“Boycott McDonald’s” Campaign
Hong Kong
23 August 2000

Citizens enjoying health, good natural environment and fair payment and dignified living are the basic conditions for the sustainability of our society. However, as a Transnational Corporation, McDonald’s only cares about how to obtain the highest profit, but never takes up its social responsibility. McDonald’s not only has long been destroying the environment, but exploiting workers all over the world and deceiving citizens. Thus we are here to express our strong protest against McDonald’s.

GM foods (Genetically Modified foods) seriously threaten our natural environment and human health. If something goes wrong, the result would be irreversible and irretrievable and extend to our next generations. Many polls and opinion surveys have already pointed out that citizens do not accept GM foods. Responsible governments all over the world has laid down the labelling system to control on GM foods. However, McDonald’s ignores this by using hamburgers with GM ingredients without informing the public in advance. When the case is being disclosed to the public, McDonald’s still refuses to make any promises to stop using GM raw materials. We could not tolerate McDonald’s such lack of concern on human health and natural environment.

In order to “control cost of labor force flexibly”, it is well known that McDonald’s has long been adopting the policy of recruiting temporary workers and paying low wages. HKCTU’s 1999 survey discovers that McDonald’s pay its rank and file staff as low as HK$ 11 per hour! The survey also shows that McDonald’s’ super low wages is completely unrelated with its sales difficulties. Actually the super low wages is only a means of McDonald’s super exploitation to obtain super profit. McDonald’s should be ashamed of itself using “free market” as an excuse to pay super low wages to workers and ignores workers’ basic rights!

McDonald’s sells different kinds of happy meal toys. However, a recent survey done by HKCIC discovers that the workers who produce McDonald’s happy meal toys in a mainland factory has long been super exploited. That factory produces popular toys like Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh and Aladin. However, the workers have to work 20 hours per day but only get as low as RMB 1.2 per hour and their living conditions are awful. What is more, workers’ ID and wages are held. They are forced to work overtime and not allowed to take leave or resign. McDonald’s has allowed its subcontractor to violate the Chinese Labor Laws seriously-exploit workers seriously, suppress workers’ organisations, dismiss workers who go on strike, workers are forced to work like slaves. All these violations only show that McDonald’s totally neglects workers’ rights. We feel extremely angry with these.

In order to show our anger and discontent, we decide to launch a “Boycott McDonald’s” campaign in Hong Kong. We will organise a series of actions which include: protest in front of McDonald’s restaurant, give out handbills in school areas, organise open forums and seminars, and coordinate with international anti-McDonald’s campaigns. We will continue our actions until McDonald’s makes improvements on the issues mentioned above.

We will invite more organisations to join this campaign and will ask for more support from the Hong Kong citizens.

Our immediately demands on McDonald’s are:

  1. Stop selling any GM foods.
  2. Promise not to destroy our environment in the process of production and sales.
  3. Fair wages and fair working environment for the local workers so that they can work with dignity.
  4. Make sure that McDonald’s subcontractors follow Chinese Labor Law and workers receive fair pay.
  5. Make sure that workers who work for or produce toys for McDonald’s have the rights to strike and freedom of association and these rights are respected.

  • Greenpeace, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
  • Asia Monitor Resource Center
  • Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee

23 August 2000

(Contact Person: Monina Wong or Alice Kwan at 852-23665860)

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