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Pesticides, forced labor, unsanitary housing… Unions denounce the practices imposed on Brazilian suppliers to McDonald’s


A report by a group of Brazilian journalists also points to violations of the rights of employees and the environment which would concern the production chains of beef, orange juice and coffee.

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The fast-food chain McDonald’s was pinned on Wednesday March 30 by a group of Brazilian journalists. After an investigation lasting several months, Reporter Brasil denounces violations and shortcomings committed by Brazilian suppliers of products intended for the fast-food giant. The report of this collective points to violations of the rights of employees and the environment.

Reporter Brasil notes in particular the use of pesticides, mainly linked to the production of beef. There is also a question of forced or precarious work, a problem which would also concern the orange juice and coffee sectors. Also, according to the report, many workers housed by McDonald’s suppliers live in filthy, unsanitary and overcrowded housing.

Two Brazilian unions and the CGT have decided to remind the multinational of its duty of vigilance vis-à-vis its subcontractors. According to a law passed in 2017, any company that employs two consecutive years “at least 5,000 employees within it and in its direct or indirect subsidiaries, whose registered office is located on French territory, or at least 10,000 employees within it and in its direct or indirect subsidiaries, whose registered office is fixed on French territory or abroad, establishes and effectively implements a vigilance plan”.

“McDo’s game is to hide behind its legal construction to say that the company is not concerned by this law. Thus, it does not have to both publish a vigilance plan and take measures since ‘it is not subject to these regulations’denounces on franceinfo Mohamed Lounas, international space advisor to the CGT. “The whole point of the action we are taking is therefore to get McDonald’s to recognize the facts and respect the most basic social standards”he adds.

For its part, McDonald’s disputes some of the accusations and recalls that its suppliers must respect a very strict code of conduct. The brand also claims to have taken measures to combat forced labor and deforestation.



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