Los Angeles fast-food workers rallied Thursday to celebrate a victory for four Boyle Heights McDonald’s workers who were fired after striking.
Nearly three years ago, the workers were let go after they raised concerns over workplace COVID-19 safety.
Lizzet Aguilar – one of the four workers who walked off the job – first raised her concerns in the spring of 2020 after her manager allegedly failed to enforce mask mandates, social distancing and personal protective equipment.
Workers also said they were not informed about positive COVID-19 cases.
“Every worker in California should be able to speak out about dangerous workplace conditions without fear of punishment,” Aguilar said in a news release. “But in one of the worst periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald’s chose to fire us instead of listening to our health and safety concerns.”
In February, the California Labor Commissioner ruled that the Boyle Heights location would face a $113,000 citation for illegal retaliation against its workers. The fine covers back pay, penalties and interest.
McDonald’s was also ordered to reinstate all four workers.
“It’s taken us three years and many painful delays, but we finally won accountability…McDonald’s and the other fast-food corporations should learn a clear lesson from our victory today: even after years of delay, we never give up…we won’t be silenced,” said Aguilar.