Rain began to fall as a large, red-clad group stopped under the golden arches of the McDonald’s on Morgan Street in Durham. With encouragement from the crowd Lois Jones, a former McDonald’s employee, stepped up to the microphone.
Jones, who worked at the very McDonald’s she stood in front of for over two years, described the sexual harassment she faced when she switched to another restaurant location. When she complained to management, she said, no action was taken.
“When I spoke about it no one did nothing,” said Jones. “They swept it under the table, called me a liar. After that my hours got cut. After that they started playing with my time and my paycheck.”
McDonald’s employees and other low-wage workers took to the streets of Durham alongside presidential candidate Julian Castro to demand better pay, better working conditions, the right to unionize and the enforcement of a no-tolerance sexual harassment policy on Thursday, May 23.
Protesters led chants of “Put some respect on my check” while carrying a large puppet version of McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald. The group called for the minimum wage to be raised to $15.