Day 120 - 03 May 95 - Page 02
1 Wednesday, 3rd May 1995.
3 MR. SIDNEY THOMAS NICHOLSON, continued.
4 Cross-examined by the Defendants, continued.
6 MR. MORRIS: Mr. Nicholson, can you tell us what you think trade
7 unions are for, what their role is in society?
8 A. I think, in certain industries, to represent the
9 interests of the workers.
11 Q. Are some industries exempt from workers union
13 A. No, I think there are other forms of representation.
15 Q. Do trade unions represent their members at tribunals; is
16 that one of their services they -----
17 A. I believe so.
19 Q. Can you think of other things that they do?
20 A. Negotiate wages, conditions of service, involve
21 themselves in politics, support the Labour Party.
23 Q. Provide information to their members about their rights; do
24 they do that?
25 A. I would accept they probably do that in some cases.
26 I really do not know a great deal about trade unions.
28 Q. Would you accept that union meetings can be a forum for
29 discussion amongst workers?
30 A. I should imagine so. I have never attended one.
32 MR. JUSTICE BELL: Do you know because ---
33 A. No, I do not.
35 MR. JUSTICE BELL: -- one thing that alarms me about this case
36 is the number of times something has been suggested and the
37 witness, trying to be helpful, said: "I should imagine
38 so", and then, I fear, it is then assumed by the questioner
39 that has become evidence of a state of fact. If must have
40 happened a thousand times in the last nine months if it has
41 happened once.
43 I am not urging you to say you do not know, but if you do
44 not know, if you have never been to a union meeting, never
45 had anyone in authority tells you what goes on at union
46 meetings, do not hesitate to say so.
47 A. I have never attended a union meeting, so I really do
48 not know what goes on in a union meeting.
50 MR. MORRIS: Do you have links with your counterparts -- when
51 you were Head of Personnel, did you have links with your
52 counterparts in other countries?
53 A. The Heads of McDonald's Personnel Departments?
55 Q. Yes.
56 A. Oh, certainly.
58 Q. In some countries there are trade union members and trade
59 union, in fact, agreements with McDonald's, are there not?
60 A. Certainly.