[Peru] Labour Laws Tightened Following Deaths At McDonald’s Franchisee

Only days after McDonald’s franchisee workers took to the streets to demand a safer workplace, the Peruvian Government announced changes to labour laws to increase penalties for companies found liable for workplace accidents, Financial World reports.

The demands for drastic change followed the deaths of a young couple in a McDonald’s franchisee earlier in the month. The pair died from electrocution in an Arcos Dorados’ restaurant while they were cleaning the kitchen.

Arcos Dorados operates 29 restaurants in Peru and are the largest global franchisee of McDonald’s. Protestors carried placards reading “Justice for Porras and Campo,” the names of the couple who lost their lives in the accident.

On December 26, the labour department agreed to a sweeping overhaul of Peru’s labour laws. Sylvia Caceres - the labour minister -  said in a statement that following reports of any workplace accident there would be an automatic closure of 10-20 days at the location. Such a closure could be extended up to 30 days should a company be found responsible for an incident.

Ms Caceres reportedly failed to raise the deaths of teenagers Porras and Campo when she spoke at a press briefing on December 27. Addressing the legislative changes she said, “Closure (for the 30-day maximum) will be considered when it has been determined that the employer has breached its obligations and thereby affected the health and life of its workers.

We believe that this is a step forward to reinforce the dissuasive capacity that the labour inspectorate must exert for employers who deliberately and irresponsibly breach their obligations and affect the health of our workers. ”