Local female fast food workers walk off the job in protest of sexual harassment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The #MeToo movement has arrived at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s workers in Kansas City joined a nationwide strike Tuesday protesting sexual harassment within the fast food chain.

A handful of local women’s groups – and politicians –  gathered at 64th and Troost around noon, to join those who walked off the job.

Those organizing this strike, as they called it, say this is the first-time women have walked off the job to protest sexual harassment since 1912, when garment workers nationwide did the same thing.

This comes after McDonald’s workers in ten cities – including Kansas City – filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in May, alleging widespread sexual harassment throughout the company.

The complaints from these women range from being groped to hearing lewd comments to propositions of sex.

The group behind this strike also filed 16 charges of sexual harassment with the EEOC two years ago. They want McDonald’s to form an anti-sexual harassment committee as well as enforce a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment. They also want mandatory training for managers and employees and the creation of a safe system for women employees to file complaints.

A recent survey by Hart Research Associates shows 40-percent of female fast food workers experience unwanted sexual behaviors on the job. And one in five say after going to their boss to complain, they had their hours cut, given a less desirable schedule, or denied a raise.

In an email to the AP, McDonald’s officials wrote, “We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment.”

McDonald’s also announced it plans to hire outside experts to help the company evolve these sexual harassment policies and procedures.