witness statement

name: M. Lamti Hassen
section: Employment
for: The Defence
experience: Worker and Union representative in McDonald store in Lyon, France


The witness was given a 'promotion' in order to undermine his Union sympathies. However, the witness decided to fulfill the given role as rep and highlighted many discrepencies and employee claims to the management.

What followed was a bizarre string of bribes, threats, and underhanded pressures. The witness being harassed and questioned by police on several occasions.

This attempt to discredit the witness failed, and eventually 12 McDonald managers were charged with subverting Union activity after evidence given by employees and through several official inspections.

The gross misconduct of the managers, pressurising employees into identifying the witness as a thief and hoax bomber, underline the extreme anti-union sentiment and policy McDonalds hold.


I am employed at a McDonalds store in Lyon, France.

In 1990 I was promoted to the post of zone manager, a position I occupy today.

Full cv:
(not available for this witness)

full statement:

Promotion to changing the Lightbulbs

In 1992, the manager of the restaurant called me to his office, and told me that I had been designated as staff rep, to my great surprise. I asked him what that consisted of. He replied that this role was only to convince the official inspectors that a staff rep existed and to give them pre-prepared statements (made by the manager) to the inspectors. What my job consisted of in reality was to take care of the lightbulbs and fixtures.

Some months after my becoming rep, the restaurant employees brought to my attention a number of problems in the company around working conditions and payslips. I then informed the manager who responded that I should not pay too much regard to these.

Some of the problems, amongst others:

The management refused to take notice of these serious problems, and I decided to circulate a petition amongst the employees.

A supervisor called me to a meeting in his ofice, and told me to stop circulating the petition or I would be sacked. My reaction was that I had nothing to lose and that I had to take action during my period of employment. I then decided to set up a branch of the CFDT at the company and in doing so received great support by the employees.

In October 1992, CFDT designated me as the representative/steward. Some time after this, the McDonalds Lyon region franchiser Michel Antolinos phoned me and told me to attend a meeting the next morning at 8 o'clock at his office (GIE POMA, 104 rue Tronchet 6900 Lyon). I was accompanied at the meeting by an employee from societe VILPAIX to help me. The subject of the meeting was my designation as union rep. Mr Antolinos asked me why I wanted to be a union rep and I responded that I wished to allow the employees to be represented and have their voices heard. At this point, he proposed that I consider the possibility of material rewards for renouncing my trade union involvement.

He proposed that:

I told him that I was not interested and that I only wished to continue working at McDonalds and stay as a union rep to help resolve the serious problems confronted by the employees. Upon hearing my refusal he told me to take three days to think about it and that if I still persisted with my activities, all hopes of promotion for me would be gone and in effect, there would be confrontation between us. Following this, my working conditions changed fundamentally. My keys to the cashtill and stockrooms were confiscated and I was asked to carry out tasks incompatible with the job of a zone manager. These tasks were carried out under difficult, stressful and degrading conditions.

The aim of all these accusations was to have me criminally convicted so that I could no longer continue as works representative/delegate, as this requires a clean criminal record. All this was due to my involvement with the trade union.

Election Threats and Manipulation

The election for the staff representatives (mandatory as of 1993) was held in a climate of discrimination against the CFDT on whose list I was heading. In effect there were numerous pressures and threats to not stand on the list and not to vote for the list.

Following evidence to the police by fifty employees and numerous work inspections, a criminal proceeding was undertaken to investigate 12 managers of the Lyon region McDonalds.

As for my working conditions, nothing has changed in the attitude of the management. The only thing was that in August of 1994 after two years and repeated requests, they gave me 2 new uniforms in my size.

(trans. Suna Scutcher 12/11/95)

supplementary statement:

Further points which M. Lamti intends to make:

  1. He was union representative for 12 McDonalds stores.

  2. On 1st July 1993 Judge Lacroix, president of the Tribunal d'Instance de Lyon found in favour of the union (CFDT) in securing representation for the 12 stores, despite objections from McDonalds franchisee.

  3. The Inspecteur du Travail drew up more than 20 legal suits concerning the hindrance of union rights etc.

  4. The union went more than 10 times to the Conceil des Prud'hommes in order to enforce the workers' rights.

  5. The judicial investigation of the managers of McDonalds stores who had been arrested in 1994 has apparently been shelved due to a general presidential amnnesty of outstanding cases.

(noted Dave Morris 8/11/95. Agreed Lamti Hassen)

date signed: November 8th, 1995
status: Appeared in court
references: Not applicable/ available

exhibits: Not applicable/ available

transcripts of court appearances:

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