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  • People walk past McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Lima, Peru, October 1, 2017.

    People walk past McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Lima, Peru, October 1, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 December 2019

The accident put the spotlight on precarious labor conditions and exploitations in the McDonald's franchises in the Andean country.

A Peruvian prosecutor's office said Wednesday it was investigating the death of the two employees in a McDonald's-branded restaurant in Lima, after the tragedy spurred protests against the fast-food giant in the South American nation.

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The employees, Alexandra Porras, 18, and Carlos Gabriel Campo, 19, were electrocuted on Sunday in Pueblo Libre, a district of the capital, while cleaning the kitchen, police said.

According to declarations of Campo's family's lawyer Walter Bedriñana to the BBC Mundo, the floor of the restaurant was wet when the bodies were found. The family added that they also worked up to 12 hours per day - much longer than the 8-hour shift established in Peruvian labor law.

At least 20 people in the residential area of Miraflores held a protest on Tuesday night outside a different McDonald's location, in response to the employees' deaths, calling for better working conditions.

"We are outraged," said Luis Chuecca, one of the protesters. "We believe it is important to call attention to working conditions to claim what is fair."

At least two young people who said they have worked for the chain in Peru have taken to social media since Sunday to share experiences of unsafe working conditions, low wages and unpaid work.

All 29 McDonald's Peru locations will remain closed until its local operator Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc completes inspections, Arcos Dorados, which owns and operates McDonald's restaurants throughout Latin America, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police and a Lima-based prosecutor said they were investigating the incident. The Peruvian Ministry of Labor said it would also carry out an investigation.

The Peruvian prosecutor's office said that the police investigation would include taking statements from restaurant owners and employees and that the restaurant's security and safety measures would be examined.

Peru's Work Minister Sylvia Caceres told local media that the company was facing a fine that could go up to US$56,000.

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