Employees at one of the buildings at McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, were told to stay home Wednesday as a protest urging the gigantic fast-food company to increase wages for workers raged at its gates.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman explained the decision to tell those employees not to come to work to the Chicago Tribune
: “That building is in a high-traffic area, off a major highway, and is next to a busy shopping mall and the pedestrian and vehicle traffic and congestion would be unbearable. They are working from home, and the rest of us are working as usual.”
Reports estimated that as many as 1,500 people may have participated in the protest, including more than 300 employees who work in McDonald’s restaurants, wearing their uniforms. ABC7 reports
that more than 100 of the protestors, presumably including some of those employees, were arrested by police officers wearing riot gear. The president of the Service Employees International Union (which noted in a tweet
that McDonald’s made $5.6 billion in profits in 2013) was also arrested.
Though it’s certainly not the only company to pay employees at rates near or just above minimum wage, McDonald’s employee wages have particularly been a point of contention as of late. 24/7 Wall St. named the company the most hated in the United States
in January, and stories such as this one
about the company’s budgeting tool for employees have gone viral.
Nonetheless, McDonald’s, which is holds annual shareholder meeting Thursday morning, does not have pay increases on the agenda.
"When it comes to the minimum wage, that's a national discussion,” company spokeswoman Heidi Barker told ABC7. “It's not a McDonald's issue, it's an economic issue. We'll look to the folks in Washington to determine what happens."
Protestors were back in full force at McDonald’s HQ on Thursday morning.
This does not seem to be an issue that’s simply going away.
(Image via @SEIU