The Attack of Big Mac
I'm sorry, you'll have to speak to one of the managers.
"He sure has changed from the Mac we used to know. I kind of like the old one better."
Has it affected your view of McDonald's at all?
They're crap! I'm hungry that's why.
What do you think of the food?
2 Young boys:
Good. Pucker. Good food, man. Blinding. But Burger Kings better.
Barbara Dinham. Transnational Information Centre, London. 1984 - 1989:
McDonald's was important because it was a leader in applying the Ford assembly-line tactics to the food industry. That basically meant looking at each task in the kitchen and how you could break it down into the smallest possible components so that somebody could be trained, you know, almost within an hour to do a very limited task.
So, we interviewed a lot of workers about the conditions of work; about pay, about trade union rights. And we published this as a booklet. And not long afterwards we received a letter from McDonald's saying that they were very unhappy about a lot of the material in the book, and they issued libel action. So we wrote to McDonald's and said that we were going to close and that we wouldn't - they could therefore do what they liked - we wouldn't be able to proceed with our defence.
Helen Steel: , Defendant
We felt it was important to defend freedom of speech. That people weren't continually silenced by McDonald's and other multinational companies who don't want the truth about their practices to be heard.
John Wadham. Liberty:
McDonald's have got thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds to throw at this case. We have two unemployed people who are doing an excellent job. But there's no way that they can meet the resources of McDonald's. They need to have Legal Aid for defamation cases or libel cases, particularly when individuals are up against the massive institution like McDonald's.
Dave Morris:, Defendant
McDonald's have sued us for saying that a diet high in fat, sugar and sodium and low in fibre - which describes a typical McDonald's meal - is linked to various diseases including heart disease and cancer. In fact, as we've gone through the witnesses and it's become clear that our position is the same as the World Health Organisation, they could do nothing but concede that our position was O.K., was correct. So, it was quite staggering what went on. Then, they attempted to shift the goal-posts and say that we had to prove that somebody has died of those diseases after eating a McDonald's meal, or a number of McDonald's meals. Which is, of course, completely absurd.
Well I think they're very brave. I think they deserve to really win and I hope libel laws are changed as a result. Not many people have that dogged capacity to hang on and see it through to the end; and that's very important that they've done it.
It's a risk but everyone's got to decide what side they're on and whether they're going to stand up to oppression or whether they're going to accept it.
McDonald's are trying to silence the campaign against them, silence any criticism; so the most important thing really is that people carry on distributing information about McDonald's and in that respect the campaing has won, because people have refused to be intimidated and McDonald's have not succeeded in silencing people.
Don't ask us what the Teenage Mutant Turtles have got to do with anything
- we don't know either.