A decision on an application to extend the opening hours of two local McDonald's restaurants was postponed on Tuesday when a council meeting ran out of time.
McDonald's was to apply for late opening licences in the names of the managers of its stores on Euston Rd, opposite Kings Cross station, and New Oxford St, after protestors claimed the restaurant itself was not a "fit and proper person to hold such a licence".
A special meeting will be held next Tuesday to hear the applications, which would allow the Euston Rd branch to stay open until midnight every day and New Oxford St until 1am.
October 12th 1996
This day marked the fourth anniversary of the death of Mark Hopkins, a worker electrocuted at McDonald's Manchester store. Protests and leafletting took place at many regional locations around the UK and elsewhere.
During the McLibel Trial, Jill Barnes (McDonald's UK Safety Officer) was challenged by the Defendants over a previously confidential internal Report into Mark's death. The Report had not been disclosed at Mark's inquest and was only disclosed by McDonald's to the Defendants days before Jill Barnes took the stand. The inquest had decided that Mark's death was an 'accident'. But the McDonald's Report had catalogued a number of company failures and problems, and had made the damning conclusion: "Safety is not seen as being important at store level".
The discovery of the Report and other documents also not shown to the inquest jury has lead the Hopkins' family to DEMAND THAT A NEW INQUEST BE HELD. Legal submissions are currently being considered by the coroner's court.
"I want every McDonald's worker to stand up for their rights, which is why I am backing this campaign 100%. In this way, Mark's death will not have been in vain." - Maureen Hopkins, Mark's mother.
More than 50 people attended the picket of McDonald's in Market Street, Manchester, organised by Maureen Hopkins. They were outside the store for two hours, handing out many leaflets. One demonstrator stood on the pavement just by the door to the store shouting about the poor pay and working conditions, about Mark's death, McDonald's hostility to trade unions, and the McLibel case. The normally busy store never got more than half full.
After a couple of hours, Maureen and all the demonstrators processed through the streets to the Arndale Centre store where Mark was killed. McDonald's managers formed a line in front of the store but Maureen just walked past, and laid her wreath of 21 red roses. Lots of customers started asking questions of Maureen and the other demonstrators, and many left the store in sympathy with her and disgust at McDonald's. The protestors stayed there for about another hour.
Maureen said afterwards: "It was a brilliant day. I was very pleased with the turnout. McDonald's hated it; I loved it."
About 20 protestors gathered at McDonald's store in Leicester Square. Most of the workers were given special leaflets expressing opposition to low pay and exploitation, and offering solidarity and encouragement to organise for their rights. About 3,000 leaflets were handed out to the public. One person was dressed as a McDonald's worker and was chained to a large mock-up burger, symbolising McDonald's exploitation of workers.