McDonald's Floor Manager in Bath Store
The witness recalls the general running of the store and flagrant discrepencies which arose in the store...lack of breaks, discrimination against staff, undercooking of food.
Not available for this witness
(not available for this witness)
It was common practice for the schedule to be used as a tool of discipline,
by senior management within the store. For example, I witnessed on several
occasions managers request the scheduling manager to reduce the hours (or
give predominantly unsocial hours) to
employees whom they did not consider to perfom well.
- These requests were sometimes made in manager's meetings called partly
to discuss unsatisfactory employees. "Hit-lists" were sometimes
completed of employees that needed improvement.
- This improvement was sort by a process of retraining which often meant
that neede improvement.
- This improvement was sort of a process of retraining which often meant
continual harassment on the job from managers, as well as incentives such
as less or unsocial hours which would improve as the employee did so.
- This targetting often led to people resigning partly because of the
pressure and partly due to lack of money resulting from reduced hours.
I believe it was the general perception that it was easier to make someone
resign rather than sack them which required poor performance reviews or
several warnings (extra paper work). In respect to the schedule - to my
knowledge there was no system in place in the store for checking inconsistencies.
So managers had a free reign to do as they wished.
As a crew member myself (approx. 90-91) during summer vacations from college,
I consistently worked well over 45 hours every week during lousy periods
eg July/ August (tourist season). This was the case for other employees.
As a manager I was aware that many employees consistently worked 45 hours
a week, every week for several weeks in a row and did not receive any overtime.
The evening and night shift rates of pay, an extra 25p and 50p respectively
(always were considered to be compensation/ incentives for working unsocial
hours) and to my knowledge in 5 years employment at McDonald's there was
never any suggestion that this money in some way covered overtime. I was
told as a crew member by a manager that overtime was not paid because the
schedule was done over 8 days not 7, meaning that one week you could work
6 days and the next only 4 days, so no overtime was needed, this simply
did not apply during busy periods.
I was witness and aware that managers sometimes altered people's clock card
reports without their knowledge or consent, sometimes to punish them for
forgetting to clock out for their 45 min break, by clocking an hour out
instead. I once witnessed a manger randomly clock time from peoples' clock
card reports just to reduce labour, although I think this was a rare incident.
Employees rights to a break were often abused especially during periods
of high volume ie Saturdays, school holidays, summer. Employees were often
coerced by managers to take a short break as to take a long break would
be seen as to effect the other employees' chances of getting a break. On
many occasions employees worked more than 6 hours without a rest. Drinks
breaks were given when possible but due to the pressure of work employees
would only get a minute or two to have their drink before they had to get
back to work, they were never able to sit in the crew room and relax for
such breaks but were expected to stand in the office.
For example it was common practice every Saturday for most people
who started at 10/ 10.30 to be pressurised into giving on their breaks almost
immediately, sometimes before they had even clocked in. When they returned
they would often have to work from about 11/ 11.30am - around 6/ 7 pm without
a break, during the busiest period of the week.
This also happened with employees scheduled to start at 11am. Almost all
the managers including myself were party to this abuse as it was essential
to get as many breaks out of the way as possible. From noon until early
evening it was likely to be extremely busy with very few opportunities to
send people on breaks.
In my 5 years at McDonald's Bath this situation was never resolved as it
was not seen as a problem but instead good manager practice.
These were supposed to be completed 2 weeks after commencing employment
and then every 4 weeks. To my knowledge reviews were almost always late
(in Bath usually between 1-6 months overdue). PRs were often done in
large batches normally before or after an audit from head office. These
PRs were often rushed, and from reading through many myself, and as an experienced
floor manager adminstering pre-written ones, I found that certain managers
would use stock phrases to write on some PRs they had to complete. These
comments would often bear little relevance to the employee in question,
this being consistent with the general attitude of apathy on the part of
salaried managers to completing PRs satisfactorily.
Health and Safety Grills
An RCD system was installed approx 2 yrs ago. This system was to act as
a safety device to avoid the risk of electric shock from the grills. Due
to a fault in the installation of the system the grills regularly tripped
out during the busy periods. There would be very little indication that
the grills had tripped out so sometimes product was served which was undercooked.
This tripping out sometimes happened so frequently that the trip fuse was
removed altogether (due to the pressure of work). To my knowledge the store
managers and senior supervisor were aware of the problem with the grills
in the Bath Store was that the clam shells were smaller than normal. I assume
due to lack of space.
Officially we were never expected to cook more than 9 pieces of regular
meat under one clam (grill) (normally 12 pieces were cooked) as it directly
contravened the companies' policies on beef integrity. During busy periods,
especially Saturdays, it was common practice to lay 12 pieces of meat under
the clam as 9 pieces were simply not adequate for the volume of business.
The lack of space on the clam gave little room for error. It was causing
more overlapping of meat under the clam and more displacing meat outside
of the clam, these errors occasionally seriously affected the quality of
product being served. It was generally accepted by managers in the store
that laying 12 pieces of meat was often essential to keep up with volume.
I have myself witnessed a supervisor, in charge of many stores, come into
the kitchen when there was a problem with the amount of product coming from
the grills and immediately start laying 12 pieces of meat under the clam,
(as it was the only solution).
I have ( and other managers) often had to deal with customers
complaining about raw product (approx. once a week).
Having it repaired would have affected "Profit and Loss"
for the months even though it was a safety hazard which should have been
As these complaints only occurred during busy periods and due to the pressure
of work, it was common practice to apologise, replace the product and bin
the offending item. I don't ever remember using or seeing any other manager
use an incident report from to note this type of occurrence, it would have
been completely impractical on many occasions.
This problem with grills was apparent for many years and, to my knowledge,
still remains unresolved, as putting in larger grills was considered too
expensive and problematic, the lobby area, however, only recently received
a £350, 000 face lift. The grease trap between two grills was broken
for approx. 3 months (until I left McDonald's) resulting in grease dripping
under the grills. I once asked the store manager when it would be repaired
and was told that it would have to wait until it could be afforded.
The trap remained broken for more than 3 months.
The vats used to cook the chicken nuggets and patties were extremely unreliable,
often tripping out giving no immediate or obvious indication that they had
done so. This sometimes meant undercooked chicken was served before anyone
was able to notice the problem. The problem was sometimes only noticed when
a customer brought back raw food.
Complaints about chicken were usually dealt with in the same way as complaints
about raw beef, due to the pressure of work. The vats were continually being
repaired by service engineers approx. once every month or two. The vats
tripped out as often as two or three times a week. The integrity of chicken
product was directly affected by the poor condition of the vats (unable
to cope with the high volume of the store) and yet they were never replaced.
Maintenance and Repair
Before the incident in which a floor manager was electrocuted using a filtering
machine, it was common practice in the Bath store to get electrical equipment
repaired by the stores unofficial maintenance and Repair man, Jagon Flint.
Jagon fixed toasters, rewired plugs etc. even though he had no formal training
and, to my knowledge, at the time, no relevant qualifications. All the managers
were well aware of this impropriety but still called upon Jagon to fix electrical
equipment. It was also common practice for managers including myself to
be asked to fix electiral equipment (mainly toasters). This was necessary
when items needed running repairs (ie. during busy periods when all equipment
was being used and there were no spares if one broke down). It was at
times considered a laughing matter as we often found toasters patched up
with blue plasters.
The first few years I worked for McDonald's approx 90-93, the word 'hustle'
was used very frequently. As a crew member and later a manager it always
meant 'get a move on', usually when business began to pick up. The term
'hustle' was frequently used to justify running on the front during busy
periods, those who weren't running were told to "hustle, hustle"
by myself and all other managers. In the context of the work environment,
at Bath, the word 'hustle' meant speed-up in the kitchen and 'start running'
on the front (service).
In the 5 years I worked at the Bath Store, part and full time, I became
well respected, up until I left, receiving excellent Performance Reviews
as well as obtaining the highest mark the store had ever gained from a 'mystery
diner' survey on one of my shifts, which was 93%. (Mystery diners were people
paid by McDonald's to visit restaurants unannounced and complete a detailed
survey on Service Quality etc.) In the early part of '94 I was offered promotion
but I did not accept it partly because of my concerns about the company's
attitude towards employees (specifically crew members).
I believe McDonald's, through its actions and not its publicity,
treats its employees as a cost and not a resource, giving little regard
to their rights or well being.
- Paul Scott-Shepherd: Very many shifts worked in a row (c.1993)
- Jon Gore: Mistreated by scheduling. Performance Review (PR) problems.
- Mike Stokes: Treated badly by scheduling (c.1993-4) PR problems.
- Graham Pickin: At the time deliberately scheduled short and few shifts (c.1991)
- Jane Gennard/ Girdlestone: Unsocial shifts (c. 1994).
- Andy Shakespeare: Unsocial hours (c. 1993).
- Danny Olive - Floor Manager: Resigned recently. Wrote detailed letter of complaints to McDonald's about store practices (scheduling etc.).
- Jason Dixon: Very long hours, often unsocial. No overtime paid (c. 1994).
- Chris Cox: Some very long shifts (now Store Manager?) (1994/5)
- Mike Logan: Late PR's. No time for proper breaks. Will be shown in clock cards.
Also, I worked 60 - 70 hour weeks in c.1990 - 91.
- Matt Williams: Worked 60 - 70 hour weeks in c. 1990 - 91
- Kevin Porritt: Late PR's.
- Shelly Smith: Late PR's (c. 1994).
- Jason Flint: PR problems (c. 1994)
- Matthew Tilly: PR problems.
- Head Office store audit critical of Bath PR practices. Memo's sent to Bath on this subject. Critical of other practices.
- TEMPERATE LOG OF IN-KITCHEN FREEZERS WOULD SHOW NOT REACHING CORRECT TEMPERATURES.
- I made my complaints to the Employment office on resigning - this was discussed by the EO with McDonald's and not challenged.
- Complained of the practices as said in this statement, including scheduling, understaffing, food hygiene, safety, integrity matters.
Further notes given to Dave Morris (2 October 1995)
FURTHER DETAILS TO BE REFERRED TO BY MICHAEL LOGAN
- Sean Richards, in or around 1992, altered peoples hours worked by amending the adjustment report. People were docked hours or minutes they'd worked. He (Mike Logan) saw this occur on one occasion, with many crew names chosen at random. Sean Richards laughed about saving labour costs.
- The crew rarely saw or even knew about the clock card adjustment reports. To see them would take a request to a manager. There was no system on place for checking your own adjustments and verifying. The company could easily make it the policy that everybody would have to sign to verify any adjustment to their clocked-in-times. The system is otherwise open to abuse.
- For 3 years he (Mike Logan) was a shift-running manager 2 or 3 times a week (but still hourly paid). No salaried manager was on for most of those shifts, and he very rarely was able to take a break on such shifts, except for 10-15 minutes. Mike Logan had to use a salaried manager's code to entering the Husky system to do a close (for 3years).
- 'Freezer' stickers were on occasion put on out of date buns to be able to use them and avoid the 'use-by' deadline - especially in 1991/2.
- Mike Logan remembers on 2 occasions (in c.1991 and 1993) sewage came up through drains in the backroom. People had to carry on working. The first time cardboard was put to try to soak it up to prevent it coming into the kitchen. This failed, and sewage leaked into the kitchen up to 1 metre away from the grill. Then work was stopped. The second time was very similar but it only affected the backroom - dressing tables were shifted to try to avoid contact, and work continued in the backroom.
- There was pressure to achieve the targets for food yields. Mike Logan saw a manager add water to water down the shakes. Mike Logan overheard managers discussing the possibilities of increasing air content to improve yields. It was often the practice to slightly underfill shake cups if shake yield targets were hard to meet that week.
Notes taken by Dave Morris (20 January 1996)
Based on interview with Mike Logan (19 January 1996)
7th July ,1995
references: Not applicable/available
Appeared in court
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: