greed. God forbid the shareholders don't derive their maximum profits. I'm disgusted at American businesses for the most part. Employees are treated like tools that can be thrown away. Never any praise or rewards regardless of how successful it is. The owners just suck up the money and demand more and more. Longer hours. less breaks (if any!), buy your own uniforms, etc - I've seen it all. Corporate franchises are usually the worst due to owners in absentia who you only hear from if net profits drop. Meanwhile, in the Caribbean they sip their Mai Tais and work on their tans.

Just fix the damn A/C!! Good for the workers, such solidarity among employees is rare these days.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


In a way the business owner isn't out of the ordinary here, so to speak.

AC systems are unbelievably expensive to purchase, maintain, and operate.
This would more than double the establishment's current Cost of Operation. Easily if not more than doubling it.

My buddy is into the AC business and lets me know some of the dirty laundry of the industry.
I can totally understand why this owner kept avoiding the issue. He probably thought it would ruin him and he would barely be making it by rather than living the good life that he probably has been as a result of avoiding this one major specific expense.

The history behind the story (as claimed in the article) seems to show that he did try, but realized the true price in keeping this thing running and just kept avoiding the issue until well, it came to bite him in the rear.

Look at the way society is today, and how people truly are.
Sure he made the wrong choice, but who cannot understand why when they really think about it?
Cannot they understand how tempting it is to ignore the AC a while and thus get a ton of profit $ quickly? I bet it's ultra-tempting for a business owner trying to make a buck in this messed up world.
edit on 24-7-2013 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 



It's all about greed. God forbid the shareholders don't derive their maximum profits. I'm disgusted at American businesses for the most part.

We normally agree so I ask that you not take offense to this response. Shareholders?? What are you talking about?? This is a small franchise company. The owner may have only one location and it could very well be struggling. Do you know how many hamburgers you need to sell just to pay rent in NY?? I don’t know the details but it’s A LOT, I’m sure!

We all need to take a deep breath sometimes. Don’t let this “evil big business” mantra the left pushes cloud your better judgment. I own a small business and we have no AC. I don’t do it to punish employees or chase away business. I do without because we can’t afford it! It would cost me over $20,000 to get the system operational and $2,000 per month to run the thing! We’ve done without for almost 4 years now out of necessity and nobody has ever passed out. FYI - I’m in Texas…this time of year it’s in the high 90’s and low 100’s.





Employees are treated like tools that can be thrown away. Never any praise or rewards regardless of how successful it is. The owners just suck up the money and demand more and more. Longer hours. less breaks (if any!), buy your own uniforms, etc - I've seen it all. Corporate franchises are usually the worst due to owners in absentia who you only hear from if net profits drop. Meanwhile, in the Caribbean they sip their Mai Tais and work on their tans.
You learned all of this about THIS particular franchise from this story??





Just fix the damn A/C!! Good for the workers, such solidarity among employees is rare these days.
Why don’t you pay for it?? You may very well have more money than this business owner...who knows?


{edit to add - We currently rent our business location. I can’t justify $20,000 (even if I had it) to upgrade a building that doesn’t belong to me. My landlord will not provide the repairs because the law doesn’t require him to. Believe it or not, according to my attorney, landlords in Texas are required by law to make sure the heater is operational but not the AC!
I bet there are some customers of mine who think like you and believe I don’t fix it because I’m greedy. I can assure you that if it made financial sense to do so I would do it because I think it would help business. It’s simply not possible! That may be the case with the McDonalds franchisee in this case}
edit on 24-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by snarky412
 
I'm pretty sure that all McDonald's can do is take away the store owner's franchise. There have been a few businesses in the area that are franchises (one a motel, the other a restaurant) that didn't hold up to their franchise contract (i.e. company standards and practices) and they lost company name, products, licensing, etc. They both re-opened under new names.

If McDonald's takes away the owner's franchise priveleges the employees may end up without jobs if the restaurant closes permanently- a shame- but maybe other McDonald's franchises may offer them jobs.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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eewwweeweww.. ERNEST style


what about the sweat?
drip
drip
drip

yummy huh?



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 10:59 AM
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A few emails to the corporate offices of McDonald's and I can guarantee you that the damn AC will be fixed.



www.mcdonalds.com...

Protecting the brand and it's image takes priority in the American Corporate model.

I too am a small business owner and my reputation of service and accountability is of prime importance.

btw....I never patronize franchise operations if I can help it. Local mom and pop places get my business; where I can feel that my patronage is appreciated; instead of just being a statistic on the bottom line of a corporate platform.
edit on 24-7-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:03 AM
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Wendy's is where I go. I like their Salad's wendyscayman.com...

and they have free WIFI.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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I remember being sent home from work, because the office was too hot and was against the law to have you working above or below a certain temperature. That's in the UK, don't know if same law exists in America.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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I'm sorry, but I must say "Boo Hoo"

I worked in a factory for 15 years and many times I was hot foil stamping, 115℉ in the shop (metal building no windows) standing in front of a 350℉ press.

Last week was a "heat wave" and I had to be outside in the sun wearing a uniform, I must of changed my t-shirt 7 times because of sweat. There was no AC while I was patrolling and no cool breeze. Do you know how hot it can get wearing a uniform and duty belt?

BOO FREAKING HOO!!





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