McDonald's workers from five continents, including one from the Chicago area, testified before a Brazilian Senate committee on Thursday about the fast food giant's global labor practices.
The hearing comes as the Fight for $15 movement ramps up overseas and on the same day a top Brazilian labor official launched the formation of a task force aimed at probing allegations of labor law violations in the country by McDonald's.
According to the Fight for $15 campaign, workers, labor leaders and elected officials from various countries spoke before the Brazilian Senate committee about how McDonald's "is undermining workers, governments, competitors, suppliers, and consumers through its low-road business model."
Adriana Alvarez, a cashier at a McDonald's in Cicero, was among those who testified in Brazil about the low pay and poor working conditions workers face.
"When I look around at other McDonald's workers who are here today from five different continents, I know that I am speaking not just for myself, but for hundreds of thousands of cooks and cashiers like me who are fighting for better jobs and a better life at McDonald's," said Alvarez, who has worked at the fast food giant for five years and earns $10.50 an hour.
Brazilian Sen. Paulo Paim spearheaded the Senate hearing. He chairs the Brazilian Senate's Human Rights and Participative Legislation Committee.
"McDonald's is one of the most recognized brands around the world, and this hearing makes clear that its corrosive business model spans the globe as well," Paim said in a news release. "Brazil can be the country that leads the way in holding this company accountable. Let this hearing mark a moment where governments around the world join together to demand that global companies like McDonald's do better by workers and the public as a whole."