McDonald’s is giving workers bonuses.

REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

McDonald’s is giving workers at company-owned stores a bonus for working during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The fast-food food giant announced in an internal message viewed by Business Insider on Tuesday that all workers in company-owned stores will receive a bonus, equal to 10% of pay earned in May. 

When asked for comment, McDonald’s confirmed the bonus, saying that “restaurant teams have always been essential – and that is true now more than ever.”

Only about 5% of McDonald’s locations in the US are owned by the company. However, McDonald’s emphasized that this new policy was inspired by franchisees, who control benefits and pay for workers at 95% of stores. 

“Throughout this crisis, we have been inspired by our franchisees and the incredible support they’ve been providing for their restaurant employees,” a representative said in a statement. “In fact, the majority of franchisees are providing enhanced compensation programs during COVID-19 such as appreciation pay, bonuses, gift cards and raises.”

Protesters stop momentarily at a McDonald’s drive-thru, as they join fast-food workers protesting for a second day outside the restaurant in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles.

Associated Press

The representative said the bonus was in addition to other steps to support workers in corporate stores, including new safety procedures, paid sick leave for employees impacted by COVID-19, and double first-quarter incentive bonuses to qualifying restaurant managers. The company has also established a 24/7 Blue Cross Blue Shield nurses hotline and emotional support counselling sessions for employees and their families. 

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McDonald’s has been discussing rewarding employees for working during the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks internally.

In an April 9 letter obtained by Business Insider, Joe Erlinger — the president of the US business — called for franchisee groups to support paid leave in locations, 10% “hero” pay for employees during the pandemic, and establishing a worker emergency relief fund.

McDonald’s has seen pushback from some workers and progressive organizers for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fight for 15 has helped organize strikes in at least nine regions since the pandemic began and the ACLU launched a campaign against McDonald’s on Friday, calling for the chain to offer emergency paid sick leave and family leave for workers in both corporate and franchise-owned restaurants.

“We have incredible activists who are on our side, ready and willing to act,” Nicole Regalado, the deputy director of the ACLU’s liberty division, told Business Insider last week. “There’s incredible potential here to not only lift up the voices of workers, but also harness the power of consumers. And at the end of the day, McDonald’s is worried about public opinion.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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