Protests and leafletting at over 15 regional locations around the UK took place on the third anniversary of the death of Mark Hopkins, a worker electrocuted at McDonald's Arndale store in Manchester. During the McLibel Trial, Jill Barnes (McDonald's UK Safety Officer) was challenged by the Defendants over a previously confidential internal Report into Mark's death. The Report had not been disclosed at Mark's inquest and was only disclosed by McDonald's to the Defendants days before Jill Barnes took the sand. The inquest had decided that Mark's death was an 'accident'. But the McDonald's Report had catalogued a number of company failures and problems, and had made the damning conclusion: "Safety is not seen as being important at store level".
Parents of Electrocuted Worker Demand New Inquest - Maureen Hopkins (Mark's mother) organised a picket at the Arndale Centre store which 40 people attended. The discovery of the Report and other documents also not shown to the inquest jury has lead the Hopkins' family to DEMAND THAT A NEW INQUEST BE HELD. Legal action is now being prepared.
"I think the Report should have been put before the inquest. It may have made a difference. It was horrendous to go to the Arndale McDonald's but I needed to do it in Mark's memory. I've always known there was something wrong with the outcome of the inquest into my son's death. We haven't got peace of mind and Mark can't rest in peace while ths new evidence, which has come to light during the libel trial, has not been seriously investigated. I won't give up. We want a new inquest. We're not bitter against the company but we want justice for our son and I won't rest until we get it." - Maureen Hopkins
Over 25 people joined a picket in Central London, organised by the Support Network for McDonald's Workers. The Network is run by a group of trade unionists in Hackney, aiming to provide advice and information, and to promote solidarity for all McDonald'sworkers wanting to fight for their rights. In addition, many other stores across the country, and as far afield as Canada, were leafletted with information about employment rights (particularly concerning health and safety) by trade unionists and labour ovement activists and supporters.
There was also a demonstration in Guelph, Ontario in Canada where workers have joined a union. Ex-workers and animal rights activists protested together outside the store, handing out what's wrong with McDonald's leaflets and information on worker's rights.