A blow to Big Mac in Jamaica

by John Vidal

Guardian Ecosoundings;17th July 1996, UK

Press Index

The global corporation with a reputation for lengthy trials has been told to Mac Off by a high court judge in Kingston. The case goes back several years. There has been a McDonald's Corporation Limited, selling traditional food, in Jamaica since 1971. In 1994, our giant friends announced they wanted a slice of the pie and last year they opened in Montego Bay. But just a month later they served a statement of claim on the Jamaican McDonald's trying to stop them trading under the name anywhere in Jamaica. Bit of a nerve? What's more they built a $3 million restaurant in Kingston, hired the workers and hung a sign saying opening soon...

Whoa, said Mr Justice Orr, ruling last week for the local McDonald's after some serious mudslinging in a preliminary trial. Awarding costs against McHasty, he banned them from opening in Kingston until the full legal action is complete. That will probably be 1998 - or later, given that evidence from the two-year-old McLibel trial in London will now be admissible. The workers that Big Mac employed are furious, the restaurant is good for nothing and the internet McSpotlight website (http://www.mcspotlight.org/) is getting busier by the day: 2.5 million hits so far.

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