SAO PAULO, March 18 Brazilian unions on
Wednesday filed another lawsuit against the largest operator of
McDonald's restaurants in Latin America, alleging that the firm
violates the country's labor laws.
The suit against Arcos Dourados Comércio de Alimentos Ltda,
the Brazilian division of Buenos Aires-based Arcos Dorados
Holdings Inc, came just days after McDonald's Corp
workers from 19 U.S. cities filed state and federal
complaints over working conditions.
It also followed a similar filing made by Brazilian unions
in late February.
Wednesday's lawsuit aims to "guarantee health and safety in
the workplace," according to a joint statement from the unions,
which are backed by CUT and UTG, two of Brazil's largest labor
The unions demand that Arcos Dourados establish specific job
functions for each employee and hire more workers under that
model while paying compensation for any moral and punitive
damages caused to current and former employees.
The lawsuit also demands that Arcos Dourados deliver a
working plan to Brazil's labor ministry within 90 days or face a
daily fine of 100,000 reais ($30,864).
Fines for violations of Brazilian labor law can vary between
1 percent and 30 percent of a company's annual sales.
Arcos Dorados' Brazilian division had 833 restaurants and
total revenue of $460.9 million for the third quarter that ended
A separate lawsuit filed by Brazilian unions on Feb. 24
accused Arcos Dourados of unwholesome and unsanitary working
conditions, time-clock fraud and failing to pay mandatory
unemployment and retirement insurance.
It also said Arcos Dourados paid below legal or contractual
minimum wages, forced double-shift work without breaks, made
workers take in-restaurant lunch breaks with employer-supplied
food and failed to make mandatory severance payments. That suit
aims to ban the opening of any new McDonald's restaurants in
Brazil until the problems are fixed.
An Arcos Dorados spokeswoman said in an emailed statement
that the company had not yet been officially informed of the
"Still, the company continues to reaffirm, with conviction,
that it complies with all labor laws, respects the rights of all
its workers, and maintains labor practices that have been
recognized by the market," the statement said.
($1 = 3.24 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Paul Simao)