France: three unions put McDonald’s on notice to publish a vigilance plan

Through Antoine Piel. Published on 31 March 2022 à 12h30 - Update on 18 January 2023 à 14h36

The restaurant group McDonald’s has been given formal legal notice to publish a vigilance plan; an obligation imposed on multinationals since 2017 (c.f. articleNo. 10079). The decision comes four months after a complaint lodged by three major unions, namely the CGT (French), UGT (Spanish), and CUT (Brazilian), which accuse it in particular of ‘failures’ in the fight against sexual violence in the workplace. The American NCP (national contact point) to the OECD Guidelines for Multinationals has also just urged the multinational fast-food company ‘to ensure the health and safety of its employees’ and to apply ILO Convention No.190 against harassment and violence at work. A report published on 30 March by the NGO Repórter Brasil (in Portuguese) also accuses McDonald’s of using suppliers who practise ‘illegal deforestation and forced labor.’ At issue the NGO notes animals coming from farms that practise ‘indigenous people slavery,’ orange juice used from a company that cut off workers’ incomes during the pandemic and, among other things, soybeans bought from farms that deforested illegally. The multinational says it ‘was not informed of the content of the report’ but boasts that its ‘requirements are among the strictest in France.’ Despite the court decision, the company also informs Planet Labor that it is ‘not subject’ to the duty of care ‘due to its company status (franchise organization).’ “The company is in the process of finalizing the drafting and certification of a due diligence report for its French business,” the group says, continuing, “This in-depth work, voluntarily undertaken, and the result of two years of work.”

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