A New York City McDonald’s crew walked out Friday, saying they were forced to work without air conditioning amid record-high temperatures. One worker collapsed from the heat.
Luisa Villa, an employee who participated in the walkout on Friday, said in an interview with The Huffington Post that the air conditioner in the restaurant’s kitchen has been broken at least since she began working there nine years ago. The crew member who collapsed, Esheliz Méndez, had complained about the broken air conditioner numerous times, she added. A repair was made last year after another employee collapsed, Villa said, but the cooling system broke again within a week.
“[The owners of the store] make fun of us because they think we’re animals,” Villa said in Spanish. “We’re not animals. We’re people. We don’t want to die and you can certainly die from the heat, you know.”
The McDonald’s branch in question, located in Washington Heights, is an independently owned franchise managed by Dominga De Jesus, according to the company’s website. Seventy people work there in total, Villa said.
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