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McDonald’s shuts down Russian operations, continues wages for employees in Ukraine

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March 8, 2022
By Talent Canada

(Getty Images)

McDonald’s is joining a growing a chorus of corporations that are suspending operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

“The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people,” said CEO Chris Kempczinski  in an email to employees and franchisees. “As a System, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.”

Kempczinski said the number one priority “has been – and will remain – our people.”

Full salaries continue for Ukrainian employees

The restaurant chain said it is continuing to pay full salaries to its employee in the Ukraine and has also donated $5 million U.S. to its Employee Assistance Fund.

This support will continue to grow, he said.

62,000 employees in Russia will also be paid

Kempczinski called the situation “extraordinarily challenging for a global brand.”

“In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities,” he said. “We work with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food for our menu and support our brand. And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s. In the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate.”

But the company’s value cannot ignore the “needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine,” he said.

“McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market. We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners, which is why we are prepared to support all three legs of the stool in Ukraine and Russia. This includes salary continuation for all McDonald’s employees in Russia.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC Russia) will continue its full operations, just as RMHC Ukraine is partnering with local hospitals and providing humanitarian aid throughout the country.

“As we move forward, McDonald’s will continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required,” he said. “At this juncture, it’s impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia. We are experiencing disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts. We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation.”

McDonald’s owns 84 per cent of its Russian restaurants. In a recent financial filing, the company said Russia and Ukraine contributed nine per cent of the company’s revenue last year.

– with files from the Associated Press

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