As talks break down between one of New Zealand’s largest fast food chains—McDonald’s—and the workers who operate it, employees throughout Auckland have gathered to protest wages and working hours at McDonald’s Queen St. location.
But those aren’t the only issues plaguing the fast food giant, according to employees on the picket line.
Sean Bailey, an employee at the chain’s Quay St. store (a franchise location) tells NZTV that his manager’s anti-gay harassment left him embarrassed and virtually unable to return to work. “One of my managers said, ‘if you act gay on my shift, I will discipline you.’”
Bailey was also asked on multiple occasions to change his voice because it sounded “too gay.” The manager in question continued to harass him, threatening “if you turn anyone else in the store gay, I will punish you and make you lose your job.”
Bailey claims the manager was moved to a different location after delivering a forced apology.
“I think the punishment was unfair for something so serious,” he said. “Even though he had moved stores there’s nothing to stop him from doing the same thing somewhere else.”
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s responded with a standard copy/paste job from her entry-level PR 101 class:
“[McDonald's] takes complaints of this nature very seriously. In this specific case the restaurant followed internal processes but due to privacy restrictions we cannot discuss the outcome.”