The Brussels indictment division has referred hamburger chain Quick to the criminal court for illegal employment, social security violations and human trafficking.
According to the court, Quick gets its restaurants cleaned by illegal workers who were exploited. The inquiry started back in 2006 with a first series of checks. Cleaners worked long hours and were severely underpaid. All facts date from a period between 2006 and 2011.
Originally, some 25 franchisees were also being sued, but only a few of these were referred to the criminal court as mainly Quick and the cleaning companies' management will have to answer to the court.
Reports about the use of Pakistani cleaning companies which exploited their employees date back 13 years ago. Staff was forced to work 7 nights a week for measly wages. At that time, Quick was not blamed, even though the chain promised to do background checks on its cleaning crew.
Quick was caught red-handed again in 2007, while abuses were also registered in several restaurants in 2011. That is why it was decided, in 2012, to bring Quick and the restaurateurs to court. It is that criminal investigation which has now brought Quick to the criminal court.