(2) MCDONALD'S RESTAURANTS LTD.
- AND -
(2) HELEN MARIE STEEL
(4) DAVID MORRIS
PLAINTIFFS' CLOSING SUBMISSIONS
BARLOW LYDE & GILBERT
1.1 A somewhat different approach is taken here.
1. 2 A fair summary of this part of the leaflet (p.4) might be (key words in text of leaflet underlined):
(1) Pay and conditions (including chances of promotion) are very "bad";
(2) That is why the turnover of staff is so high*;
be a serious
are not hard
(3) Pay and conditions would be improved if the workforce were unionised, but McD's have a "policy" designed to prevent this which involves "getting rid of" anyone who is prounion;
(4) The workers are therefore "wary" of attempting unionisation especially those from "ethnic minorities", many of whom have been "sacked" by McD's for just this, and who have "little chance of getting work elsewhere";
(5) This means that McD's are able (and eager) to "exploit"* young people, women and black people (already disadvantaged in society) and to pay them as little as possible;
(6) In pursuing that object, McD's take advantage of the absence of a minimum wage, thus helping to depress wage levels in the catering industry still further. "
1.3 In essence (but with greater brevity), this is what meanings N. O and P on p.l7 of the Ream S/C express .
2. The leaflet is (i n these respects and, of course, in context) defamatory of both Pffs: that rightthinking member of society would dream of going to work at McD's* after reading this?
to do so.
3. There is a q. whether the epithets 'low' and 'bad' are, in context, expressions of opinion or statements of fact. In many contexts, they might be seen as expressions of opinion. But not here. There are two reasons why not:
(1) The overall context.
The thrust of the leaflet is to 'reveal' all the many things McD's "don't want you to know": low pay and bad working conditions are two of those things (answering the q.:"What's it like working for McDonald's?").
2.) The immediate context.
Low pay and bad conditions are given as the reasons for the "problem" of high turnover. If they were merely matters of opinion (which, on such issues, can range very widely), they could not have the effect alleged: people do not leave in droves simply because someone thinks their pay and conditions are poor; they leave because they are.
3.1 For these reasons, the assertion can only be that the pay is low and the conditions are bad in absolute, or objective, terms; that is, as a matter of fact. Taken together, in context, they fuel the image of deliberate (improper) exploitation, and are therefore part of the defamation.
3.2 All the other allegations (1.2, (3) (6) above) are obviously allegations of fact.
4.2 The facts
4.1 Some preliminary observations
4.2 The picture of working life at McD's painted by the leaflet is a grotesque misrepresentation .
4.2.1 If it were, on the evidence, a true picture, some important consequences would follow:
(i) The workforce would be hopelessly depressed and inefficient: permanently tired, slow, scruffy, grumpy and accident prone;
(ii) Staff turnover would be far higher than it is and recruitment extremely difficult certainly no one would ever give working at McD's a second go;
(iii) The rests. would be habitually understaffed, and dirty;
(iv) The staff would all be undertrained and the service would be dreadful: slow, badtempered and sloppy;
(v) The food would be awful: cold, greasy and messily prepared;
(vi) There would have been thousands of prosecutions, worldwide, for breaches of food safety, HIS and employment laws.
(vii) The customers would walk out in their thousands, never to return;
(viii) Eventually (perhaps sooner rather than later), the company would go out of business.
4.2.2 The reality is quite different. There are, no doubt, some criticisms which can be made of things that have happened at McD's from time to time. This is wholly unsurprising, because McD's is, essentially, a 'people business', and people are not perfect: they behave badly, they make mistakes, they have different abilities and capacities and they do not always get on with each other.
4.2.3 But if the q. is, Is the whole system rotten? (which is answered affirmatively by the leaflet), then the ans. must be, No. The business flourishes, expanding every year, with more and more people flocking to the clean, welcoming, efficient rests.; which is really rather remarkable, given that the majority of the people working in the rests. are young parttimers . The system, it seems, actually works!
4.3 There is another reason for giving the same answer to that q. This case has been in Court for nearly 2½ years. During that time (and before it), the case has received, by one route or another, quite a lot of publicity. If working for McD's were even half as awful as the leaflet suggests, then there would be 100s of 1000s of exemployees in this country (starting from 1974) who were nursing profoundly unhappy memories of their miserable experiences at McD's.
4.3.1 Why, then, have they not been clambering over each other to get into the witnessbox to give evidence for the Defts?
Because they do not exist.
4.3.2 You will always get some people who, for one reason or another (good or bad), dislike a particular working environment; and the Defts have been able to call some such people during 9 months of employment evidence.
But how many?
-Total (from this country): 14 (excluding, for this purpose, CEA witnesses).
- But, of those 14,
6 were from Colchester
2 were from Bath and
2 were from Sidcup, leaving
1 each from W. Ealing
E. Ham and
- Note, also, that the 14 witnesses (covering a total of only 7 restaurants) also covered a long period of time: 1984 (Gibney) to 1994 (Beech). So the jam, in this respect too, is spread very thin.
4.4 Perhaps the most serious allegation in this part of the leaflet is that McD's success in keeping the heel of their boot on their workforce is chiefly attributable to their policy of sacking anyone who shows him/herself to be prounion. This, if it were true, would not only be unlawful, but it would, to any rightthinking person, appear to be a serious abuse of power.
4.4.1 In fact, on the evidence, there is not a shred of truth in it. The Ds have produced not a single witness in Court, from anywhere in the world, to five clear and convincing evidence that he/she was sacked because of union sympathies or activities. Considering the scale of McD's operation, both geographically and in number of years, it is inconceivable that if McD's had the alleged policy, or even if the sacking of prounion workers were a fairly regular occurrence in their restaurants, people would not have come forward to say that they had been victims of it. But none has*.
also be a
mass of IT
(Note: arguments about whether McD's are 'antiunion', or not 'prounion', besides avoiding the issue raised by the w/co (see above), are in any case sterile because such an allegation (if it had appeared in the leaflet) would hardly be calculated to lower McD's reputation in the eyes of the generality of ordinary right thinking people.)
4 .5 The other very serious allegation in the leaflet is that McD's (eagerly) exploit women and black people (which is heavily emphasised by the last five lines of the first col. on p .5 of the leaflet; and perhaps finds a resonance in the reference to "black people" and "whites" on p.2). Again, there is not a shred of evidence to support this.
4.6 There is another preliminary consideration which may be of some value:
If the picture of McD's employment practices which is conjured up by the leaflet were true and fair, how would that square with the impression given by McD's employment witnesses of the sort of people they truly are?
This is familiar territory for any J. (or advocate). The reason is that it is a valuable aid (though it is neither infallible nor unique) in the search for the ens. to the q.:
Where, on the balance of probabilities, does the truth lie?
4.6.1 In this particular case, the J. has had an unusually good opportunity to arrive at a judgement about this: not only has a very large number of witnesses given e. for McD's on employment (34, inc. Beavers and Preston) but also many of them spent long periods in the witness box under XX, thus allowing an extended assessment of their characters and qualities as people which, in relation to employment (of people), may be of particular importance.
4.6.2 Thus, the q. may be asked:
To what extent is it credible that people of the character and qualities of the 30 listed below would be willing to continue running, or working for, McD's if the company treated its employees in the manner alleged in the leaflet?
(Brown, Tindale, Pierce and Purslow omitted because they don't really bear on this issue)..
- One wonders how the people in the third column might have reacted if had been put to them (it wasn't) that they were members of an underclass of 'drones', persistently exploited and abused by a profit obsessed employer?
4.6.3 These people are all very different (not a 'corporate clone' amongst them). Some obvious 'sorties' (eg. Beavers, Barnes, Harney, Henden, Perrett); some looking, perhaps, a bit more like 'toughies' (eg, Stein, Stanton Skehel*, Richards); most just a mixture. But that isn't really the q. The q. is:
Do any of them seem to be the sort of people who would willingly work for a company that determinedly grinds its employees into the dirt in pursuit of a fast buck?
*But see, for
how to run
4.6.4 If there is any value in this approach, then there is a final point which may be helpful. Obviously, the 'top brass' Beavers, Preston, Stein, Nicholson, Meade, Barnes were always going to give general evidence on employment. But the rest (inc. Atherton, for Colchester) appeared as witnesses simply because they were needed to answer the Ds' allegations about particular rests. at particular times. This means that their 'selection' from amongst the huge number of McD's supervisors, managers and employees was random*; with the consequence that the contribution they make to answering the q., What's it like working for McD's?", being free from the putative disadvantages of preselection, may be thought especially valuable.
*cf. the Bath
4.7 Not including Beavers and Preston, something like 85 days (or part days), or 17 court weeks, were spent on employment evidence; and there are many thousands of pages of documents on the topic. It is not practicable (nor, in the end, very helpful, perhaps) to produce a comprehensive review of all the detail of that evidence. As with other topics (but more so), I shall attempt to isolate the important issues, to give general answers to the qq. which arise and, to an extent, to five references which may be helpful. There are exceptions to this general scheme where some considerable detail must be given: Bath, Colchester and Heathrow are the chief examples. The assistance which such detailed examination of individual restaurants may give is that it may show whether any, and if so what, general inferences about McD's employment practices can properly be drawn from the particular cases. In this connexion, it will be important to keep in mind that these rests. were selected by the Ds, not by the Pffs.
4.7.1 In looking at the evidence, there are two general qq. which may help in reaching a final judgement about McD's qualities as an employer:
(1) Are McD's employment policies and systems generally fair and sensible?
(2) When things go wrong (as, inevitably*, they do), do McD's have adequate procedures for dealing with them?
If the answers to those two qq. are affirmative, then the details of particular incidents of misadventure or malpractice are inconsequential .
4.7.2 Against that background, the general topics and subtopics would seem to be:
- Minimum wage/overtime
- Comparative rates
- Restarting rates
- Turnover (and length of service).
- Staffing levels
- Length of shifts
- U. 18s
- Accidents: number and type
- preventive measures
- Rap sessions
- Crew meetings
- Other routes
- Some particular cases
- Equal Opportunities
- Women and ethnic minorities
4.8.1 Minimum wage/overtime
(1) For the USA, see Stein*. McD's average hourly rates are well above the legal minimum. For every year from 1980 to 1993 the average rates were above the federal minimum, and from 1988 onwards, very considerably above*. There is evidence that some States impose higher minima than the federal one, but the only example is Philadelphia (or perhaps Pa) where the rate in 1989 was $3.70* (federal: $3.35). However, in Nov. 1989 (the date of the PUP 'survey'*), McD's national average was $4.73. * McD's also pay overtime according to US law.
(2) For the UK, there are no figs . for average rates. And there is no longer a legal minimum wage nor compulsory o/t payments. So comparisons with the US are difficult. However, examination of the UK McD's wages at times when both minimum wage and overtime payments ere compulsory (to follow) does tend to uggest that there are two reasons why, in the US, the average rates have 80 consistently exceeded the legal minimum:
(a) different rates for different shifts;
(b) early, and regular, performancerelated payrises.
First, however, a short historical review.
(3) Until 1986, in the UK, the provisions* for the payment of minimum wages and overtime were complex and detailed+.
(4) The Wages Councils had the responsibility for issuing Orders and Notices and for supervising compliance therewith, through the Wages Inspectorate.
(5) It is obvious that a company like McD's, with its large number of (temporary) parttimers, its flexible hours and variable shifts, might have had some difficulty in complying with the strict letter of this fasciculus of regulations.
(6) In the event, they were not required to do so: so long as the overall amount paid to the employee was not less than his/her statutory entitlement, the Inspectorate was satisfied* (no doubt partly because it absolved them of the need for continual inspections to ensure compliance with the strict letter, but no doubt also because it seemed to them that compliance with the spirit was acceptable: but this is speculation).
(7) In the result, this 'accommodation' may not always have worked, in the (not insignificant) sense that there would be fortnights (and therefore, presumably, weeks) when some employees might be paid less than their statutory entitlement* .
(8) This is not something to be brushed aside; and it would be something of a black mark against McD's, but. for the fact that their method of payment had, in effect, been sanctioned by the Wages Inspectorate.
(9) In any case, the extent to which, strictly, McD's may have been in breach of the 1979 Act is uncertain, given the two considerations noticed at (2) (a) and (b) above, of which
(a) dealt with the 'unsocial hours' provisions directly; *
para 9(1)(a) and (b)
(b) dealt (by and large) with the overtime provision indirectly+.
post,as to all
(10) In 1986, the 'thicket' of regulations under the 1979 Act was drastically pruned by the Wages Act 1986, so that, from June 1987 onwards*, there was a single basic minimum wage and a single overtime rate, applicable to workers of 21 or over only, and regardless of the times of day at which the hours were worked.
¹Alimi may in fact be something of a special case, because, during those fortnights when he was 'underpaid' (7/21), he was either at or only 5p above the statutory minimum; as soon as he went up to 14p (then down to 11p) above the statutory minimum, he was never 'underpaid'.
(11) Despite this 'new horizon',
(a) McD's continued to pay the statutory minimum to workers of 18 or over;
(b) this applied (as before) only to dayshift workers outside London: everyone else got more; so that
(c) the basic dayshift rates in London were in excess of the statutory minimum; and
(d) All workers were paid enhanced (basic) rates for all shifts other than the dayshift*.
*As to all
of this, see
(12) There was no legal obligation on McD's to do any of this. They could have paid all their workers of 21+, wherever in the country and whatever shifts they worked, the basic legal minimum for up to 39 hours a week. And they could have paid the under21s anything they liked at all*: eg, 25% less than the legal minimum for 21+s, at a flat rate throughout a 24 hr. day, and regardless of the number of hours worked in the week.
can pay what
they like" (p.5,
Cal. 2, para.3)
(13) But they did not do so; partly, no doubt, because it would have made recruitment difficult (see later). However, if the q. is, as the leaflet says it is, whether McD's have taken advantage of the absence of a minimum wage to keep wages as low as possible, then their conduct following the 1986 Wages Act conclusively answers that q. in the negative (notwithstanding that, contrary to what the leaflet says, there was a minimum wage, at least until 1992! ).
(14) Back to the time before the Wages Act 1986, when everything was governed by the 1979 Act:
(i) The first q. is what the provisions as to minimum wages and overtime actually were. Here, Mr Pearson, a former member of the Wages Council responsible for the catering industry, made what appears to be a schoolboy howler'. He said that the basis for overtime was not the basic minimum hourly rate, but the hourly rate for the period during which the overtime was worked*
*181 :3: 45-
by J., the
which Mr Pearson
(ii) A moment's reflection shows that this must be wrong. Take a 45 hour week. Unless all 45 has were worked during the same shift (day, evening or late), there is no means by which the 6 hrs' overtime can be allocated to one shift rather than another. There is not even any provision that they should be taken to be the last 6 hours in the week (which might, anyway, be 12 noon to 6pm): they are simply 6 extra or additional hours.
(iii) In any case, the provisions of the Wages Order of June 1986*, on their true construction, leave no doubt that Mr Pearson's interpretation is unsustainable. The provisions are, on examination, perfectly clear:
Made under S.14
of the Wages
(a) p.641*; paragraph 9:
*of PXII /26
"The following minimum overtime and other premium payments are payable .... IN ADDITION to the minimum rates as provided by paragraph 6 or 7.
(a) between 7pm and 11 pm 1/8 of the hourly rate
(b) between 11pm and 7am: 1/4 of the hourly rate
²The order at P XII/26 (UPR 70) is the relevant one. The one referred to by Mr Pearson in his note of 21.11.96 is from a different Wages Council. But, in any case, its provisions are identical (in effect) to those of UPR 70, with para. 8 being nothing more than an 'unsocial hours' provision in respect of daily dutytimes and having nothing to do with overtime.
(3) .... all times worked in excess of 39 hours:
½ of the hourly rate"
(b) p.640; paragraph 7, column 3, sets out the minimum hourly rate for different groups of workers (McD's are in Group 5).
(c) p.631 (definitions):
""HOURLY RATE" means:-
(a) ... the appropriate rate under Column 3 of the Table in paragraph ....7"
(iv) This means:
(a) that the "hourly rate", or the "minimum hourly rate", is that appearing in Col. 3 of para. 7 on p . 640 (in this case, £1.988 );
(b) that the enhancements dictated by pare. 9 on p.641 are ail, quite separately, based on that "hourly rate"; so that
(c) the hours between. 7 and 11 pm are to be paid at £1.9888 x 1 1/8;
(d) the hours between llpm and 7 am are to be paid at £1.988 x 1 1/4; and
(e) any hours over 39 in the week, whenever worked, are to be paid at £1.988 x 1 1/2; therefore
(f) someone who worked in a week, eg,
18 has between 7 am and 7pm
18 has between 7pm and llpm
9 has between llpm and 7am
= 45 hrs,
would have been entitled to
18 x 1.988 (basic)
18 x 2.238 (time and 1/8)
9 x 2.485 (time and 1/4)
and 6 x 2.982 (time and 1/2)
(v) The 'Alimi' calculations have therefore been done on the correct basis, not the 'Pearson' basis.
(15) The 'unsocial hours' rates ((1)(a) and (b) of para. 9 of the Order*) were directly incorporated or reflected in McD's rates (outside London: in London, they were higher): see PXII /29/672, bottom table, June 1986 (£2.24 and £2.49; statutory rates: £2.238 and £2.485 (!)).
(16) Since however, statutory overtime was not paid at McD's, the 'shortfall' for hrs in excess of 39 could only be made up by pay rises (remembering that statutory overtime was 1 1/2 x the basic minimum statutory rate (£1.988), not the rate for any particular shift nor the individual worker's existing rate). This is likely to have meant that for some workers, at some times, their overall pay for a fortnight (or a week) was less than their statutory entitlement (see (7) and (8) above).
(17) After the simplification wrought by the Wages Act 1986? however, this became much less likely, because
(a) the number of McD's workers who had any statutory entitlement to overtime was greatly reduced;* and
* Y X/7/DocE(4)
shows that in
of the hrlypd.
of whom the vast
likely to have
been under 21:
for 3 Saturdays
in August 1993
and 3 in August
1994 shows that
on average, the
U 21s represented
about 70% of the
those days (see
post ) .
(b) there were no longer any statutory enhanced rates for the two 'unsocial' shifts, so that the enhanced rates for those shifts which McD's continued to pay were available to be set off (as a matter of arithmetic, not law) against a 21+ worker's statutory entitlement to overtime.
(18) As the calculations set out in Table 1 over, suggest, the number of workers of 21 or over who were receiving less than their statutory entitlement after 1986 is, in reality, likely to have been close to negligible.
1. The Wages Order for June 1987* gives the following minima:
Basic rate (up to 39 has): £2.10 per hour
Overtime (time over 39 has): £3.15 per hour
2. Thus, a 43 hr week (say) would yield:
39 x 2.10 = 81.90
4 x 3.15 = 12.60
3. The only basic rate at McD's in 1987 which was the same as the statutory minimum was the provincial dayshift rate (for 18+s); all the rest were higher*.
4. Assuming, therefore, a 21 yr old worker in the provinces who worked all 43 hours during the dayshift. He/she would get:
5. This, of course, is without any pay rises.
6. If he/she (again, without any pay rises) did 39 has of dayshifts and 4 has of 711pm shifts, then he/she would get:
39 x 2.10 = 81.90
4 x 2.35 = 9.40
(only) £91. 30
7. But, if, say 22 has of dayshift and 21 has of evening shift, then: £95.55
8. And if all 43 hours in evening shifts, then £101 . 05
- and more, obviously, if any of those hours are in the late shift (at £2. 60/hr) .
9. These calculations, however, ignore reality. Both as a matter of commonsense, and on the evidence*, most of the 39+ hr weeks are worked by experienced fulltimers, who will have had at least one (and usually several) pay rise(s) (ex hypothesi, only 21+s are involved in the calculation, anyway).
10. Take, therefore, a provincial fulltimer who has had a 10p rise on the basic starting rate (a conservative case, because most will be ahead of that):
A. Dayshifts only:
43 x 2.20 = £94.60
B. 39 has dayshifts + 4 has evening shift:
39 x 2.20 = 85.80
4 x 2.45 = 9.80
C. Evening shifts only:
43 x 2.45 = £105.35
And so on ...
11. So the system did, in practice, work.
*In these two cases (A & B), if 45 hrs is substituted for 43, then McD's worker comes out just below (£99 and £100.50) the stat. entitlement (£100.80); not so, however, with a 15P pay rise (or 5p & 10p)
4.8.2 Comparative rates
(1) McD's set their rates of pay by reference to comparable rates in 'the High Street': not just BK, PH, etc, but M&S, Boots, etc. If their rates weren't 'competitive', they wouldn't be able to recruit sufficient workers*.
* Meade: 133:36ff
Nicholson: 166 :10
(2) This is what the doc. 'External Survey of Hourly Rates'* is all about. Although it shows that (in 1993), MCD's starting rates in this country were below average, what it does not take account is McD's system of performancerelated pay rises*.
*Y X/7/Doc. G(2)
* And other benefits, like free food and educational materials.
(3) Although pay is not the only recruitmentincentive (working environment and flexibility of hours are two others which are obvious), it is not conceivable that McD's could have recruited, and kept, sufficient numbers of staff to support their everexpanding and highly successful business if. they had not been paying wages which, overall, their staff perceived to be fair*, in comparison with what was available elsewhere for similar (in the broadest sense) work+. This must be as true for the rest of the world as it is for the UK.
*see, by way of eg, .Y X/7/D, items 12 and 14; and H. first four items under 'Rewards' . And see Meade 133:4:824
+Thus at Bath it was necessary to increase the basic rate in order to help recruitment of people of the right quality Richards: 168:35:147 Henden: 206:51 :5252:5 Cox: 208:33:915
(4) If, therefore, 'low pay' is a q. of fact (which, in context, it is), then it is not true of McD's.
(5) This also, of course, has a bearing on turnover and length of service, as to which more later.
4 .8.3 Restarting rates
(1) One' of the principal features (for may people, attractions) of work at McD's is that it offers flexibility; not just by daypart, but by yearpart. This means that mothers with schoolage children can work there, parttime, during the school term, leaving at the end of term and returning at the beginning of the next. So, too, students (and also, perhaps, though there is less evidence of this, people whose other jobs are seasonal). This suits both the workers a McD's: at busy times summer holidays, Christmas McD's need lots of people and lots of people want to work there.
(2) But when, at the end of the period, people leave McD's to go back to college or on holiday, they are 'wiped' from the payroll (usually within 23 weeks of leaving) . So, when they return, they are theoretically new starters ('S' on the computer).
(3) This might mean that McD's could take advantage of their temporary absence to start them again at the basic rate.
(4) In fact (though this appears to be a widespread practice, rather than defined company policy) what generally happens is that they are restarted at the rate at which they left*.
*see, eg, Stanton: 150:18:921:12 Davis: 152:43:3344:10
(5) Here, yet again, there is a congruity of interest between McD's and their employers: McD's want to have their 'old' employees back (because they don't have to recruit and train new employees, which costs time and money); and the 'old' employees would be much less inclined to come back if they were pushed back down to the bottom of the payladder on their return.
(1) Performancerelated remuneration must be as old as the human race and for good reason, because both sides to the bargain get value for money/effort*.
*See, eg, Perrett: Stmt., para7
(2) But it only works properly if neither side feels that the other is giving short change.
(3) So, at McD's (as anywhere else in the world), the workers will be cheesed off if they don't feel that their efforts are being properly rewarded; and the management will be unwilling to award pay rises to people whose efforts don't deserve them.
(4) This bears heavily on three closely related issues:
(i) Whether, after the 3week probationary period, it can sensibly be asserted that, whatever the starting rate, the pay of the vast majority of McD's hourly paid workers is 'low';
(2) Turnover (inc. retention of staff);
(3) Morale amongst the workforce.
(5) Those are trite observations, no doubt, but they relate back, with some considerable resonance to an earlier q. * which can be rephrased
If the system of payrelated PRs at
McD's was, in truth, a sham, how
likely is it that they would still
be in business?
*see 4.7.2 (3)
4.2. and 4.3)
(6) There are two essential elements to the PR system:
(i) The PRs should be given, as near as possible, at the times when they are due; and
(ii) They should fairly reflect the employee's performance.
(7) (i) above should be generally observed, but it obviously allows some flexibility, particularly if a 'late' PR results in a 'compensatory'
*see later under the particular rests.
(8) (ii) above should be inflexible: if the PRs are habitually unfair, or generally perceived to be unfair, resulting in, for example, a 5p rise when 10p would be the fair award, * then discontent, disharmony and demoralisation are the certain consequences. And the consequences of that are obvious.
*Note, as to this Giardina: 155:23 :4357; and the Bath analyses, later
(9) Leaving aside the fact that those consequences have not occurred, the q. may fairly be asked, having regard to the burden of proof, what actual evidence have the Ds adduced to show that PRs are either habitually late or habitually unfair, or both? The answer (given now, but demonstrated later by reference to individual rests. ) is none. Occasionally (as one would expect), either or both may happen. Generally, they don't.
4.8.5 Since, therefore,
(I) The.vast majority of ordinary crew members will get regular* pay rises (at least one, in most Cases, even if they stay only a month or so*);
*(until 1992, up to 3 pa; now 2).
*ie at the end of the 3 week probationary period.
(ii) If they come back, they will usually start where they left off; and
(iii) There are increased rates for the later shift (from 1992; before that, for the two later shifts*),
*Compare P XII/34/688 with 36/691
the allegation that the pay is low is unsustainable* .
*For the US, see 4.8.1., above
(1) Promotion is another (additional) route to increased pay (the highest rank for hourly paid staff is floor manager*, usually via training squad, though other hourlypaid workers often also enjoy enhanced rates*).
*In the US and elsewhere, Swing Manager
*eg, night closers maintenance people, lobby hostesses.
(2) It is McD's policy to promote from within*. That is only good sense, because it saves time and effort (and therefore money) in training new people and because, ea., floor managers who have worked their way up from crew will know the business intimately and will usually get more out of the staff. It also has the obvious advantage that people are aware of the opportunities for promotion and will, if they are interested in it*, perform well to achieve it.
*See, eg, P XI!3/ 137 (Crew Handbook 1989)
*Even for those that are, the system provides different levels for different capacities, so that people can stop 'climbing' at a level where they feel comfortable, eg, Farrer, Perrett
(3) Beyond that, the opportunities to make a career in McD's are also good (though, given that the majority of the workers are young parttimers who don't want to make a career in McD's, the pyramid is obviously fairly flat)*. In addition, experience as a manager within the company enables people to branch out as franchisees and general managers (eg, Antenneh, Siddique, Norris, Giardina, as to the first 3 of which, note, in passing, their ethnic origins).
*As to this See Meade: Y X/7/ Doc. B; and Stein:
137:29:1335; and P XII/41B (1988) and 41' ( 1989)
(4) It follows that the allegation that "chances of promotion are minimal" is false. One piece of evidence which may reflect this is that 14* out of the 22 'top brass' and managers etc., listed in 4.6.2 above started as crew.
*Beavers, Preston, Meade, included
4 . 9 Conditions
4.9.1 Turnover (and length of service)
(1) This is only relevant if the turnover (however high) can, as a matter of fact, be substantially attributed to poor pay and conditions . Otherwise, it is a red herring.
(2) As already noticed, there will always be some people who leave because they don't like the job*: the within pay, the conditions, the other people. But unless such people are a significant number of those that leave, then there is no point in spending time on the turnover figures .
*And, as one
most of these
the first 4
(3) In fact, there is no evidence that job dissatisfaction is a significant cause of people's leaving: see Docs C, D and E(5) behind Lynn Meade*, where the 'Dissatisfaction' categories are about 6% of the total. Even allowing for the fact that some of the 'dissatisfieds' won't have said so, and may therefore be found in the 'personal' and 'without notice' categories, the number is still going to be relatively small. That this is likely to be so is confirmed by the crew opinion survey (Meade, doe. H), whose respondents give their answers anonymously.
(4) The actual turnover figs. are to be found at P XII:
(5) The other significant figures are those for length of service (crew retention)*. These show that, at the end of the first quarters of 1994 and 1995, the %s of crew who had worked for McD's for 3 months or more were, respectively, 86% and 84%; for 6 months or more, 64% and 61%; and for 1 year or more, 47% and 44%.
(6) Again, those figures do not suggest that thousands are fleeing in repugnance at the low wages and bad conditions.
(7) Annual turnover figs. are, of course, inflated by the fact that many parttimers leave and return in the course of a year. For this reason the doe. referred to at (5) above may be more illuminating.
(8) The Ds have misunderstood the Ops. Manual* on this topic. All that this is saying to the manager (in the light of the actual figures; see above) is: 'These are reasons for leaving that you can do something about (sc., most of them, you can't); therefore, for your purposes, they are very significant; because the more people you can keep, the better'.
PX/87 first col.
(9) The Ds seem(ed) to think that McD's welcome high turnover because it enables them to keep wage costs down because the starters get paid less than the 'old
hands'. This page alone* shows that to be complete nonsense (supported by innumerable statements in the oral evidence and the does). In fact, the message is, keeping people costs less, and makes for better productivity.
video t/s at
(1) Scheduling and staffing levels.
(i) The (obvious) idea is to have neither more nor fewer people working in the restaurant than you need at different times of the day (at different times of the year). *
(ii) If you get it wrong, one of two things may happen:
(a) too many: you find you are paying people you don't need.
(b) too few: people are stretched service may suffer, and sales may drop.
(iii) 'Crises' will occur:
(a) the predicted no. of customers may not materialise, so that you have too many staff and must either try and persuade some of them to knock off early or else pay them for doing not very much.
(b) the scheduled no. of staff may not materialise ('noshows') or there may be an unexpected rush of customers, or both, so that you have to try and get people to come in at short notice or ask some of those already there to work extra hours, or both.
(iv) No sensible manager wants to find him/herself in either of those situations. They both involve an unwelcome degree of 'hassle', and both, in different ways, threaten the rest.'s profitability.
(v) Understaffing is, on the evidence, the greater problem. This is why at Colchester, for example*, Mr. Coton (and Mr Davis before him) were continually being nagged by their supervisors
(a) to keep the total numbers on the payroll up; and
(b) the turnover down.
*See later for the detail. But contrast Bath, where the 'crew in store on each hour' sheets (Bath 2/A5, B10 and C16) demolish any suggestion of persistent understaffing; the same is true of Heathrow (in July 1994) .
(vi) There are two obvious reasons for this:
(a) If you have a large no. of people on the payroll, then, if you suddenly find yourself shorthanded, it is much easier to find people willing to come in at short notice (it also means that you are likely to reduce the incidence of 'noshows', because the more people you have to choose from, the greater the flexibility you have in scheduling) .
(b) If you do find yourself shorthanded, and can't fill the gaps by using the telephone*, then you are much better able to keep the ship afloat if the people who are there are experienced and efficient.
*either to your own people at home or to other rests.
(vii) All this is pretty obvious commonsense. But it does expose the absurdity of two of the allegations which (from time to time) the Ds have seemed to be making:
(a) that McD's welcome high turnover (see 4.9.1 (9) above);
(b) that understaffing is encouraged in order to save on labour costs.
(viii) The nonsense of this last proposition doesn't need evidence*. It is perfectly obvious. Although no sensible employer wants his wagebill to get out of hand, the dominant consideration must always be "topline" sales. * In a business like McD's (and most others), that means keeping the customers happy; because if you don't, they'll go elsewhere (and in McD's case, there are all too many "elsewheres" for the customers to go). And the only two ways of keeping the customers happy at a place like McD's are:
*But see, eg, P XI/lOB/18, last bullet point.
*See, eg, Giardina: 155:27: 336 Roberts: 214:38:739:49
(a) good service and good food; and
(b) value for money.
Those are interdependent, and neither can be achieved if the rest. is chronically short of staff (a fortiori, if the few people that are there are incompetent novices). It's an old saw that you have to spend money to make money; but it's true, and it works, because the greater the sales volume, the less the significance of the wage and food costs ( the 'controllables') and the greater the profit. It is, in the end, a q. of balance: the prudent manager will obviously keep a sharp eye on his 'controllables', but he is not going to spoil his ship for a ha'porth o'tar.
(ix) The foregoing demonstrates the inherent improbability of another of the Defts' allegations: that a 'fixed' 15% (or whatever) for labour costs is 'handed down' from on high each year (or quarter). Quite apart from the fact that the evidence shows that it isn't so*, it simply wouldn't work: in quiet restaurants, and/or at slack times, labour costs (as a % of sales) are bound to be higher, because (pace Mr. Beech) you can't run a rests. with one person! Equally, in busy rests. and at busy times, the labourcost % will go down because a given no. of workers (particularly if they are efficient and experienced) will produce a proportionately greater volume of sales.
See later under Colchester and the monthly figs. for Oct.86 Apr. 87 compared with the previous year at Y X/B /39B (James Atkinson, Marble Arch)
(x) None of this is to say that it never happens that a manager who finds himself shortstaffed may not sometimes 'lean' on someone to stay on (though the evidence of this actually having happened very often is pretty thin); or that, in the converse situation, someone may not be 'persuaded' to go home (though, again, very little actual evidence). Equally, there will be managers who, for one reason or another, are habitually unable to control their controllables and will cut corners to meet their targets (Mr Coton, for example). All that this shows, however, is that no system is perfect particularly when it relies so heavily on people and that, from time to time, things will go wrong. What it does not show (and the evidence does not show) is that McD's system of staffing is so controlling labour scheduling and geared to costs that understaffing, and, hence, overwork, are the rule rather than the exception.
*See Colchester and Heathrow, later.
(xi) And here (as elsewhere), when it becomes apparent that a restaurant is having persistent staffing problems, the company takes action (through the area supervisor, and, if necessary, above) to remedy the problem*.
(2) Length of Shifts
(i) s the analyses of the Bath and Heathrow docs . show*, some people undoubtedly do work long shifts (10+ furs) and long weeks (39+ hours). But
(a) they are relatively few in number;
(b) they are mostly fulltimers*; and
(c) they are often people who have moved up the ladder: floormanagers and training squad*.
*This is particularly so in relation to the 39+ hrs/wk category.
(ii) This has two consequences:
(a) the allegation in the leaflet that workers at McD's regularly do "long shifts" ( given as one of the reasons why so many of them leave) is, for all but a minority, untrue;
(b) the suggestion that long shifts are necessary because of intentional and habitual costrelated understaffing is unsustainable.
(iii) In any event, it is difficult to see why long shifts, or long weeks? are, in themselves, anything at all remarkable or objectionable. Many people work long hours because they want to: for money, for jobsatisfaction, for promotion, or a combination. On the evidence,* this is as true (unsurprisingly) of McD's as it is of any other business; indeed, in some senses, perhaps truer, for 3 reasons:
*see the summaries of Bath and Heathrow later.
(a) most of the workers in the restaurants are young people, of both sexes, and the restaurants are busy, bright and friendly: so, for many people, the working environment is enjoyable (fun)*;
*see, eg, Whittle: 176:12: 5713 :8 Ginned: 179:44:5245:1 Logan: 231:57: 5658: 9 Meade: 133:5: 309 Sexton: 135:3:454:28 And contrast, eg, working dayindayout at a supermarket till for the same or less, money.
(b) most of the workers are also parttimers, so that the occasional long shift is a positive benefit: you can earn your money in one go (or two) and get on with the rest of your life (which may well include another parttime job elsewhere);
(c) who's ever met a normal 18 year old that couldn't work 10 hours on the trot and then go on to a party or a club once (or even twice) in a week without turning a hair (or, conversely, come straight from a party or a club and then work 10 hours on the trot)?*
*Having taken his/her break on arrival to comfort the hangover Perrett: 208:57:2534 ( Giardina: 155:17:226)
(i) McD's breaks allowances are set out at (eg):
(ii) These are the employee's entitlements, which means that it is up to the employee what length of break(s) he/she takes, up to the prescribed maximum.
(iii) The provisions comply with the law: see the Shops Act 1950, s.19(1) and Third Schedule, Part 1; where, as a matter of ordinary English, "allowed" must mean "permitted", not "obligatory"
(iv) Therefore, the only grounds on which McD's could reasonably be criticised are:
(a) if it were proved that workers were regularly coerced into taking shorter breaks than they were entitled to;
(b) if it were proved that workers were regularly coerced into taking breaks at times which meant that the nonworking period was not really a "break" at all.
(v) As to this last q ., it is obvious that you can't run a rest. during a busy period, eg, Saturday lunchtime, if everyone takes their break at 1 pm. This is recognised by the Shows Act*
*Proviso to Sched. III, pt 1.
(vi) Although the Crew Handbook* says that "you must take your break at the time specified by your manager", it is obvious that a manager who regularly compelled the crew to take their breaks at either the beginning or the end of their shifts, whatever the time of day, would be acting unconscionably (see (iv) (b), above ) .
(vii) On the evidence*, neither (a) nor(b) of (iv) (nor, therefore, (vi)) above occurs.
*see Bath and Heathrow analyses, later. (also Doncaster)
(viii) There are some "short" breaks (<35')* and some "early"+ breaks.
+ within the
first hour of
(a) since breaks are not paid,* many people will not want to take their full entitlement;
the 15' one
³<35' in a 510 hr shift has been chosen as the standard for "short", rather than <45', because, on the evidence, many people don't want the full 45' and 35' is enough. As to this, see: Henden: 207:26:1623 Cox : 208:43:3141
*As to (c), (d) and (e), see Bath analysis, under Breaks, post.
(b) many people will also find, say, 45' sitting in the crewroom boring, and Will want to get back down to the job as soon as possible*;
* Khazha: 213:62:537 Cox: 208:28:1632 Lemaine: 213: 7:
(c) even at busy times,it is only a minority that take "early" breaks; *
(d) breaks of <35' in a 510 hour shift are quite rare;*
(e) breaks of >45 in a 510 hour shift are quite common; *
(f) If an 18 year old decides that he doesn't want a 45' break because he's bored or because he wants to work for all the moneygenerating hours in his shift, or both, that is his business and it won't do him any harm, either.
(1) There is some evidence that under18s (U18s) have worked past 10pm (females) or midnight (males), when they should not have done so.
(2) Although the Employment Act 1989 abolished these restrictions (for people U18 but over school leaving age), McD's adhered to a policy that, nonetheless, U18s should not work past midnight (nor more than 39 hours a week)*; and that "consideration should still be given to travel arrangements home for young persons"*.
paras 1 and 3,
(3) No doubt, both before and after these dates, U18s, both males and females did sometimes work beyond the "permitted" hours, both in respect of time of leaving and no. of hours in the week (not very surprising, on either count).
(4) But this was not McD's policy:
As to "past midnight" see (2) above.
- As to >39 hours/wk, see:
- The x/s hours sheets in the Bath and Heathrow does.
(5) And then one asks, how far does this actually matter? Just as an 18 yr old will happily do a 10 hour shift and then buzz off to a party, so will a 17 yr old (male or female) finish work on a Friday or Sat. at or after 12 at night, meet his/her friends and go off to the same party as the 18 yr. old.
(6) This is not to say that McD's (or I, on their behalf) condone such breaches:* simply that they (and I) live in the real world, where it has to be recognised that such things will occur from time to time.
*their policies, and practices, show that they don't: see (2) and (4) above; and (8) below.
(7) In fact, when the company has discovered breaches of this kind, it has, on the evidence, acted promptly to halt them*.
*see, eg, Sarah Baker ( Sidcup ): 183:8:499:25 Moffat (Heathrow): Stmt., para 6; and eg, 212:55:4260 See also the Micale case in the US: Stein: 138:75:5478:17
(8) They are, moreover, monitored by HR and by the supervisors*. And note that virtually every aspect of working conditions is reviewed by the audits.
and the Bath
*see the evidence of Jill Barnes, passim and Chris Purslow passim.
+ as the catering industry is generally: see HSC AR 1993/4, pp 93 (figs 1 and 2) and 108 (Hotels and Catering, last Col. ), behind Purslow: YXB /40 & 41
(1) Employee safety is a serious matter.
(2) McD's take it seriously*.
(3) McD's is a safe place to work+
(4) Minor injuries (bumps, bruises, cuts, burns) are, no doubt, relatively commonplace (as they are in one's own house/kitchen/office): a fastfood restaurant is a busy place.
(5) Serious accidents are very rare. Mark Hopkins' death on 12 October 1992 was a unique tragedy. But electricity, in any environment, is always potentially lethal. And McD's have always been well aware of this: see, by way of striking example, the memo from Keith Smith to all store managers and above dated 7 September 1992, just over a month before Mark Hopkins' accident*.
(6) "Hustle" is a potential cause of accidents if it is misunderstood/misused. So, when the HSE criticised it in their Report of August 1992*, they noted (2.42.3) that McD's had already changed its definition+ and were to be commended for having done so. Note, also, that this report was prepared with the full, and voluntary, cooperation of McD's.
pp 828 30
(note that this
doc is not
to prove the
truth of its
+See PXI/5 298: Crew Handbook, June 1992.
(7) The accident statistics are at PXIII/57M (first 3 pp.) for the UK and 57/N for the US*. Note that the RIDDOR (notifiable because more serious) accidents in the UK 19913 were <1 per rest. per year. These stats. bear out (3), (4) and (5) above.
*where some of the accidents are rather bizarre!
(1) There are various ways in which the hourlypaid staff can communicate their 'grievances' (complaints and dissatisfactions) to the management. These are set out in the Crew Handbook"*
*eg PXI/3/ 1512
(2) Crew meetings: compulsory, and paid. Speaks for itself.
(3) Rap, sessions: voluntary, and paid.
(i) For a flavour of what goes on, see the scenes in "One Every Mile" (making due allowance for the presence of cameras) and, perhaps more telling, the notes of the Bath rap sessions*.
* see later see also Stanton: 150: 4550 152:21
(ii) Any suggestion that crew are inhibited in voicing their Complaints (which often include criticism of the managers, by name) is demolished by this material
(iii) There are three reasons for this:
(a) the sessions are generally conducted by a supervisor from outside the area;
(b) notes are taken by the external supervisor, but the identities of the contributors are not disclosed to anyone;
(c) lively youngsters are (nowadays, anyway) not slow in coming forward.
(4) Direct communication with managers and above
(i) This is important, because some people don't go to rap sessions or else don't think they are going to help. This may be for lack of interest or because the complaint is too serious or too personal, or both, to be aired in front of other crew members. For an example of successful direct communication see the evidence of Chris Cox*
*Stmt., para. 31. (YXB/39I); 208:16:1917:45
(ii) Note (which is also important), that the workers are encouraged to go on up the hierarchy* if they don't get satisfaction to begin with (naturally enough, the cause of dissatisfaction will sometimes be the r/ship between the crewmember and the rest. manager: it is then essential that the worker should feel free to go over the manager's head and that the manager should know that this may happen) .
(5) These provisions are only worth the paper they're written on if they work in practice, which means the company must take steps to see that they do. As to this
(i) Rap session notes are sent by the HR Dept [ ? ] * to the manager (but without names). He puts them on the notice board * and they are, or may be, discussed at crew meetings .
* [ check]
*see, eg, Stanton: 150:48: 4856 Davis: 152:62: 1112 French: 149:45:746:4 Sexton: 135:5:496:7
(ii) The HR Dept. carries out periodic audits to monitor performance in these areas;* so do the supervisors.
*see the Bath HR audits; and the e. of Lynn Meade: 133:11: 1126
(iii) If things are going wrong, the matter will be taken up with manager*.
* Meade: 133:8:919 Richards: 167:50:6057:25 169:9: 2340
(iv) In this way, the company tries to ensure that the crew are not dissatisfied and discontented (it has no interest whatever in doing otherwise).
(v) If things get incurably bad, the manager will be replaced*
(vi) The proof of the pudding is in the eating: See 4.9.1 (turnover), above.
4.10.1 In the light of the unambiguous meaning of the leaflet (see 1.2, (3) and (4) above), and of the state of the evidence on this issue (see 4.4 and 4.4.1 above), unions, and their relationship with McD's, are, in truth, another red herring.
4.10.2 Not but what, the evidence is pretty clear:
(1) McD's 'policy' on unions (if it can be called that) is:
(i) In this country, McD's would rather do without unions because they would rather run their business themselves (in which they are probably not alone! ); *
*In fact, of course, the 'problem' has never arisen: see (7)(ii)(c) and (d) and (iii) below
(ii) But that is the UK company's position. The evidence for any generally settled attitude or policy towards unions 'across the McD's board' worldwide is lacking: attitudes vary from country to country, according to local conditions, both legal and cultural*.
(iii) The Corporation's position is therefore essentially one of neutrality. It has direct responsibility only for the McOpco rests in the USA. Otherwise the operators, wherever in the world* are largely autonomous, with the result that the Corporation's role is merely advisory*.
*and of whatever 'genre'
(iv) In practice (on the evidence), the broad position seems to be* that if a majority of the workers wants a union, they will get one.
*there are local variations; and in some countries unions are (were) compulsory (eg NZ) (Y XII/40)
(v) When that happens, and an agreement is reached between the local operator and the union*, then that is that and McD's (i. e. the local operator) will cooperate with the union, as necessary, to make the agreement work*, until such time (if it should come) as the workers decide they no longer want to be represented by a Union*.
*either directly or through an employers' association.
*see, eg YXIII/17, 19, 22 and 35. *See Stein: 137:54:341
(vi) Although in some countries, inc. the UK, recruitment by or for unions is not allowed in the restaurants (because, like other kinds of extraneous activity, it gets in the way of productivity), there is absolutely no objection (nor could there be) to workers joining unions if they want.
(2) There are many countries in the world where MCD's . have agreements with unions and where this. seems to work perfectly well:
CEA stmts . in
(3) In some cases, the birth of the agreement was a bit of a struggle, simply because (as ever) each side wanted more than the other would give and each fought its corner, but just as often because McD's perceived that the agreement proposed by the union was inappropriate to its business or disadvantageous to its employees*
(4) In other cases, no agreement was ever reached because (in accordance with the local law) it was shown that an insufficient number of the workforce was in favour of unionisation. A particularly striking example of this is Orangeville, Ontario*. Another example is Mexico City*, where although an agreement was eventually reached, it was with a different union (selected by the employees) from the one which had originally tried to impose itself on them. In Dublin the absence of an agreement is due simply to the fact that the union never took up Mehigan's offer to negotiate one.
*Inglis: Iurillo: Wetli; Ellis (YXIII 34 & 34B ) *Stein: 138:45: 1959
(5) The role of the Corporation in all of this, as the evidence of Mr Stein repeatedly showed, is simply this:
(i) If the q. of unionisation arises, and the local McD's operator decides to oppose it (as he sometimes will), then Mr Stein and/or people from his department will (if the operator wants it) offer him advice and assistance about how to deal with the matter in accordance with the local law.
(ii) There are several examples of this ' in the evidence: Mexico City, Dublin, Puerto Rico, Detroit, Chicago.
(6) The Defts (and others of like mind) will, of course, never accept that this isn't all terribly sinister. But in fact, to ordinary reasonable people (such as one might find on any English jury), it would seem the most natural thing in the world: the Corporation (in the person of Mr Stein and his dept) have resources which they can put at the disposal of a 'beleaguered' operator; and there is absolutely no reason why they should not do so (provided always that they insist on strict propriety under the local law, as they always do).
(7) There is a q. how far the employees might be better off if they were represented by unions. This is a moot point:
(a) Mr Turnbull* was frank enough to acknowledge that his union hadn't succeeded in making much difference to wages in the catering industry even where it did have agreements with the employers.
*182 :42: 3549
(b) In Norway, some workers are better off j but others are worse off since the agreement was made.
*Wright YXIII /47
[ Sidenote: This is an interesting case. Mr Jenssen who gave e. for the Ds, and who was one of those principally responsible for securing the agreement, not only still works for McD's ? but made it clear that throughout the negotiations his relationship with the management remained entirely amicable* So much for a "policy" of "getting rid of prounion workers"!]
(c) Elsewhere in the world, there is no evidence one way or the other that unionisation has made any difference to pay* (though where dues are automatically collected from the wage packets, the workers will either get less or the employer will have to pay more) .
* Though see YXIII /18, 19 and 22, which show that, in those cases, ( Germany, Denmark and Finland), McD's pay more than the agreement obliges them to do.
(a) Perhaps the only area where it might be thought that unionisation might make a significant difference is in representation (informal and formal at ITs for example, where there is no legal aid).
(b) But that involves the assumption that there is, in McD's, a significant need for such representation, which as the earlier parts of this summary suggest, there probably isn't.
(c) In this connection, it may be worth reflecting that there were nearly 9,500 fulltime workers+ in this country at the end of the first quarter of 1995* (about 33% of the workforce). Yet (and for this purpose ignoring the parttimers who may, as Mr Turnbull said, be difficult to recruit) not a single restaurant in this country has ever been unionised*; nor, it seems, has any significant number of fulltimers ever joined a union (so far as anyone knows).
+20 hrs pw or more.
*In the US there have been none since 19767 Stein: 137:535; and the no. of fulltimers there is obviously much greater than it is here.
(d) This tends to suggest that, in general, the fulltime workers at McD's, at least in the US and in the UK, let alone the parttimers simply see no need for the kind of benefits which union membership is supposed to offer. If they had, then, inevitably, over the last 20 years or so, there would have been many instances of demands for collective agreements and union representation not to mention strikes by the fulltime workers. There have been none of any significance.
These last two points ((c) and (d)) may be the key. It is the fulltimers who are at the core of the business, who spend most time in the restaurants, who depend most heavily on their McD's wages for their livelihood and who are most exposed (for good or ill) to McD's working practices and systems. If the unions can't claim any significant numbers of fulltimers as members (still less sufficient numbers to warrant demands for collective agreements, etc) then, one may reasonably conclude, there can't be very much wrong with the pay and conditions; or not, at least, in respects which the workers think union representation might help to improve.
4.11 Equal Opportunities
4.11.1 If the leaflet means only that McD's provides employment for disadvantaged groups in society, then it isn't defamatory of McD's at all on the contrary.
4.11.2 But if it means that, in pursuit of their principal object of paying low wages, McD's deliberately (improperly) exploit those disadvantaged groups (because they know they are vulnerable and won't easily get work elsewhere), then it is defamatory and false.
4.11.3 So as the hourlypaid workers are concerned, figures for ethnic origin are available only
for the US: they are in the last table on p.3 of D(1) behind Stein's second statmt. *. They show that the % of ethnic minority workers at McD's is somewhat higher than it is in the US workforce at large.
4.11.4 The figs. for women hourlypaid workers at McD's are:
US (1990):45% (US at large: 58.2%)*
UK (1995):48%* (UK at large: no figs available) .
4.11.5 These figures*, as figures, are incapable of yielding a positive conclusion: a somewhat higher % of ethnic minorities and a somewhat lower % of women than the national % prove neither that McD's are exploiting ethnic minorities (but not women); nor, on the contrary, that they are discriminating against women (but not ethnic minorities). All that may safely be said is that they provide no foundation for the allegation in the leaflet (a negative conclusion, but all that is necessary for this purpose).
4.11.6 If, however, the leaflet's allegation carries with it a flavour of indifference towards the interests or rights of women and black people (in the sense that McD's are happy to exploit them for their own purposes), then there is positive evidence displacing any such suggestion:
See Beavers: [ref]
Stein: [ref], with the first table on p. of D(1) at YX/5
and PXII/24A (UK) .
These show that the opportunities for advancement within McD's for women and ethnic minorities are very good (the figs. for minorities amongst officials and managers in the US* are particularly striking).
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