1. I joined McDonald's in October 1983 as crew member. In 1984 I became a Store Manager and in 1986 became an Area Supervisor responsible for the Clacton and Colchester restaurant-. In August 1987 I became a Senior Supervisor in Wales and in February 1990 an Operations Manager. In September 1992 I became a Market Manager and in February 1993 I was promoted to my present position as Regional Manager of the Midlands Region.
2. I have read the statements of various employees who were employed by McDonald's in the Colchester restaurant in the mid 1980'.. In particular, I read the statements of Simon Gibney and Siamik Alimi whose allegations are largely repeated in the other statements. I should start by saying that there was some friction between Simon Gibney and I, principally because I had occasionally criticised shifts he was running. Simon was a very young Manager and in my view probably did not take criticism very easily. Further, Simon was a Floor Manager who undertook many of the task. that a normal Second Assistant Manager would perform. I was worried that the Floor Managers were undermining the authority of Assistant Managers in the restaurant and were not concentrating on their principal role of managing a particular area within the store. I accordingly instructed the Store Manager to ensure that Simon and the other Floor Managers did not undertake too many tasks that should be performed by an Assistant Manager.
3. Simon alleges that I instructed the Store Manager, Hark Davis, to water down drinks, syrups, ketchup, mustard, milk shake mix and use lettuce and cheese in the burgers to improve the yield performance of the Colchester store. I deny that I did this. Apart from the fact that this is totally against company policy, our customers would have soon noticed that they were not receiving the quality of product they expected. Simon attributes my rapid promotion to the use of such techniques. This is nonsense. I would like to think that my rapid promotion had been because of my good performance over a wide range of areas such as profitability, sales and good people practices. Similarly, Mark Davis has also been promoted relatively rapidly and once again I would suggest this is because of his ability rather than for any more sinister reasons.
4. I have no knowledge of the 'McDonald's Freedom Fighters' which, accordingly to Simon Gibney were formed before my involvement with the store. However, if there had been any collective or trade union activity in the Colchester store during my period in the area I am sure I would have recalled it. My recollections of Colchester are of a very good store and that the crew were very good and usually enthusiastic.
5. Simon's allegations about the labour rate are not correct. For example, he suggests that reasons such as poor appearance were used to send people home if the store was over manned yet these problems were ignored if the store was under-manned. This is incorrect. I always stressed to my Managers that irrespective of the store being busy or quiet crew members whose appearance was unacceptable should be sent home. Similarly, safety was never compromised in an attempt to obtain a low labour rate. Further, to avoid new crew members being left unsupervised, I introduced as Area Supervisor in Colchester and Clacton a policy where we would only hire one or two new crew members per week so that they could be put with experienced crew to train them.
6. Turning to the hours that crew members worked, employees who were classed as full-timers (i.e. whose sole source of income was from their employment with McDonald's) were always scheduled to work the most hours. It was clearly important that they worked sufficient hours rather than people who were still at school or who were studying at college. We would try to ensure that full-time workers would work during the week and part-timers would work at the weekends. It is probably fair to say that if a store on occasions did not get its scheduling correct employees would occasionally have to work approximately 50 hours in a week. This would usually be the Floor Managers such as Simon Gibney rather than an ordinary crew member. Simon seems to suggest that a low labour rate was of paramount consideration to management. This is clearly incorrect. Too low labour would Jeopardise the quality of the service to the customer. My Senior Supervisor, Tim Taylor, did not praise me if I had too low a labour rate. Indeed, I can recall him stressing that labour should be higher and that I should put more people on shifts.
7. Simon alleges that under 18's regularly worked past midnight. As a Supervisor part of my Job was to ensure that Managers did not schedule under 18's to work past midnight. I had no knowledge of under 18's working past midnight in the Colchester store at my time in that area. I recall that after a prosecution in Luton the company made it a mayor priority to see that this did not happen. Further, he is incorrect to state that taxis were never provided to take people home after they had worked on a close. The Colchester store had a taxi account and I can recall that in an attempt to keep down the amount of taxi fares the Manager's office had ~ map marking where people lived. We attempted to schedule people to work on a close where one taxi could drop off a number of different people relatively easily.
8. I can never recall the drains being blocked at the Colchester store as alleged.
9. A number of the Defendants' statements about the Colchester store complain about the number of all night closes they had to work on. From my recollections all night closes happened relatively rarely and if they did happen all crew were given plenty of notice about having to work through the night.
Because the Colchester store was a long way from the Regional Office in Birmingham I was always given plenty of notice when senior management such as the Operations Manager or Regional Manager was visiting the store. I note that Siamik Alimi states that they had to do all night close. every time I visited the store. This is nonsense as I lived in the Colchester area and would visit the store almost every day. Never in my experience would a Store Manager make people work all through the night simply because the Area Supervisor was visiting. Area Supervisors are normally responsible for 3 or 4 restaurants. They therefore would visit those restaurants on a very regular basis. A Store Manager would not therefore make crew work through the night in anticipation of such a regular visit. This contrasts, as mentioned above, with a visit by a more senior member of management such an the Operations Manager or Market Manager. Further, I always instructed my Store Managers not to rely on all night Cessions because people never worked very effectively at such hours. I would always suggest to Store Managers that they schedule more people during the evening and ask people to clean the store during normal working hours.
1. I make this Supplementary Statement in order to deal with certain general topics which I understand have been raised by the Defendants in cross-examination of other witnesses but which I did not address in my first Statement. I have spent my whole working life since leaving University at McDonald's and what I state below is based on the personal knowledge and experience of McDonald's which I have gained during that time.
During the 1980's, performance reviews were held six times a year with every other review being a pay review. As might be expected, some of these (about 10%) did not result in a pay increase, and most of the increases (about 50%) were in the 5p category. However, the 10P and 5p increases were by no means rare (about 30% and 10% respectively).
Rate of return
It has been my invariable experience that people who have left and returned re-start at their leaving rate. If they are returning to the same restaurant, the manager will obviously know what their leaving rate was. If a job applicant has previously worked at another McDonald's restaurant, the manager will obtain the applicant's file from that restaurant and will then be able to see what his/her leaving rate was (job applicants are always asked whether they have previously worked for McDonald's and, if so, where).
It sometimes happens that when a person who has previously worked at McDonald's returns, the basic starting rate has increased in the meantime. If so, any increases on the old starting rate which the person had achieved will be preserved. Thus, if the person's leaving rate was, say, 20p above the basic starting rate applying at that time, his/her re-starting rate will be the new basic starting rate plus 20p.
Basic starting rate
When I was manager of the Leicester restaurant (1984-86), I had an average pay roll of about 100 people. Of these, I estimate that there were never more than about 10 (10%) on the basic starting rate.
3. Rap Sessions
When I was Area Supervisor for Clacton and Colchester (March 1986 to August 1987), I conducted a number of Rap sessions in other areas.
There would generally be about 10 or 12 people at these Rap sessions.
I never felt that the people who attended them were in the least inhibited in speaking out about their concerns. Indeed, I felt it was my job to ensure that all questions, positive and negative, were fully aired.
A wide variety of topics were raised by the crew, including on occasions, scheduling and performance reviews. I do not, however, ever recall hearing any complaint about the length of the hours worked or the actual rates of pay. Nor did I ever hear anyone ever mention trade unions.
It is quite untrue to suggest that Rap sessions are in any sense merely a cosmetic exercise. On the contrary, they are taken seriously by management, who will often take action on what they have heard. The simple reason for this is that a restaurant with a discontented crew is unlikely to be successful.
4. Hours of Work
There is no truth in the suggestion that crew members are habitually required to work hours different from those they have been scheduled to work. The key to successful scheduling is to achieve the staffing level needed for each shift so as to ensure satisfactory service for the customers. If, as happens on occasion, the manager finds that he is significantly over or under-staffed, then he may try to achieve the correct level by asking for volunteers either to go home or to stay on (as the case may be). In the latter case (under-staffing), he will be just as likely to telephone on the of the people on the pay roll and ask if they are willing to come in and work an extra shift. This is often successful, because many people are keen to work as many hours as they can.
I am aware that on rare occasions people work double (or back-to-back) shifts, usually because they want to. I regard thin as something to be avoided wherever possible, for the reason that, towards the end of the second shift, people may become tired (which is not in their interests) and therefore inefficient (which is not in the company's interest).
Young people (under 18's)
When I was a manager at Leicester, I was scrupulous to ensure that young people did not work past the legal time limits (10p.m. for females and midnight for males). Equally, when I was Area Supervisor for Clacton and Colchester, this is one of the things I regularly checked on my two or three weekly visits to the restaurants.
I understand that the Defendants have suggested that some managers would make a practice of clocking-out young people at the proper time and then keeping them on at the restaurant on payment of a bonus. I have never come across this practice, which I would regard as highly improper.
McDonald's policy is to keep turnover as low as possible because it is more efficient, and therefore more profitable, to have as many experienced people in the crew as possible. That is certainly what I have always striven to achieve. In the restaurant at Leicester, I had 8 low turnover, despite the fact that about 701 of my crew were part-timers and that a significant proportion of those (about 10~) were students from Leicester University and Leicester Polytechnic who would leave and return on a regular basis as the requirements of their studies dictated. In addition, we had a number of part-time woman with children whom I treated as continuously employed, even if, for example, they took a week or 10 days' leave for family reasons. In such cases, they were not, therefore, classified as leavers.
6. Trade Unions
In my experience, trade unions have never been a topic of any interest or discussion at McDonald' s. The question of union representation has never been mentioned to me by any crew member in all the time I have worked for McDonald's (October 1983 to date). Nor have I ever discussed it with any manager, with any of my superiors in the company or with any union representative. It has simply never been an issue.
I have always understood this to mean the provision of a smooth and efficient service born of effective co-ordination amongst the crew members. I have never interpreted it, or seen it interpreted, as running or sliding. Quite apart from the safety hazards which that might present, I have always felt that it would create an impression with the customer that their meals were being prepared and served with too much haste and in a slapdash way.
June 29, 1995|
Appeared in court|
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: