The witness provides confirmation of an article written concerning McDonalds stance on union participation and involvement in wage negotiations and conditions of employment.
- There must be a serious problem: even though 80% of McDonald's workers are part-time, the annual staff turnover is 60% (in the USA it's 300 %). It's not unusual for their restaurant-workers to quit after just four or five weeks. The reasons are not hard to find.
- Workers in catering do badly in terms of pay and conditions. They are at work in the evenings and at weekends, doing long shifts in hot, smelly, noisy environments. Wages are low and chances of promotion minimal.
To improve this through Trade Union negotiation is very difficult: there is no union specifically for these workers, and the ones they could join show little interest in the problems of part-timers (mostly women). A recent survey of workers in burger-restaurants found that 8o% said they needed union help over pay and conditions. Another difficulty is that the 'kitchen trade' has a high proportion of workers from ethnic minority groups who, with little chance of getting work elsewhere, are wary of being sacked - as many have been - for attempting union organisation.
McDonald's have a policy of preventing unionisation by getting rid of pro-union workers. So far this has succeeded everywhere in the world except Sweden, and in Dublin after a long struggle.
Was industrial editor for the Daily Mirror national during the mid-80's.
(not available for this witness)
I write to confirm the veracity of the article published by the Daily Mirror on December 17 1986.
I was the Mirror's Industrial Editor at that time and I recall the interview with Mr Nicholson, who used the words attributed to him in my story.
Burger Off! Big Mac Union Snub
Daily Mirror 17/12/86 by Terry Pattinson.
BIG MAC has given Britain's biggest trade union the brush off.
The fast food chain is refusing to allow the transport workers' union to negotiate on behalf of McDonald's 18,500 workers in 231 restaurants.
Sid Nicholson McDonalds personnel chief said last night: 'We do not have an anti-union policy.
"But we will never negotiate wages and conditions with a union and we discourage our staff from joining."
Former McDonald's assistant manager Andrew Cranna, 30, of Southall, Middlesex said: "We were all left in no doubt that if we joined a union we would be sacked."
November 29th, 1993
references: Not applicable/ available
Appeared in court
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