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美国国家公共电台 NPR Save The .... McDonald's? One Franchise In France Has Become A Social Justice Cause

时间:2019-10-24 02:58来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



In the French port city of Marseille, there is a fight going on to save a McDonald's. For France, McDonald's is often a symbol of everything that's despised about American fast food culture and globalization. But when a franchiser1 wanted to turn a McDonald's into a halal restaurant, he found himself facing an employee uprising. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.


KAMEL GUEMARI: (Speaking French).

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE2: One day last August, 37-year-old McDonald's manager Kamel Guemari locked himself alone inside his restaurant, doused3 himself with gasoline and prepared to light a match.


BEARDSLEY: As his colleagues screamed and pounded on the doors outside, Guemari livestreamed on Facebook.

GUEMARI: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: "Employees and their families are going to be plunged4 into chaos," he said, "McDonald's cannot abandon us." Guemari never lit the match, but I wondered, what would make someone go to such extremes for a McDonald's? I had to go find out.

Bonjour. Eleanor.

I first met Kamel Guemari a month after his desperate protest. His McDonald's is surrounded by public housing high-rises in the northern outskirts5 of Marseilles. Guemari took me for a ride to show where he grew up.

GUEMARI: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: I mean, there's laundry hanging out. They're kind of rundown, these big tall buildings. And they're showing us...

GUEMARI: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: ...The drug deals going on. And here's the McDonald's right up here. Oh, I see. (Speaking French).

At 16, Guemari says he was hit hard by his parents' divorce. He dropped out of school, lived partly on the street and dabbled6 in drug dealing7. He points to a kid wearing a ski mask outside his old apartment building, a lookout8 for the dealers9. Guemari says that could have been his fate had he not met someone else in these project towers 20 years ago.

GUEMARI: (Through interpreter) Ronald McDonald, he toured the neighborhood bringing magic to the kids to help them forget their worries. It was marvelous. That day, McDonald's left some supplies behind. I said, don't worry. I'll take care of it. They trusted me. So the next day when I brought the stuff back, I asked for a job.

BEARDSLEY: It's been more than 20 years since that day. Guemari still works at the same McDonald's where he got his first job. He's helped pull other young people off the streets, giving them the same chance he'd been given. A lot of people from the neighborhood made careers here. To them, says Guemari, this little one-story restaurant amidst the miles of high-rises is this strange little oasis10.

GUEMARI: (Through interpreter) It's like the village cafe. Mothers come here with their kids to enjoy a happy meal. There's no violence. Even the hoodlums respect the McDonald's.

BEARDSLEY: Despite what you might think about the French hating McDonald's, France is McDonald's second biggest market in Europe. The trouble at this Marseille McDonald's started last year when the franchiser decided11 to sell his bouquet12 of McDonald's, which includes this one. The five others were to remain McDonald's franchises13, but Guemari's was to become a halal restaurant. Ironically, for the mostly Muslim employees, that added insult to injury.

McDonald's had connected them to the rest of France. As Guemari put it, someone was trying to turn our neighborhood into a Muslim ghetto14. That's what led to his desperate act. And the first time I arrive, the McDonald's is occupied. The workers have taken it over, some are even sleeping there.

It looks like a regular McDonald's on a busy traffic circle until you get closer. All the windows of this McDonald's had black trash bags taped up so you couldn't see inside. You see all the posters in the windows, union posters. One of them says, total support to Kamel Guemari, who wanted to sacrifice his life for us.

The franchiser buying the other five McDonald's is a prominent restaurateur in Marseille named Mohamed Abbassi. But he says he doesn't want this one. Not only is it losing money, it's too much trouble. Over the years, Guemari has become an effective labor15 organizer. He's helped his employees boost their meager16 salaries and get some benefits. But Abbassi says he's turned workers into soldiers.

MOHAMED ABBASSI: I have a respect for Mr. Kamel Guemari, OK? But I not want to work with him, OK? He chose one way, I chose another way, OK?

BEARDSLEY: Ironically, the two men with diametrically different views about how to run this McDonald's actually have a lot in common. Both are sons of North African immigrants who grew up in high-rises feeling like outsiders. Like Guemari, Abbassi found acceptance in the American fast food chain. He says when he first graduated from college, he thought it would be easy to find a job.

ABBASSI: It's very difficult, you know. When your name is Mohamed, OK, you're not white with the blue eyes, OK, it's very difficult here in France. OK? So I make a lot of small jobs, OK? And after - one franchiser of McDonald's, he give me my chance. And it was the first real job I have, OK, it's McDonald's assistant. OK? I'm good worker, OK? So very quickly, I take a job of first assistant of store manager and left a supervisor17.

BEARDSLEY: Abbassi says he remembers sharing a beer with the head of McDonald's France, who was an American at the time.

ABBASSI: He speak with me normally, OK? How are you? Fine. You know, in France, when someone is like a post like this one, OK, he don't - he never speak with you like this, normal like this.

BEARDSLEY: McDonald's slogan in France is "Venez Comme Vous Etes" - come as you are. Both Guemari and Abbassi heard that call, though, their interpretations18 would differ. For Guemari it meant McDonald's will give hard-luck kids a chance. He used the restaurant to fight for social justice. For Abbassi, McDonald's was a place where no matter who you are, if you work hard, you can rise up the ranks and get rich.

After Guemari's threat to emulate19 himself, the McDonald's employees hired a lawyer to try to block the halal sale. The court verdict was set to be announced the day I arrived.

OK. The McDonald's employees are sitting here waiting for the phone call from the court. There's a lot of media around.


BEARDSLEY: Oh, my God. It looks like they won.

Abbassi watched all this unfold from afar. Not long after, he made an offer. He said he would buy Guemari's McDonald's and keep it a McDonald's on one condition, that Guemari leave. But that was a condition the employees and Guemari could never accept.

GUEMARI: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: "This McDonald's has always been more than just a McDonald's" said, Guemari. A year later, the battle to save it is still going on. The workers hope to make a bid to buy this McDonald's and turn it into a worker-owned cooperative. Guemari and his colleagues say they refuse to give up the struggle for a beloved McDonald's where they can both flip20 burgers and fight for their place in the world.

Eleanor Beardsley, NPR News, Marseille.



1 franchiser Isbzdc     
  • An initial fee is payable to the franchiser.应该付给经销商一笔先期费用。
  • Under this situation the company's decision to invite a nationwide franchiser.根据这一情况公司决定在全国范围内诚邀加盟商。
2 byline sSXyQ     
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
3 doused 737722b5593e3f3dd3200ca61260d71f     
v.浇水在…上( douse的过去式和过去分词 );熄灯[火]
  • The car was doused in petrol and set alight. 这辆汽车被浇上汽油点燃了。
  • He doused the lamp,and we made our way back to the house. 他把灯熄掉,我们就回到屋子里去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
5 outskirts gmDz7W     
  • Our car broke down on the outskirts of the city.我们的汽车在市郊出了故障。
  • They mostly live on the outskirts of a town.他们大多住在近郊。
6 dabbled 55999aeda1ff87034ef046ec73004cbf     
v.涉猎( dabble的过去式和过去分词 );涉足;浅尝;少量投资
  • He dabbled in business. 他搞过一点生意。 来自辞典例句
  • His vesture was dabbled in blood. 他穿的衣服上溅满了鲜血。 来自辞典例句
7 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
8 lookout w0sxT     
  • You can see everything around from the lookout.从了望台上你可以看清周围的一切。
  • It's a bad lookout for the company if interest rates don't come down.如果利率降不下来,公司的前景可就不妙了。
9 dealers 95e592fc0f5dffc9b9616efd02201373     
n.商人( dealer的名词复数 );贩毒者;毒品贩子;发牌者
  • There was fast bidding between private collectors and dealers. 私人收藏家和交易商急速竞相喊价。
  • The police were corrupt and were operating in collusion with the drug dealers. 警察腐败,与那伙毒品贩子内外勾结。
10 oasis p5Kz0     
  • They stopped for the night at an oasis.他们在沙漠中的绿洲停下来过夜。
  • The town was an oasis of prosperity in a desert of poverty.该镇是贫穷荒漠中的一块繁荣的“绿洲”。
11 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
12 bouquet pWEzA     
  • This wine has a rich bouquet.这种葡萄酒有浓郁的香气。
  • Her wedding bouquet consisted of roses and ivy.她的婚礼花篮包括玫瑰和长春藤。
13 franchises ef6665e7cd0e166d2f4deb0f4f26c671     
n.(尤指选举议员的)选举权( franchise的名词复数 );参政权;获特许权的商业机构(或服务);(公司授予的)特许经销权v.给…以特许权,出售特许权( franchise的第三人称单数 )
  • TV franchises will be auctioned to the highest bidder. 电视特许经营权将拍卖给出价最高的投标人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Ford dealerships operated as independent franchises. 福特汽车公司的代销商都是独立的联营商。 来自辞典例句
14 ghetto nzGyV     
  • Racism and crime still flourish in the ghetto.城市贫民区的种族主义和犯罪仍然十分猖獗。
  • I saw that achievement as a possible pattern for the entire ghetto.我把获得的成就看作整个黑人区可以仿效的榜样。
15 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
16 meager zB5xZ     
  • He could not support his family on his meager salary.他靠微薄的工资无法养家。
  • The two men and the woman grouped about the fire and began their meager meal.两个男人同一个女人围着火,开始吃起少得可怜的午饭。
17 supervisor RrZwv     
  • Between you and me I think that new supervisor is a twit.我们私下说,我认为新来的主管人是一个傻瓜。
  • He said I was too flighty to be a good supervisor.他说我太轻浮不能成为一名好的管理员。
18 interpretations a61815f6fe8955c9d235d4082e30896b     
n.解释( interpretation的名词复数 );表演;演绎;理解
  • This passage is open to a variety of interpretations. 这篇文章可以有各种不同的解释。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The involved and abstruse passage makes several interpretations possible. 这段艰涩的文字可以作出好几种解释。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
19 emulate tpqx9     
  • You must work hard to emulate your sister.你必须努力工作,赶上你姐姐。
  • You must look at the film and try to emulate his behavior.你们必须观看这部电影,并尽力模仿他的动作。
20 flip Vjwx6     
  • I had a quick flip through the book and it looked very interesting.我很快翻阅了一下那本书,看来似乎很有趣。
  • Let's flip a coin to see who pays the bill.咱们来抛硬币决定谁付钱。
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