witness statement




name: Conor McCann
section: Employment
for: The Defence
experience: Worker and Union activist in Dublin McDonald's store 1985


summary:

The witness, having joined a union because he felt that conditions could be improved, was subsequently 'victimised' and harassed.


After the management found out that I was a member of a trade union, I was demoted from my responsible position in the squad and put onto the most menial tasks.

At no time did this victimisation and harassment get criticised or stopped by higher company officials. I consider the company to be, in my experience, totally anti-union.


cv:


I was employed by McDonald's from 7th January 1985 to 29th June 1985. I worked at the store in the Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Dublin 14.

Full cv:
(not available for this witness)


full statement:

After I started the job I joined a trade union because I felt there was a need to improve conditions for workers in the store. The management's attitude to me, until then very positive, completely changed and I was discriminated against and harassed with the intention of forcing me to leave the job. I had been a member of the Crew Training Squad, this squad were granted certain unwritten privileges, ie, they were exempt from 'menial duties', these were based on custom rather than 'policy'. Management were within their right to ask training squads to provide the same functions and duties as any other staff member, however, customarily the training squad was a position of privilege. After the management found out that I was a member of a trade union, I was demoted from my responsible position in the squad and put onto the most menial tasks.

I was wrongfully dismissed for an alleged breach of procedure in changing my work schedule, this was just a pretext for sacking me for my union activity and sympathies. I had arranged for somebody to work a day for me when I was unable to work, and for this I was dismissed without warning. The manager had agreed verbally to my changing the work schedule, and this was the first time I had any such problem while working for McDonald's.

I complained about my dismissal and this complaint was referred to the Rights Commissioner who found that I had been wrongfully dismissed, and recommended that McDonald's pay me 600 in compensation. McDonald's paid me this compensation.

At no time did this victimisation and harassment get criticised or stopped by higher company officials. I consider the company to be, in my experience, totally anti-union.

McDonald's require their staff to work long hours often until the early hours of the morning. No transport home is provided for staff, even when working as late as 3am, having completed a 8 - 10 hour shift. This can be very frightening for female staff who are also required to work these hours, as McDonald's is an 'equal opportunities employer'.


Note:

The 'demotion' mentioned above is a return to menial work- eg Picking Weeds in the grounds.



date signed: July 9th, 1993
status: Statement read out in court
references: Not applicable/ available

exhibits: Not applicable/ available

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