May 26, 2016

Statement: Sriram Madhusoodanan on McDonald’s 2016 shareholders’ meeting

My name is Sriram Madhusoodanan, Director of Value [the] Meal campaign at Corporate Accountability International.

I speak on behalf of Harrington Investments, as well as a growing movement parents, educators, and health professionals to voice our concerns regarding McDonald’s abuse of workers, our food system, and children’s health. To that end, we urge McDonald’s to assess the alignment of its values to its political activities.

McDonald’s claims to value its workers. Yet, the corporation does the opposite: It bankrolls the National Restaurant Association, the largest anti-worker lobby on Capitol Hill, and it spends billions on marketing and pay raises for top executives, while miring workers in poverty.

McDonald’s claims it cares about families, but will stop at nothing to target children. It exploits school budget shortfalls to enlist teachers in “McTeacher’s Night” marketing events, which use teachers to sell junk food directly to trusting students.

People are not fooled. Last fall, unions representing more than 3 million teachers, including the Chicago Teachers Union and National Education Association, called on Mr. Easterbrook to stop McTeacher’s Nights for exploiting schools, teachers, and kids.

This is just the beginning. Communities across the country are mobilizing to challenge McDonald’s — whether because of the corporation’s poverty wages, its presence in hospitals, or marketing in schools.

Actions speak louder than words.

It’s time for a real turnaround plan: one that ends McDonald’s exploitation of its workers and children. McDonald’s can start by ensuring that its stated values are aligned with its political activities.

Therefore, we urge shareholders to vote in support of this shareholder proposal.


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