According to The Local, several refugee cleaners said the company, which is a subsidiary of the Swiss cleaning firm Top Clean, told them that they could acquire residency permits for their workers in exchange for labor. The workers never got paid, but they thought maybe that was normal, and that they would get paid when they got their visas. They allegedly never got their visas either.
“At first I thought it was normal to work for free in Switzerland to get a residency permit. My friends at the refugee home also did it,” said a Sudanese refugee named Yusef, who says he cleaned McDonald’s restaurants virtually nonstop without breaks for 40 days straight and was never paid.
An official complaint was lodged against the cleaning company, and the Swiss McDonald’s franchisee group has reportedly canceled its contract with the cleaning company. A McDonald’s spokesperson said the restaurant chain had nothing to do with the hiring of refugee labor, or with allegedly tricking people into cleaning the restaurants without pay.