McDonald's Staff in Detroit Praised for Staging Walkout Over Working Conditions

The staff of a McDonald's restaurant in Detroit have been praised for staging a walkout over their working conditions.

In a video posted to the TikTok account Raise Up for $15, a group of workers from an unspecified branch of the Golden Arches explain to the camera that they are protesting because of the sweltering heat and lack of air conditioning.

The clip begins with an employee named Tara Ali exiting the fast-food restaurant and explaining that she has left her post because "it is burning up in there and hot like an oven."

Ali's sentiments are echoed by co-worker Robbie Cochran, who explains that she too "can't take the heat."

The footage, which can be viewed here, then cuts to colleague Jarmier Owens, who says: "The reason we walked out today was because it was extremely hot. We decided not to come back until the air comes back."

Owens is joined by another worker, who introduces himself as Daron Barton.

The clip has been watched more than 1.5 million times on TikTok since it was posted six days ago by Raise Up for $15, a campaign group calling for a $15 minimum wage.

Thousands of supportive comments were left on the TikTok video.

"They deserve better," Ben Richards wrote. "Anyone who's standing for 8 hours on the line deserves ac."

@raiseupfor15

@mcdonalds needs to step up. We are done working in these terrible conditions. #Fightfor15 #unionsforall #heat #fastfood #fastfoodworkers #worklife

♬ original sound - Raise Up for $15

Weird Beard agreed: "You have the right to refuse work in unsafe conditions. Good on you guys for expressing that right."

"As they should," commented No Name. "There is no reason for employees who work for multi billion dollar corporations to not have a suitable and safe work environment."

Angel added: "My McDonald's doesn't have ac either! We complain and complain and get told it's going to get fixed and never does."

According to the National Weather Service, a high of 85F is expected in Detroit on August 13. The highest temperature recorded last month was 92F on July 6.

Some of the TikTokers who left comments on the clip were unsympathetic, however.

Amanda Jean commented: " Wow guess yall won't be getting a real job. I work on a factory...85 degrees [F] is a good day."

88bluedevils wrote: "Soldiers wear full gear 20 hours a day at 120 degrees."

Aimee79 posted: "My husband is a roofer, works in 120 degree heat because of metal and being 20 stories up. He works."

Jwillssickwhiteboy added: "It's a kitchen they are hot, I did it for 15 years. It's not great but part of the job."

Other commenters took issue with these reactions. Eliza Jean wrote: "Y'all flexing about working in hazardous conditions need help."

Payton :) agreed, posting: "The people in the comments saying how they worked in worse conditions...baby y'all are victims too."

Some viewers called for empathy for fast-food restaurant workers.

Leftist Fatshionista said: "For those privileged folks without empathy: how much sweat do you want in your food?"

Internet Babe wrote: "It's 'get a better job' until you have to wait 30 mins for a McDouble. Have some empathy for these people."

Newsweek has reached out to McDonald's and Jarmier Owens for comment.

A branch of McDonald's in Texas.
File photo of a McDonald's in Texas. A video showing staff at a Detroit restaurant staging a walkout has been watched 1.5 million times. Brandon Bell/Getty