McDonald's Closes Unionized Franchise

Quebec, Canada

13 February 1998

McDonald's have managed to maintain their union-free image despite an overwhelming vote by the staff at a Quebec outlet to join the Teamsters union.

The mainly part-time, minimum wage staff voted 80 per cent in favour of joining a union last year despite the best efforts of the McMurder Corp. to "persuade" them not to.

Faced with this, the franchise owner announced February 13th the restaurant would close.

He denies that the closure has anything to do with the impending union certification, and says it was purely due to the franchise not making a profit.

No one else is buying this argument. Steve MacDonald, a former staff member who voted to certify, told CBC Newsworld that he believed the decision was simply another anti-union move on the part of McDonald's, and nearly all of the customers interviewed felt the same way.

Clement Godbout, of the Quebec Federation of Labour, said the federation would consider a boycott of the multi-national as a result of this action.

Newsworld were denied an interview with staff, so visited the drive-through window to speak to them.

"When do you go for your break?" asked the reporter.

"I don't get a break'" replied the drive-through server.

"Funny," commented the reporter, "I thought 'Have you had your break today?' was McDonald's motto."

Back to Media Page

Press Index