1. I joined McDonald's in May 1988 as a part-time Crew Member in the Bath restaurant, while I studied for my A Levels. I began working full-time around October 1988. I was promoted to Floor Manager and then to Salaried Manager around August 1990. I received a further promotion to the position of Second Assistant Manager and became a First Assistant Manager approximately 2 years ago, a position which I hold today.
2. I recall that Michael Logan joined McDonald's Bath as a part-time Crew Member while he was studying at Bath College of Higher Education. He was promoted to Floor Manager and left McDonald's around November 1994 after approximately 4 or 5 years of service. I recall that he was an intelligent and competent Floor Manager.
3. I have read the statement of Michael Logan and can make the following comments on the issues raised by him.
4. It is not true that the schedule was used a means of discipline; its purpose was to ensure that the restaurant was appropriately staffed by capable workers at all times. Employees are entitled to make requests for a particular shift, which are accommodated as far as possible. Those who are not happy with their allocated hours can make use of the standard grievance procedure by presenting the complaint to the successive levels of management and ultimately to the Human Resources Department. The restaurant management receives queries related to scheduling from crew members every week. These can be anything from requests for extra hours or extra shifts to requests not to work weekends or night shifts. All requests are taken into consideration and accommodated as far as possible. I cannot find any record of a formal complaint over the last four years made by a crew member with a grievance over allocated hours, nor do I recall any such incident.
5. Logan's comment that Managers meetings would be called 'partly to discuss unsatisfactory employees' is inaccurate. These meetings are held at the restaurant on a weekly or occasionally fortnightly basis to discuss matters affecting the store, for example, sales and the progress and promotion of employees. Individual employees' performances may occasionally be discussed, for example, in connection with a promotion or with a forthcoming award, such as crew member of the quarter. A list of performance reviews due to be completed may be allocated among the managers and satisfactory as well as unsatisfactory aspects of an employee's progress may be discussed for the purpose of preparing these reviews. I do not recall any "hit lists", either verbal or written, of unsatisfactory employees.
6. I do not recall any instances of employees being allocated shorter or "unsocial" hours on the understanding that the hours would improve with their performance. Hours are allocated on the basis of a number of factors reflecting suitability for each particular shift.
7. I would disagree with Logan's claim that it was perceived to be "easier to make someone resign rather than sack them". If an individual crew member's performance is not satisfactory, a manager will concentrate on improving that individual's performance for instance by teaming him or her up with a "buddy" (a fellow crew member) who will provide constant advice and support.
8. I am surprised by Logan's allegation that certain employees would be harassed until their performance improved, this has certainly never been my experience of colleagues nor my personal approach. A Crew Member who continually makes mistakes will be corrected by his Manager. It is the Manager's role to discuss an individual Crew Member's poor performance with that individual and to help improve it by guidance and training. As far as I am aware, during my 7 years employment at Bath, no employee has resigned as a result of harassment from a Manager. Moreover, the restaurant has not received any complaints from crew members to that effect either directly, or via the Human Resources Department.
9. Logan states that he did not know of any system for checking inconsistencies in schedules. In fact schedules are checked every week by the direct superior of the manager who prepared the schedule, usually the Store Manager or First Assistant Manager, to ensure that they coincide with the labour matrix. The matrix is prepared for the restaurant by the Store Manager, sometimes in conjunction with the First Assistant Manager and is based in part on the budget. Schedules may be checked by the Area Supervisor on occasional visits, but must be seen by him/her as part of the quarterly audit. Although there is no specific company rule that schedules must be retained, Bath has a policy of storing them for 18 months before disposing of them.
10. The figures said by Logan to represent evening and night shift rates of pay were correct at the time of his employment, but have since been combined into a single basic rate of £3.20 per hour with an extra 15p for every hour worked after 7p.m. However his comments concerning overtime do not accord with my recollection. Employees often work extra hours by request, but are never forced to do so. It is untrue that schedules were based on an 8 day week. As long as I have worked for McDonald's, schedules have always been drawn up on the basis of a seven day week. Furthermore, steps are always taken to ensure that an efficient recruitment programme is in place, so that no-one needs to work more than 39 hours per week unless they choose to do so.
11. Logan is correct to say that Managers would sometimes alter employees' clockcards. However this would only occur where the employee had forgotten to clock in or out and any changes would be registered on the Husky Hunter computer system which has been in place at Bath since around 1989. This is a self-contained payroll unit, linked by a modem to the payroll department at Head Office and also linked into the store's computer. Each crew member has their own bar code. Changes can only be effected by the Manager entering his personal code, which is then shown on the printout. All such entries must be signed by the Manager concerned and by a witnessing Manager. These records are checked frequently by a salaried Manager and by the Area Supervisor and must be seen as part of the Supervisor's quarterly audit. Employees can ask to see their clockcard reports at any time. There is a "payroll surgery" every fortnight, run by an Administration Assistant, at which queries may be raised. Furthermore, details of hours worked and paid appear on the employees' payslips. I have never known any Manager to use the clockcard as a way of punishing an employee for failing to take a break nor for reducing labour costs. This would amount to gross misconduct.
12. My experience of McDonald's attitude to breaks does not accord with Michael Logan's account. A Manager might ask his staff if they are willing to divide their break during a busy period, but it would be very rare to ask someone to miss their break entirely. Moreover the absence of a break would appear on the clockcard record and would have to be justified to the Supervisor.
13. Contrary to what Michael Logan says in his statement, it would be extremely unusual for someone to work 6 hours without a break. The drink breaks he refers to are taken regularly throughout the shift and although they do have to be taken in the office, they are in addition to the 45 minute break. The allegation that some staff would be pressurised into taking breaks almost immediately after arriving at 10.30a.m. is misleading. This would only happen with employees who wished to have breakfast shortly after arriving at work and would be at the employees request.
14. A performance review ("PR") must take place 3 weeks after an employee commences employment and not 2 weeks as Logan claims in his statement. Thereafter the frequency used to be every 2 months (not weeks as Logan suggests), but has now become every 4 months as for pay reviews. The first review must never be late as it marks the end of the probationary period. However it is fair to say that subsequent reviews can occasionally be delayed for unavoidable reasons, but this is a rare occurrence and I have never known a PR to be more than 3 months late. During my employment as a crew member, I can only recall one or two of my PR's being delayed out of approximately 10 in total. Even then the delay was no more than 1 month. The "batches" described by Logan would comprise no more than 6 reviews at a time.
15. Logan's comments on the contents of performance reviews are again misleading. The review document is divided into two sections covering both a factual analysis of the employee's performance through observational checklist scores and also a general assessment of their attributes based on the score given to them by the management team in each of the 15 categories. This might well give rise to certain recurring phrases, however, it has never been my impression that Managers are apathetic in their attitude to performance reviews at McDonald's in Bath. In fact PR's are often discussed at Managers' meetings. This means that the PR is a record of the managements' impression of that employee and not just the opinion of one individual. I also make an effort to handwrite each PR for which I am responsible. As a crew member, I found that PRs were taken seriously by all concerned. They are of value to the crew member, in that they set out goals to aim for, with the incentive of promotion and a pay rise. They also provide an opportunity to give and receive feedback. I do not know of any complaint being received about the conduct of PRs at Bath, since I have worked here, either directly or through the Human Resources department. The restaurant conducts its own regular audit of such matters, in addition to the Head Office audit, both of which would have revealed any irregularities.
Health and Safety
16. The RCD ("Residual Current Device") system was installed by McDonald's as a safety measure before legislation was introduced. Logan is correct in saying that there was a fault in the system which lasted approximately 10 months from installation of the system until it was overhauled. The fault meant that the system was "confused" into reacting to a problem in the safety circuit. The problem would usually be non-existent and if a Manager had established that this was the case, he would remove the trip switch temporarily. This decision would be made by the Store Manager in consultation with Clayton Construction Ltd. who fitted the RCD system. It took some time to resolve the problem because the unusual design of the building (which was formerly a timber warehouse) meant that the electrical system was installed on a different level to the equipment. Electrical engineers from Clayton Construction Ltd and First-In Service Ltd were called in to look at the problem almost once a week. Both firms tried numerous methods of resolving the situation. The system has now been completely overhauled and works effectively with an additional circuit. New guidelines have recently been issued by the company on the removal of RCD cover.
17. Contrary to what Logan says in his statement, it would be very difficult not to notice that a grill had "tripped out". When this occurs, all lights on the grill go out, the temperature drops very quickly (this is shown on the gauge) and the pressure system causes the grill to open. Moreover a flashing light appears on the Manager's control panel to indicate that something is wrong. In these circumstances, all meat on the grill is checked and anything which is undercooked is thrown away.
18. It is correct that the Bath restaurant has the smaller clam shell grill model, however I would dispute Logan's allegation that the quality of the product was affected when more than 9 pieces of meat were cooked on the grill. Close checks are constantly maintained at the restaurant to ensure that food is properly cooked. The temperature of the equipment is checked once it has been switched on and the reading is recorded in the temperature log. The temperature of the first batch of meat or chicken is also checked. If necessary, the cooking time will be adjusted appropriately. However, if the problem persists, cooking of that particular product must cease and the service engineer must be called. Temperatures are checked again at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and towards the middle of the evening shift. Freezer temperatures must also be checked at around 8 a.m. 2 p.m. 6 p.m. and midnight to ensure that the raw product has not thawed or dehydrated. In addition to receiving training in these procedures, staff are also encouraged to keep visual checks on products.
19. It is true that customers complain about uncooked products. Logan is accurate in saying that such complaints are received approximately once a week. However it would be extremely rare for a complaint of this nature to be substantiated and again I would dispute Logan's claim that they are attributable to overcrowding of meat on the grill. When complaints about product quality are received, it is standard practice to follow a set procedure. The product must be examined and if undercooked, placed in a plastic bag. The Kitchen Manager should then be instructed to cease cooking that product and to throw away the remaining product. Until the shift running manager is completely satisfied that the product integrity is satisfactory, no further batches of that product are produced. An investigation must then be conducted into cooking equipment, temperatures, cooking time etc. An incident report must be completed. Managers are never too busy to do this since failure to do so is a disciplinary offence. All reports are sent to the local area management, who will decide whether a serious incident or series of incidents involving uncooked products should be investigated further.
20. The "face lift" referred to by Logan cost around £200,000, not £350,000 as he suggests, and took place at the same time as the overhaul of the RCD system.
21. Logan's account of the grease trap incident does not coincide with my experience of McDonald's approach to health and safety hazards. Firstly I would say that a broken grease trap is unlikely to pose a real safety hazard since it is not possible to walk underneath the trap. I am surprised by the allegation that a Manager said that the repair could not be afforded and that it would affect the "Profit and Loss", since the restaurant has a monthly maintenance, repair and reinvestment budget. Repairs to a broken grease trap would not represent a high expense and could probably be carried out in any event by the restaurant's own repair man.
22. Logan's comments concerning chicken vats are also inaccurate, like the grills, the vats were linked up to the RCD and so were subject to the same recurring fault. The vats have now been replaced by a different model. It would be obvious that a vat had "tripped out", since the liquid would stop bubbling, all lights would go out and a loud clicking sound would be heard, along with a strong "whoosh" of air. Since there is someone working at these vats constantly, it would be very difficult not to notice that they had ceased working. In such circumstances the same strict tests would be applied as those used when cooking meat, to ensure that undercooked products would not be served to customers.
Maintenance and Repair
23. Logan's comments on maintenance and repair are again inaccurate in many respects. The electrocution incident referred to concerned an employee in one of the Manchester restaurants. Jagon Flint was and continues to be the restaurant's official maintenance worker. He began working as a Crew Member, at which time he held a certificate in basic electrical safety. He completed First Aid and Safety At Work Courses and subsequently qualified as an electrical engineer.
24. It is correct to say that Managers are sometimes required to repair toasters, however they must first have completed an appropriate training course. In my experience at Bath there have always been spare toasters available to replace broken ones during busy periods and I have never seen toasters patched up with blue plasters, as alleged.
25. I agree with Logan's definition of "hustle" as meaning "get a move on", however I do not recall the term being used to justify Crew Members running anywhere in the restaurant, since this would obviously be dangerous to employees and customers alike.
26. I was not aware that Michael Logan applied for promotion in early 1994. However, I understand that he submitted an application form to the Area Human Resources department and that he attended at least one interview. Applicants would normally be expected to go through an "orientation" and a probationary period, following which, if they are successful, they will be offered promotion. I do not recall and have been unable to trace any records showing that Logan received an offer of promotion and so I am unable to comment on the reasons he gives for declining his alleged promotion. It is possible that he did not in fact attend the orientation stage for some reason.
27. I recall that Logan resigned around October or November 1994. He left the restaurant on the day that he announced his resignation, without giving further notice. I understood that he had secured a contract to work as a sculptor, which was something he had wanted to do for some time. About 3 weeks after his departure I learned that the contract has fallen through. Shortly afterwards Logan telephoned me to ask whether he could have his old job back. I spoke to Phil Cummings, the Store Manager at the time, and we both decided to refuse his request, since he had shown himself to be irresponsible and unreliable in resigning without giving notice, thus leaving the restaurant short staffed.
28. Finally I would dispute Logan's allegation that McDonald's "treats its employees as a cost and not a resource, with little regard to their rights or well-being". At Bath there are many longstanding employees, including a core of Crew Members who have been with the restaurant for 5 to 6 years. There is a good package for employees joining as Crew Members and the company actively promotes employees from within each restaurant and from within the organisation as a whole. Bath itself is not a depressed city, with many jobs available despite the economic climate. Accordingly, if McDonald's treated its employees as Logan suggests is the case, the employees would go and work elsewhere.
Appeared in court|
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: