Burger King - real sign - © 2014 Burger King

Foreign Fast Food Workers Go ‘Underground’

Yes, there’s a pun there, somewhere. Stick with me another sentence or two and all will become clear. The essence of the story is that Fast Food franchisees, whose already slim profit margins are being assailed from all sides, are still abusing the rules for Temporary Foreign Workers to make ends meet…

BK Whopper Meal - © Burger KingWho’s making your Whopper? And where are they sleeping?

In the latest chapter of the ongoing tale, Lethbridge, Alberta, Health Department inspectors earlier this week reported finding evidence that Temporary Foreign Workers had been living in the basement of a Burger King location in that city. Up until the inspectors entered a store room and found cots and personal effects of workers. It was a routine inspection focusing on health and safety issues.

The January 10, 2018, Provincial Health Services Order against the BK store stated that inspectors had found evidence of ‘sleeping/living accommodations for foreign workers’.

Allowing sleeping or living accommodations in a restaurant is a health code violation. Food-handling services must be separated from living quarters and other areas that may be ‘incompatible with the safe and sanitary handling of food’.

I can almost visualize folks living at a BK… Except, where are the laundry and showers?

Not only that, but two storage rooms and some equipment were tagged for clean-up after it was determined that they had been soiled by a burst pipe some time before.

Wouldn’t want to be the franchise owner…

But there seems to be a major disconnect between the Health Department and the Burger King people.

A BK regional office spokesperson told Canadian Press, in an e-mail, that the franchise owner says he’s not guilty. “He has confirmed that the accusations regarding accommodations are not true. However, we will continue to ensure compliance with our high operational standards.”

Nevertheless, the franchise operator had until yesterday to remove the furniture and other stuff that said ‘accommodations’ to inspectors and clean up the dirty room. It appears he did. The Order has reportedly been cancelled.

But If I was the Franchise owner, or regional BK officials, I’d be painfully aware that there will be a big red flag on my file indefinitely after this incident. How much harder dos that make it to do business? Let alone make a profit?

At least, he’s not in Ontario with a massive minimum wage hike to deal with on top of everything else!

~ Maggie J.