Tag Archives: #fastfoodglobal

NCR fast-food workers lose P1,000 a month from daily ‘free work’


Respect Fast Food Workers’ Rights activists in one of its campaigns last April 15, 2015


MORE THAN P1,000 every month are “counted out” – called “wage theft” – from the already low salary of every McDonald’s crew in Metro Manila through an unwritten but rampant practice in the entire fast-food industry, where workers provide additional but unpaid work in their workplaces for a certain period of time every day.

Based on a series of surveys starting in 2013 that focused on the working conditions in key McDonald’s branches in the National Capital Region (NCR), this and other findings on the plight of the mostly young fast food workers were highlighted by the youth group APL-Youth-SENTRO in today’s celebrations of the International Youth Day (IYD).

This paper – part of the APL-Youth-SENTRO’s Respect Fast Food Workers’ Rights campaign – was also discussed in four pre-IYD forums attended by school- and community-based youth organizations in the NCR last month and early this month, and was presented in the International Fast Food Workers’ Conference on June 6-8 in Detroit, Michigan.

Called “turnover work” in McDonald’s restaurants, “charity work” in Jollibee outlets and nameless in other fast-food joints, this “cost-saving” and profit-increasing scheme is defined as an extra work “a fast food crew needs to accomplish after her/his normal shift.”

This “free work,” which could also occur before the start of the employees’ official work schedule, includes washing the dishes or wiping the eating and cooking utensils for those assigned in the kitchen; accounting of the day’s sales for cashiers; cleaning the rest rooms and mopping the floors; collecting and disposing the trash.

Surveyed were McDonald’s crews in branches inside and outside shopping malls, most of them were working in 24-hour outlets and most were directly operated by the Golden Arches Development Corp. (GADC), the Philippine franchisee of the US-based McDonald’s, which is in turn the world’s largest fast-food chain.

Among the main results are:

• The average daily turnover work is 41.46 minutes.

• Length of turnover work does not vary (statistically) whether or not a branch is in a mall, if it operates 24 hours a day or not, or if it is run by GADC or by an independent franchisee. This implies that turnover work is indeed a widespread practice.

• Based on an average of a 6-hour workday (McDonald’s is also notorious for having no fixed shift, especially the number of working hours in a day), turnover work constitutes 10.33 percent of the work of the crews.

• Based on the P466 minimum wage in NCR (during the survey), the average daily turnover work – or “foregone wage” – amounted to P40.25 or P1,006.23 per month or P12,074.74 per year. Thus, a branch employing 60 workers could realize a “savings” of P724,484.38 every year.

• The said figures will further increase if the current P481 daily minimum wage in the NCR is used. Thus, the wage lost per worker will be: P41.55 per day; P1,246.39 per month; and P14,956.70 per year. Likewise, the annual “savings” (or additional profits) per branch with 60 crews will reach to P897,401.70.

Taking cue from the survey result, the APL-Youth-SENTRO dubbed its street play held to celebrate today’s 15th IYD as “Quarenta y Uno” in reference to the more than 41 minutes of turnover work of each fast-food worker, majority of whom are in their teens or are young adults.

This year’s IYD will focus on the issue of wage theft – perpetrated by a company through the work rendered for free for the fast-food joints by their workers – in the highly profitable fast-food industry.

McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald’s, will be symbolically tried in the street play for the “crimes” of wage theft, low wages and scarce benefits, contractualization and union-busting, the APL-Youth-SENTRO, said. A concert in the evening will follow at the Marikina Freedom Park, where guest singers, bands and other artists will perform to hundreds of youth activists.

APL-Youth-SENTRO affiliates in the provinces will also stage pickets, rallies and street plays, including those in Davao, General Santos and Batangas.

McDonald’s pioneered the widespread use and abuse of contractual labor in the multibillion-dollar global fast food industry – setting off today’s familiar hiring of mostly youthful workers with low wages, scarce benefits and no security of tenure, or derisively called “McJobs.” It also became infamous for its almost fanatical resistance to trade unions.

McDonald’s notorious anti-worker and anti-union practices are widely imitated in the fast food industry, especially by other fast food transnational corporations like Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, KFC and many others, which all operate also in the Philippines.

The said practices are likewise followed by the local fast food firms, including the industry leader Jollibee, which is infamous too for its low pays and routine use of “endo” or “end-of-contract” workers with short-term and precarious work arrangements and also called “5-5-5” scheme where workers are endlessly hired and fired every five months to prevent them from becoming permanent or regular workers.


Workers, youths demand ‘respect’ from fast food giants #fastfoodglobal


021 Global Day Of Action Image Strike

FAST food workers are demanding respect for their rights that are being withheld from them by fast food chains whose overarching goal is to further amass superprofits.

This is done by shortchanging the workers through low wages along with “charity” or unpaid turnover work, measly benefits, contractual jobs or those with no security of tenure coupled with “zero hour” contracts and union busting, according to the newly organized Respect Fast Food Workers Alliance (RESPECT!).

RESPECT! reiterated the fast food workers’ demands for dignified work and living wages as well as freedom to unionize without harassment and intimidation during a picket-protest held today at the McDonald’s restaurant near MRT Quezon Ave. station.

Youth members of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL-Youth-SENTRO) supported RESPECT in staging the picket, which was highlighted by the rendition of the classic song “Respect” and the giving of roses to McDonald’s crew with a note saying “You deserve RESPECT!”

McDonald’s was again chosen as the protest venue for it is the world’s top fast food chain and epitomizes the ugly side of the global fast food industry: the rampant use of cheap and contractual labor and the unabated anti-worker and anti-union practices.

Contractualization in McDonald’s is assured by its heavily use of franchises – more than 80 percent of its restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees; thus, 1.5 million of its 1.9 million global workforce work for franchises, which enables McDonald’s to perpetuate contractual labor and accumulate huge profits.

Likewise, as if receiving a cheap wage is not enough, workers further fatten the McDonald’s already bulging pockets by serving for free for a certain period of time each day, which is called “charity work” or “turnover work” – in the Philippines, it ranges from no less than 30 minutes to as much as 2 hours, APL-Youth revealed.

Zero hour contracts, meanwhile, are those with no specified work hours and which do not guarantee jobs or income, but which are now becoming widespread in the rapidly expanding fast food industry, the global union IUF said.

McDonald’s anti-worker and anti-union practices have also been widely imitated and intensified by both global and local brands in the fast food industry, including its American competitors Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, among others, as well as homegrown fast food restaurants led by Jollibee.

The country’s top fast food chain, Jollibee is also notorious for its low pays and routine use of “endo” – acronym for “end-of-contract” workers or those with short-term and unprotected work contracts, which are also called “5-5-5” scheme where workers are endlessly hired and fired every five months to prevent them from having permanent or regular employment status.

Young workers are particularly vulnerable under these exploitative contracts since they comprise the bulk of the fast food workforce throughout the world, APL-Youth said.

The picket was held simultaneous with similar protest actions in many countries dubbed “Global Day of Action for Fast Food Workers” to underscore the struggles of the increasingly exploited and suppressed fast food workers.

One of the demands in this international action is for McDonald’s Korea to reinstate

Gahyun Lee, who was dismissed from her job in a McDonald’s outlet in Yeokgok, Gyeonggi province a few days after joining a protest action by US fast food workers in Los Angeles last September.

RESPECT! is a member of the national labor center Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) and the Geneva-based IUF or the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations.