The McDonald’s work-study program has been openly criticized by a foreign student who feels the arrangement is “exploitative.”
A student from Argentina said he and several other students paid between $3,000 and $4,000 to participate in the fast food giant’s work-study program. During their stay in the country, 27-year-old Jorge Rios claimed the company treated them unfairly.
Rios stated that the McDonald’s near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania did not compensate employees for overtime. The student said workers were also required to be on call 24 hours a day.
“We have been exploited by McDonald’s because we have been working for McDonald’s but we did not receive overtime or the fact that we have been put to be on-call all day had to do with the way McDonald’s designed our schedules,” the student said of the restaurant’s work-study program.
Jorge Rios isn’t the only student who has complained about how McDonald’s treated its employees. Fernando Acosta and Alicia Marin told The Patriot-News that the company also forced them to work long hours without the benefit of overtime.
Acosta, a 25-year-old student from Paraguay, said that McDonald’s essentially controlled their schedules. Since the store manager was the one giving him rides to and from work, Acosta said he was unable to turn down any of the shifts offered to him.
The students said they were forced to live in a house where the McDonald’s manager held the only key to both the residence and the bedrooms. Acosta said his boss would sometimes enter his room and begin shouting at him to get ready for work.
The students’ arrangement with the restaurant was organized by the Summer Work Travel Program. The US State Department serves as the administrator for the program. Private companies are used to help these students make the trip to the United States.
Although the company that helped Rios get to the US has released a statement on the matter, McDonald’s has remained tight-lipped about the allegations surrounding its work-study program.
Federal authorities, including the US Department of State, and the Department of Labor, are currently investigating the claims made by the foreign students.
What do you think about the statements made about the McDonald’s work-study program?