United States: McDonald's low paid workers protest, company dodges $1.7 billion tax

United States: Thousands of low-paid McDonald's workers protest

Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of US$15 per hour have protested outside the fast-food giant's headquarters for two days of protests on May 21 and 22.

Reuters said: “Protests by low-wage fast-food and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate about pay levels ...
“Tyree Johnson, 47, of Chicago joined thousands of others for noisy but peaceful protests outside McDonald's headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook on Wednesday.
“'They keep telling me they value me but they don't give me more money,' said Johnson, who has worked in McDonald's restaurants since 1992 and says he lives in a men's hotel because he can't afford an apartment on his wage of $8.55 per hour.”

The Service Employees International Union, which backs the worker protests, is also pressuring McDonald's through legislative and regulatory channels, Reuters reported.

McDonald's dodges $1.7 billion in tax, says report

McDonald’s has “dodged” billions of dollars in taxes in the United States and abroad with tax havens and legal loopholes, according to a damning report released on May 19, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The report by the global trade union coalition, Public Services International (PSI), said: “Over the past decade, McDonald’s appears to have taken advantage of corporate tax loopholes to avoid paying US taxes on nearly US$16 billion in foreign earnings, saving as much as US$1.7 billion in tax.”

PSI’s report made no suggestion McDonald's is violating any laws, but did argue “governments around the world should investigate the lawfulness of McDonald’s tax arrangements and recover taxes where possible.”

The company was accused of using a network of 11 tax havens to move profits from key markets to low-tax countries.

“McDonald’s holds most of its cash in tax havens — its subsidiaries in Luxembourg alone held US$1.9 billion in cash at the end of 2013, accounting for more than two-thirds of the company’s total cash assets,” the report found.

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