Workers at chains like Starbucks and McDonald’s face violence and injuries on the job — and they’re starting to speak out (MCD, SBUX)


mcdonald's fight

An attack on a McDonald’s employee went viral earlier in January — but the employee seen in the video is far from the only fast-food worker dealing with violence at work.
Fast-food and other chain-restaurant workers routinely face dangerous conditions, with 87% saying they have been injured at least once while on the job in the previous year.
As fast-food workers strike and Starbucks installs syringe-disposal boxes to protect workers, fast-food chains’ sometimes dangerous conditions are being thrust into the spotlight.

In the fast-food industry, a chain lives or dies based on the waiters, baristas, and cashiers it hires.

These workers often encounter routine risks, violence, and injuries while on the job. And, they are increasingly unwilling to stay silent on the dangers of the fast-food industry.

For example, take Yasmine James. The 20-year-old McDonald’s employee was attacked by a male customer while at work in early January. Another customer in the St. Petersburg, Florida, McDonald’s recorded video as the man reached across the counter and grabbed James by her shirt, dragging her toward him.

A quick skim of fast-food news stories that broke in the last week alone confirms that James is far from the only fast-food worker facing danger while at work.

A customer recently burned a teenage McDonald’s drive-thru worker by throwing hot coffee her face, according to Camden, South Carolina, police. A driver was reportedly assaulted while trying to deliver pizza in Saugus, Massachusetts. A customer allegedly threatened an employee with a gun at a Church’s Chicken in Terrytown, Louisiana, after being denied a refund.

The list goes on — and these are only the incidents in which the police and media have become involved.

Even more incidents occur that don’t make the news. In a 2015 survey of almost 1,500 fast-food workers, 12% said they had been assaulted on the job in the previous year.

Read more: A McDonald’s customer attacked an employee in a fight over plastic straws — and it reveals a troubling reality for fast-food workers

Assaults aren’t the only dangers restaurant workers face. According to the same study, 87% said they had been injured at least once while at work in the previous year. 79% said they had been burned, and 67% said they had been cut.

Starbucks workers told Business Insider that they have been plagued by improperly discarded syringes in bathrooms, and that they are terrified of the inherent health risks. According to some workers, the chain’s open-door policy that allows anyone to use bathrooms — whether or not they make purchases — can make their daily jobs more difficult.

“My coworkers and I had all experienced needles left behind in the bathroom, store, and even in our drive-thru,” one former Starbucks worker said.

“My primary fear when I worked there would be taking out the bathroom garbages,” said the former employee, who quit in 2018 after three years at the chain. “I was terrified that if I went …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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