1. I joined McDonald's in July 1991 as a part-time crew member at the Heathrow Drive-thru store, which had only recently opened. In October 1993 I became a full-time employee and was made a Floor Manager. Since November 1995 I have been a trainee manager.
2.I have read the statement of Alan Beech. I worked on the same shift as Alan Beech on only a few occasions and consequently did not know him very well. However, I do recall that he was a quiet person who seemed to get on with the job.
3.As far as the allegations which Beech makes in his statement are concerned I have the following comments. It is correct that on some occasions we were short of crew on a shift and this put a lot of pressure both on the other managers and crew on the shift whilst the store was understaffed. This certainly did not happen all the time. If we were particularly busy, or for some reason someone failed to show up for the next shift, crew would be asked to stay on for an hour or two in order to give the shift running manager time to phone round the other crew and try and get someone to come in. It was never a problem for me to stay on at the end of a shift and other crew have always seemed happy enough to do so as well. Certainly no one was ever forced to do so.
4.As far as under 18 year olds working after 12 o'clock are concerned, I never did so when I was under 18 and I have always assumed that anyone working on the shift after 12 o'clock was over 18. It would be the responsibility of the shift running manager to ensure that that was the case.
5.I find it hard to believe that anyone would work sixteen hour shifts for the length of time described by Beech. The person would simply not get enough sleep and would be a potential hazard in the kitchen, both to themselves and other employees.
6.I have never been told to take a break or go home nor have I ever heard of any other employee being told to do so. On occasions when the store is quiet crew are asked to take their break, or part of it, during the quiet period. However they are not forced to. Obviously it is a matter of compromise, but if you do not take your break during a quiet period you might not get it until the rush is over.
7.I agree that crew are encouraged to "hustle". However I do not accept Beech's definition of this. In my view hustle is to move fast and efficiently, but without running, which could be dangerous.
8.I would regard it as miraculous if one person was able to run the entire kitchen on their own, let alone combine it with running a till. There are normally only four to five people in the kitchen, unless the store is exceptionally busy. There would never be as many as fifteen as there simply would not be room.
9.It is correct that burns do occur. I myself have been burned on occasion, but each time it was recorded by a manager in the Accident Report Book. Since I have become a trainee manager I have recorded accidents that have occurred to other people on my shift. I do not recall any incident of the nature described by Beech concerning the changing of the Teflon on the grill. It is not correct that the grill has to be turned off and it is possible to change it whilst it is still hot. Heavy gloves are provided for this task. Generally however the Teflon will be checked at the start of the day before the grill is turned on and changed at that point, if necessary.
10. I have never heard any mention of unions during my time in the store, nor have I seen a poster of the type described by Beech.
11. Beech is also incorrect in regard to what he says about the storage of pickles and the logging of waste. In both respects I would refer to the statement of Stephen Plaister, which I have read, which accurately describes the correct procedure.
12. During the period when Jon Nevison was Store Manager the atmosphere within the store was not great, although there were no particular problems with the store apart from the fact that it was understaffed. Jon had a relaxed management style and was not as strict as other managers I have worked for. The next store manager, Dave Roberts, had a completely different approach to management. He was far stricter and more of a disciplinarian. He was very good at setting goals for everyone and motivating us. He also increased the number of crew and generally got things done, such as providing improved facilities in the crew rooms. The atmosphere in the restaurant improved during the period in which Dave was Store Manager and has continued to do so since he left.
January 5, 1996|
Appeared in court|
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: