McBusted: Mounting evidence supports claim McDonald’s Israel fired worker for speaking Arabic

The Electronic Intifada today publishes an exclusive investigative report by Jonathan Cook detailing evidence that supports the claim by a former worker at McDonald’s Israel that she was fired for speaking Arabic on the job. We renew our call on our readers to contact McDonald’s Corporation about this disturbing matter and demand justice for this and all its workers.

The Problem

Last week, Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s Corporation admitted in a statement sent to The Electronic Intifada that its licensee in Israel maintains a policy requiring all its workers to speak only Hebrew. McDonald’s has banned Arabic from its premises even though it is the native language of its Arab employees who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, and is one of Israel’s two official languages, along with Hebrew.

But the company asserted that it was “absolutely not true” that the worker, Abeer Zinaty, who had previously been recognized as an outstanding employee, was fired for speaking Arabic on the job.

Today’s report reveals that:

  • The Electronic Intifada has obtained a copy of a handwritten statement from a manager in McDonald’s Israel that clearly lists that Zinaty was fired because she spoke Arabic on the job.
  • Zinaty’s firing was discussed by the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. In a written statement, the Committee calls Zinaty’s firing by McDonald’s “inhumane and immoral” and “calls upon the McDonald’s corporation to reinstate the employee.”
  • Zinaty spoke exclusively with The Electronic Intifada to tell her side of the story and refute the version from McDonald’s Corporation.

    McDonald’s Corporation has over thirteen thousand McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, over 80 in Israel and dozens more in Arab countries.


  • Please see McConfusion: McDonald’s Israel reportedly backs down, while McDonald’s HQ stonewalls (12 March 2004) before taking action on this matter.

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