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The Globe and Mail

McDonald’s helpline tells employee to apply for food stamps, report says


Nobody can ever accuse McDonald's of super-sizing human kindness to its employees.

Business Insider reports that a fast-food worker advocacy group has obtained a recording of a phone call recently made by a worker to the McDonald's employee helpline named McResources.

Apparently, the McResources operator told Nancy Salgado, who has worked for the fast-food chain for 10 years, that signing up for food stamps would be a breeze for her and her family.

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"You would most likely be eligible for SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Benefit Program] benefits," says the operator in the call, which you can listen to here. "You know it's a federal program, the federal money comes down the states and the states administer it."

Yes, you read that correctly. The helpline operator is actually telling the employee to take advantage of federal assistance.

If the name rings a bell, Salgado was also the person who confronted McDonald's USA president Jeff Stratton a few weeks ago to ask him why she hasn't seen a raise in 10 years and is still making $8.25 (U.S.) an hour.

Stratton's answer: "I've been there for 40 years." After which Salgado was promptly arrested for disrupting his meeting.

Sadly, the helpline operator's suggestion is in keeping with a report released last week that revealed that more than half the fast-food workers in the U.S. are forced to go on public-assistance programs because of their low wages. CNN reported that workers' assistance costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $7-billion each year.

The CNN report also revealed that individual franchise owners need to pay to allow its employees access to the McResources help line, and not all of them exercise that magnanimous prerogative – which means a good number of employees don't even have that option.

Think about that the next time you see the golden arches.

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