At Paris on Friday, January 13th, employees and citizens gathered for a McJackpot in several Parisian restaurants. Together, they denounced the shameful McDonald’s practices that use low salaries combined with tax evasion to hit the jackpot !
McDonald’s employees from the McDonald’s Paris IDF CGT Union went on strike with the support of students and associations, who mobilized to protest tax evasion and precarious work positions. Six restaurants found themselves facing a hundred-person crowd, who came to collect the Jackpot by playing the game of precarity and tax evasion, just like McDonald’s. Train tickets for London were distributed, since you might as well go to London if you’re hiding the taxes from your business! All six restaurants were shut down by the activists.
“I’ve worked for McDonald’s for 25 years now, and I’ve never seen them keep track of their profits. We’re refused raises and time off. We’re required to increase our work and begin table service – this all needs to change, ” says an employee of the McDonald’s at the Gare du Nord.
At McDonald’s, you don’t need to wait for Friday the 13th to be unlucky – it’s every day that the multinational makes its employees live a nightmare by refusing to redistribute its profits gathered through tax evasion.
Since 2009, McDonald’s has benefited from tax reduction mechanisms by conducting their financial activities in Luxemburg. Ever since the European Union became too strict regarding taxes, profits have been stored in London. This “tax support” is combined with tax support from the French CICE (the equivalent of 0.7% of its revenues in 2013) for “job creation”, as the Group went through a 60% turnover rate, which provoked a class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s from its employees in Ile de France for tax evasion and money laundering. They also denounced the increasingly precarious work conditions they were forced to face: the minimum wage, part-time positions, no time-off, no night shift compensation, and a surge in the work demanded which did not include a pay increase.
In order to end the multinational’s deplorable work conditions and practices, the 70,000 McDonald’s employees in France came together with high school and university students who juggle their studies with part-time work for McDonald’s, along with other McDonald’s employees from across the globe. The company is now facing a worldwide revolt against its practices. On November 29, 2016, McDonald’s employees mobilized in 340 different cities throughout the United States through the collective action of “Fight for $15.”
This Friday, the actions will target the restaurants of two franchises that are seen as the right examples in the McDonald’s system: Christian-Michel Fenet and Michel Parmentier, owners of a large portion of the McDonald’s in Paris, including those at the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est. By organizing McDonald’s boycotts in order to reverse this bad fortune and make McDonald’s profits plummet, mobilized employees and citizens are bringing the question of decent work to the heart of the presidential debates.