Protests held outside Wauwatosa McDonald's, not for wages but health and safety

WAUWATOSA (WITI) -- They are told to use condiments instead of first aid ointment to remedy a burn. That's just one of the claims by some McDonald's workers -- past and present -- who protested against the fast food giant on Tuesday, March 17th. Those protests were staged across the country -- including in Wauwatosa.

About a dozen fast food workers were at the McDonald's near Mayfair Rd. and Burleigh St. Unlike protests in the past, this one isn't just about wages. It's also about health and safety violations.

"They told me to put butter on it. They told me to put butter on it!" said former McDonald's employee Marielle Crowley.

Crowley claims that's what he was told by his manager when he burnt himself on the job.

"I worked at this McDonald's behind me for about four years. And throughout that four years, there was never band aids, burning spray, cream or anything," said Crowley. "They used to just tell us throw butter on it or throw some pickle juice on it, it will stop it from burning and get back to work."

A spokesperson with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirms its agency has received numerous complaints against McDonald's about improper and unsafe working conditions. But officials say since it's an ongoing investigation, they cannot say exactly how many complaints they have received -- or where.

OSHA officials say they are taking all complaints seriously.

In a statement,  Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, McDonald’s Communications released the following statement on this matter:

"McDonald’s and its independent franchisees are committed to providing safe working conditions for employees in the 14,000 McDonald’s Brand U.S. restaurants. We will review these allegations. It is important to note that these complaints are part of a larger strategy orchestrated by activists targeting our brand and designed to generate media coverage."

The protest was organized by Wisconsin Jobs Now -- a non-profit organization that has worked with fast food and retail workers to get higher pay. The organization says complaints have been filed against several McDonald's in Wisconsin. But officials would not say how many or where.