The war over supreme dominance of the Golden Arches is just heating up and the McDonald’s CEO is out to prove he’s not too good to fire back at his critics and protesters.
Don Thompson addressed the issue that has marched right at his company’s doorstep at Oak Hill, Il and confidently stated that his Mickey D’s not only pay their employees fair wages but the experience gained from the fast food industry leads to “real jobs.”
As hundreds of protesters chanted for higher wages outside, Thompson told the audience in the building that the company has a heritage of providing job opportunities that lead to “real careers.”
“We believe we pay fair and competitive wages,” Thompson said.
A day earlier, McDonald’s closed one of its buildings in suburban Chicago, where protesters had planned to demonstrate over the low wages paid to its workers. Organizers then targeted another site on the company’s headquarters, and police say 138 were arrested after they peacefully refused to leave the property.
As in years past, McDonald’s marketing to tactics to children was also brought up by speakers affiliated with Corporate Accountability International. One mother from Lexington, Kentucky, Casey Hinds, said Ronald McDonald was “the Joe Camel of fast food.”
Thompson said McDonald’s wasn’t predatory and that Ronald McDonald was about letting kids have fun. He noted that his children ate the chain’s food and turned out “quite healthy,” with his daughter even becoming a track star.
“We are people. We do have values at McDonald’s. We are parents,” he said.
Thompson’s statement is a direct reaction to the recent protests where a few activists were arrested yesterday, May 21.
View pictures of the protests in the next few pages.