Both issues of McSues, the piss take magazine from Glasgow McDonalds Workers Resistance from 2000 and 2001, described (by themselves) as the hardest hitting workers' paper in the world.
The online version is text only, the paper versions had pictures, cartoons, crosswords, fun for all the family.
If anyone has paper originals please get in contact with us as we would love to host scanned versions in the library.
McSues #1, December 2000
For workers' power, international solidarity, and less than hilarious jokes about Ronald McDonald.
Issue no. 1, dedicated to Mark Hopkins, killed by electrocution in the backroom of Arndale McDonalds, Manchester, October the 12th, 1992
"I bongo the monkey every morning!!"
admitted a senior McDonalds employee last night. Pressed on the issue he added: "yeah, waddle the penguin, call it what you like, it makes your day, well it sure keeps me satisfied till lunch time". The unprecedented outburst has been described by government officials as "deeply misguided", coming just hours after Spunky the Cocker Spaniel reported being sexually assaulted by a creepy clown. Police say they are looking for a man of medium build, wearing bright yellow breeches, stripy leggings and lots of makeup and with a deranged smile slapped across his face.
So, what’s this?
This is McSues, it’s produced by the McDonalds employees who form the Glasgow branch of McDonalds Workers Resistance (MWR), and it aims to provide an alternative to that indoctrinating shite McNews. Where the resistance is not yet established, circulation is dependent on individuals (you!) making it available to as many work-mates as possible and especially to all new starts (please be careful). We desperately need contact addresses for other resistance groups (however small) and individuals who might be able to circulate future editions in their store (all correspondence is treated in confidence).
So what’s McDonalds Workers Resistance?
MWR, run entirely by McDonalds employees, is a combination of several, previously isolated, pockets of resistance that have united in an attempt to create serious opposition to the company. There is no official membership and no dues (is that not a bit racialist?) so please (dis)organise your store and take the initiative in spreading the resistance. Please get in touch with us (address at back) and we can exchange ideas/ experiences, plan action or just arrange to send you copies of future editions of McSues. MWR has no links with any political party or trade union baron, and is completely self funded. While we gratefully acknowledge the assistance provided by several other autonomous groups, we remain independent and committed to uniting McDonalds workers in the struggle against an exploitative company.
"I brainwashed youngsters into doing wrong. I want to say sorry to children everywhere for selling out to concerns who make millions by murdering animals" - Geoffrey Guiliano, the main Ronald McDonald actor in the 1980s.
COMPETITION! (best answer wins a fondue set.) WHY ARE EXTERNAL SALARIED MANAGERS SO FUCKING STUPID? Answers on a postcard to: M.W.R., PO Box: 3828, GLASGOW, G41 1YU
Ronald McDonald is a Fucking Tart!
Anyone who has had the frustrating experience of watching Ronald McDonald pratt about on wrap and call will know that he is an obnoxious wanker but here are ten unconfirmed rumours you may not have heard about everyone’s favourite clown:
1. Ronald McDonald is a fucking tart.
2. Ronald makes his wife and kid wait outside in the car while he does a show.
3. Ronald peeks through children’s windows at night time.
4. Underneath his makeup Ronald has a face like a derby runner and teeth like a row of condemned houses.
5. Ronald may have been responsible for the Glencoe massacre.
6. Ronald washes his genitals with shortening.
7. Ronald had a love child with Barry Gibb.
8. Ronald bongos the monkey.
10. That’s it.
Ye old song of struggle
Old McDonald had a farm, Oh my fucking word. And on that farm he had some cows; A really mangy herd.
And he plundered here and he plundered there, Here, there, every fucking where,
Old McDonald fed his cows, With diseased sheep’s brains. And in France they even used Excrement from drains.
Old McDonald slapped his cows, On some shitty bread. And when he ran out of cows, Used half a rat instead.
Old McDonald shagged a sheep, Or so I’ve been told, But he still cut it up, And had the fucker sold.
Old McDonald spends Billions, Broadcasting his views, And if anyone disagrees, Then the fucker sues.
Old McDonald’s up shit creek, `Cos we’re fighting back, And if he hears of our plans, We will get the sack.
Old McDonald’s very weak, When we all unite, So lets get together now, And join the workers fight.
Why Fight McDonalds?
The most obvious reason is that they make huge amounts of money from our hard work. If the company makes $3 Billion profit a year, and we’re on the minimum wage, it doesn’t take a genius to see that they are taking the piss out of us big time. Add to that unsociable hours, the company’s bollocks propaganda, that fucking clown (not Nigel Dunningham, the other one), never finishing when you’re meant to and then being told to fucking smile, and it is no wonder we’re a bunch of degenerate alcoholics. Of course there are other reasons to hate the bastards, like how they use land in poor countries at the expense of local food needs, or rear beef where once stood rainforests, but the best way we can help the environment or the exploited abroad is to fight for our own rights in our own towns. There are many other disgusting companies but McDonalds is a bit special; it has become a symbol for capitalism, exploitation and American world domination. If workers can take on McDonalds (and we can) then none of the bosses are safe. We have the potential to be an inspiration, not just to all McDonalds workers, but to low-paid employees the world over. Our resistance shall be as global as their business!
"It was not her sex appeal but the obvious relish with which she devoured the hamburger that made my pulse begin to hammer with excitement" - Ray Kroc, McDonalds founder (and sad bastard) in his autobiography.
How We Can Fight Back…
Work-To-Rule: Bizarrely enough, one of the best weapons at our disposal is to follow every procedure exactly. The company has developed procedures for controlling quality and hygiene that are incompatible with the labour costs they expect and the speed of production/ service they require. So in kitchen, we do everything right, and soon there’s no food in the bin. "Hustle, hustle" they’ll say, "hustle is the efficiency gained through the safe and effective use of the three Cs, it does not involve running or rushing", we reply. Eventually they have to take people off front and put them in kitchen, less people are served, and they lose money. Soon they realise that it is cheaper to give us what we want than to keep losing custom. Simple, right? What we win could just be large fries on our break, but in a couple of weeks we do it again, and all the time we are exercising our power, increasing our unity and realising our potential to win anything we want.
Go Slow: Like the work-to-rule only you do everything at the pace of a constipated man who has dumped down with a good book.
Be Stupid: This one comes naturally to me, but you know the shit, you all pretend to be salaried.
Fuck The Food Costs: Lettuce and cheese are quite expensive so don’t be shy with the condiments and its Big Cahoona burgers all round.
Local Strike: This is dangerous but we’ve done it in the past.
(Inter)National Strike: This is still a bit ambitious but I have a dream ..
Sabotage: Unplug equipment, misplace things, short circuit the grills, lose that bit of the breakfast cabinet, oh the possibilities.
Insubordination: "Go on fries", "nu", easy enough, yeah?
Steal, Steal, Steal: Happy toys make an easy target, I mean if we weren’t commy bastards we’d be doing a nice sideline punting them.
Have Fun: Joke and laugh your way through a shift, turn their dehumanising workplace into a creative site of resistance, then all go and get minging.
Theft is a big problem in McDonalds. For example, in Britain "mistakes" in paying workers for double time days over the last festive season must have cost us mugs thousands of pounds. ALWAYS KEEP A RECORD OF THE HOURS YOU HAVE WORKED AND NEVER TRUST THE BASTARDS TO PAY YOU WHAT YOU’RE DUE. On a different note, it seems some workers in Britain have decided to enforce a minimum wage of £6 an hour by helping themselves to the difference. Apparently, when a customer asks for a meal they have been entering the single sandwich on their tills, the customers don’t quibble the price which appears as they know how much the meal costs (tourists and OAPs are an exception here) and the employees have been pocketing (socking) the difference, or over changing friends. Also, some employees have been keeping a few pennies lying about and if someone offers £3 for a meal, they aren’t using the till at all (they sometimes don’t know what to do with the coins but). Some employees claim to be making £30 a shift this way. As one of these scamps said "I don’t steal off customers unless they look like they can afford it, but I steal from McDonalds all the time. They think their obsession with T-Reds will stop us, will it fuck - nothing can stop us!" Disgraceful.
(un)Happy Toy Makers
Most happy meal toys are made in Chinese factories where working conditions make McDonalds restaurants look pleasant. In 1992, 23 workers at the Chi Wah toy factory were hospitalised through benzene poisoning and 3 died. In 1997, 220 workers at Keyhinge toys became seriously ill with acetone poisoning and overwork (unsurprising giving acetone levels were 84 times the recommended US exposure limit, and in Chinese toy factories, work is an average 14-15 hours a day with no day off). In the same year some workers were earning as little as 5p an hour. In court in 1994, Paul Preston (UK McDonalds President) said he did not consider £3.10 an hour to be low pay, before refusing to reveal his own enormous salary. What about 5p an hour Paul, is that low pay? We hear a lot about the stress of senior management and I have some sympathy; it can’t be nice going to bed every night knowing your wealth is built on murder and exploitation.
"There have been several recent instances in our restaurants where members of staff have received severe shocks from faulty items of electrical equipment." - McDonalds internal memo from Northwest Region, February 1992 (just 8 months before Mark Hopkins was killed by electrocution at a store in Manchester).
In a sycophantic attempt to aid training we have reproduced some of the OCL questions employees most frequently get wrong, together with the correct answers:
1. In the event of a fire, who leaves first? Who ever is nearest the door.
2. Why must nail varnish or jewellery not be worn? It might allow you some individuality.
3. Why should you always wear a glove when handling raw meat patties? The food is fucking poisonous and this is an attempt to reduce the death toll (it’s bad for business).
4. What would you do if you discovered a fire? Laugh loudly and hide the petrol.
5. Why should you not bend your back when lifting? Ronald McDonald is not interested in consent.
6. What action would you take if you saw a hypodermic needle in the D.A.? Keep it more securely in the future.
7. Give three examples of tripping hazards in the kitchen? They make this too easy.
8. What must you do if a customer hands you a note of high value? Thank them and try to get your break soon.
9. How can you make a child’s visit a happy one? Keep them away from Ronald and warn them never to set foot in the place again.
10. What is the procedure for high denomination notes? Same as all the others- in your sock.
The Workers united and that.
We all enjoy a laugh at the senior management but although these pricks occasionally provide an amusing distraction from the monotony of our jobs, when we start fighting back they can get quite scary. Example? Well in France, crew member Hassen Lamti, a trade union activist, was unsuccessfully framed for armed robbery! Before McDonalds offered him a bribe to renounce the union! (please send offers to the usual address) He kept fighting and the now established union branch has won numerous court judgements against the company to stop harassment and illegal business practices. A 16-year-old crew member, Sarah Inglis, encouraged the majority of workers at her store in Canada to join a union, so the company launched a nationally controversial, and fucking bizarre, anti-union campaign. This included intimidating pro-union staff, getting workers to lie outside in the snow, in the shape of a "no" (to unions)! And an "anti-union slide show"? The mind boggles. Going back a while (1986) in Madrid, 4 workers who called for union elections were sacked but had to be reinstated when court ruled the dismissals illegal (ha, ha). A year earlier, in Ireland, two union activists were sacked but had to be reinstated when court ruled the dismissals illegal (ha, ha). In the same year, this is a good one, union activists in Mexico seized and occupied a McDonalds for 3 weeks and won union rights in Mexican McDonalds that still exist today. That’s the way to do it! But our favourite McDonalds/ union story took place in Detroit way back in 1980. Workers at one store joined a union, so McDonalds organised a visit by a top baseball star, a staff disco and, wait for it, a "McBingo night". So join a trade union and you’ll get that long overdue crew night out.
"unions are inimical to what we stand for and how we operate. They peddle the line to their members that the boss will be forever more against their interests". Aye. - John Cooke, employed by McDonalds "to keep the unions out". "They (crew members) have no guaranteed employment rights. They do not have guaranteed employment or guaranteed conditions of employment" - Ronald Beavers, McDonalds US senior vice-president, 1995
It's your letters
Dear MWR, A group that campaigns for workers’ rights is potentially quite important for good people practices, but the way you are going about this is really quite counter-productive. It is most probably not any of my business anyway, as I am dating a first assistant so am presumably part of your "class enemy" or some such similar nonsense. I think that.. whine, whine etc. FM, Newcastle. MWR replies: not at all there’s nothing wrong with fucking Management it makes a change from them fucking us. Sorry we had to edit your letter but you are a boring scab.
Dear MWR, I was encouraged a lot by the news of the resistance. I am working hard to tell people here of you. In the past some stores in France have achieved union rights and who is able to say what can happen in the future? Many of us here are very excited about our possibilities. Vive la resistance! JFL, Marseilles.
MWR replies: Nice one Franco!
Pissed bloke on Quarters
One day our store collapsed and all that was left was a big fuck off pile of rubble. The rescue folk turned up and started searching for survivors and soon everyone was accounted for except one salaried manager. They could hear her shouting through the rubble, so they called "Where are you?", and she replied "In the office".
This one’s true, right. Bloke walks into our store, sits down with his mates then comes up to the counter. "May I help you please" says the salaried who had strayed out of the office and forgotten the way back. "Aye" says the guy "I’m after a wager. I’ll bet you 200 quid that I can stand 3 metres away from that regular cup, piss in it and not spill a drop". The manager doesn’t hesitate, it looks impossible. So the guy whaps his dick out and precedes to piss all over the counter, all over the floor, all over the fucking manager, the roof, in fact, he’s pissing everywhere except the fucking cup. When he finally finishes the manager asks for his money. The guy says he’ll just be a minute and goes back over to his mates. A minute later he comes back with a big grin on his face and hands over £200. "Just one question" says the manager, "You’ve just lost £200, so what are you so fucking happy about?". The guy laughs again and says "well I just bet my mate £500 that I could piss on your counter, piss on your food and piss on you, and not only would you not throw me out but you would actually be happy about it". I’m telling you that’s the way it happened.
Message to the workers.
We work for a company that has an annual turnover of $30 Billion, but whose business depends on $2 Billion dollars a year spent on a fucking clown. They make $3 Billion profit annually, pay us the lowest they possibly can and insist on insulting us annually with those disgusting frozen cakes. They expect us to develop a "corporate identity", experience a "family feeling" (these guys must have had pretty fucked up childhoods) and genuinely think that advertising "free uniform" as a job perk will help recruitment. Most of us get through our shifts by taking the piss out of the company and the sycophantic wankers who get tearful when people don’t use the scoop. And no wonder- it’s fucking hilarious. Or at least it is apart from one thing; we’re the fuckers that pay for it. And as long as they are stealing from us, exploiting us, and getting rich from our labour, they (the bosses) will be laughing loudest. It’s up to us (me and you) to silence them.
And Finally… The Millennium Dome is probably the biggest waste of money since Duncan Shearer. It’s a big ugly tent which no one wanted and no one has been to visit.
"We couldn’t actually pay any lower wages without falling foul of the law" - Sid Nicholson, then UK vice president.
Shout out to- Mark, Chibs, Mike, Tommy, Dave, Pes, the F.C., the Newcastle crew, JFL, Lucy and all the posse. @ANTI-COPYRIGHT, please copy and distribute.
M.W.R., PO Box 3828, Glasgow, G41 1YU
The workers resistance kicks off its irregular magazine with a provocative outburst. Their organisation might be growing but with slaver like this their readership probably wont. No really, it’s great, here’s what the critics said:
"An outstanding accomplishment, challenging, intellectually sophisticated and yet it reads like an airport novel. A truly remarkable debut" -Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"I literally couldn’t put it down" -Mr. Sticky
"I might quibble with some of the conclusions but cannot dis the central argument. The most entertaining writing since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" -Ray Kroc’s ghost
Join the debate at ‘McSpotlight’- http://www.mcspotlight.org/ Other Contacts that you might find useful: -Support Network for McDonalds Workers, C/O MSC, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N19DX -Service Workers Action and Advisory Project, Tel: 020 7587 0839 -Health and Safety Executive, Tel: 020 7717 6000
McSues #2, October 2001
'Cos our jobs are really shit…
Issue 2, Free
- Exclusive interview with Richey Manic
- Global resistance round up
- Pissed bloke on quarters
And all the same crap we put in the first issue…
The magazine by McDonalds workers, for McDonalds workers
Hi, Welcome to issue two of McSues. The first edition was distributed around the world - from Alaska, U.S.A., to Christchurch, New Zealand, in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the U.K., Canada and Australia, while Greek and Czech versions also appeared. McSues is written and produced entirely by the McDonalds Workers who form Glasgow McDonalds Workers Resistance (MWR). We aim to inspire other Mcworkers to start their own fights back against the company. As our movement grows stronger we hope to win higher wages, better working conditions, and a greater degree of control over our working lives. In the long term we want ordinary workers to directly control the production and distribution of wealth. That means no bosses telling us what to do and no profit mongers getting rich off our backs. In the last year we've made contact with McDonalds workers who are fighting back in towns across the UK, and with resistance groups at several stores in the U.S., a number in Australia, Canada and continental Europe. A few tales of McDonalds workers fighting back over the last year can be found further down. The trouble is, although there are lots of us around the world, we are all separated geographically, and it's easy to feel isolated. To try and overcome this, we're proposing a global day of action on October 16th 2002. It will be a day for all Mcemployees the world over, to strike and sabotage for the right to organise. You can read more about this below. Anyway, enjoy this issue, stay angry and never stop believing in our ability to change the world,
Love and solidarity,
Casper, Whybird, Funnywump, Zotard and Bouncer
Ever get pissed off with the same CD being played over and over again? We thought we'd come up with a few sounds more appropriate to McDonalds. So, here is MWR's…
Top 10 songs to listen to while selling burgers…
Take this job and shove it - Johnny Paycheck
Career opportunities (the one's that never knock) - The Clash
Smash the Mac - Crass
Slave to the wage - Placebo
Dancing on the ruins (of multinational corporations) - Casey Neill
Don't make me eat that shit - Weird People
Murderous employment - Slow Grind
Working for the fat man - Escape Club
Frightful restaurant - Seikima 2
Working like a slave - Lancaster Blues Band
We hope to have this compilation available as a benefit CD by some time in 2002. This will help spread some quality music (and a lot of shit we've never heard) but will also raise us some cash (badly needed since Skol pulled out of the sponsorship deal).
Q. How many salaried managers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Don't be so fucking silly, that sounds like work.
The secret diary of Ronald McDonald, A very dirty clown!
Got pissed and spewed down my dungarees.
Got asked to pratt about in front of the cameras today. I couldn't be arsed because I didn't want to make a tit out of myself and waste precious drinking time, but McDonalds explained that they wanted two year olds to love me so that they would buy McDonalds shitty food. Fair enough, anything that makes kids fancy me. I was knackered after that and it was bed time. It's always bed time when the big hand touches the little hand.
I know I plaster my face in make up, but why the fuck have I got a yellow cock?
Spent the day watching snuff films and eating quavers
Visited McDonalds and scared kids with a balloon puppet the shape of a giant yellow cock. Sometimes I scare myself.
Fucked a chicken.
Ronald McDonald is walking through what little jungle he hasn't destroyed with his mate. All of a sudden, out pops a tiger. Ronnie drops his bag and, before turning to flee, puts on a pair of expensive trainers. "Do you really think you'll be able to outrun a tiger with them on?" asks his mate slightly puzzled. "I don't have to outrun the tiger," replies Ronald, "I just have to outrun you". Now this story might seem a bit unrealistic, but Ronald does have, sorry, did have one friend.
Global Day Of Action
On October the 16th 2002, McDonalds workers around the world will be taking industrial action as part of the global day of action against McDonalds. Glasgow MWR will be taking action around the following demand:
"That all those employed by McDonalds, anywhere in the world, be allowed to organise themselves as they wish and that they be allowed to conduct the business of their chosen organisations on company premises, be allowed to display notices in staff areas and generally circulate information without hindrance. That this right to organisation and free expression is not dependent on the number of people involved in the organisation and that no person shall be prejudiced against for involvement in such an organisation. This demand applies to those employed directly and indirectly by McDonalds and so includes, for example, those employed to make happy meal toys. Our lives may be very different but our struggle is the same. Finally, we ask McDonalds to make explicit that they do not own their employees and that they have no right to dictate what we can and cannot believe or express at any time."
We want you to take part too… It took generations of struggle for workers to win the right to organise, but in recent years, companies like McDonalds have taken that right away. They know that if we were organised they wouldn't get away with paying us such crap wages, to work in such crap conditions. So we're fighting back, and on October the 16th we're going to make a noticeable dent on their profits around the world. Start planning now! And remember, there's one Jack Greenberg and one and a half million of us.
Global Resistance Round Up
Since the last issue of McSues went to press, McDonalds workers have been rebelling around the globe. There have been various events in Italy, including a successful strike in Florence. The walk out was provoked when the air conditioning broke and the temperature in kitchen rose above forty degrees Celsius. Thousands of Italian Mcworkers are represented by a trade union and there are active groups of workers in Rome and other cities.
In Germany, employees are less fortunate. The workers of McDonalds Wiesbaden were forced to go to court after they got sacked for being in a union. Eighty percent of the restaurants workers were members of the union so McDonalds shut the store, leaving the building empty for seven months until it was reopened. None of the former workers were employed again. The court announced that the sackings were illegal but McDonalds have appealed to a higher court. The case continues.
That story will be all too familiar to McDonalds employees in Canada where many attempts at unionisation have been defeated by some pretty twisted campaigns by McDonalds. At one store in Montreal, two teenagers, undaunted by previous failures, took on a mission to establish better working conditions for themselves and their co-workers. According to one of the pair, Pascal McDuff, "the kids who tried [to unionise] before us were courageous. I felt called to their cause". The solidarity at the Peel Street store in Montreal was exceptional and after a long and bitter legal campaign the courts officially recognised the union. The victory was only a moral one- McDonalds had already shut down the restaurant. There have followed a number of arson attacks against McDonalds restaurants in Canada which may be related to McDonalds being one of the most anti-union employers in the world.
In Paris, workers occupied their store and went on strike. When the company sacked several workers a protest was called. Striking McDonalds workers were joined by Pizza Hut employees and anti-capitalist activists. Stink bombs were hurled at McDonalds restaurants as the angry crowd marched through the Latin Quarter of Paris. A spokesman for the group said: "we condemn the fast-food practices, the lack of job security, a hellish working speed and ridiculous wages".
In Russia there are few independent trade unions but one has been started in Moscow McDonalds. Natalya Grachova, one of the unions founders, says the fight goes on "because I want people to learn to fight for their rights (…) and not simply accept everything they're given".
In the UK there are several active groups of McDonalds workers including the excellent Workers Resistance Against McDonalds (WRAM). Like MWR, WRAM is developing an international network. They have a highly recommended web site at: www.wram.cjb.net Actions in UK McDonalds over the last year have included workers leafleting customers about their working conditions, a partial walk out and at one store a 'phone in sick day'. Around the world last year there were scores of attempts at organising McDonalds restaurants and dozens of court cases questioning McDonalds employment practices.
Start your own resistance group…
Be careful or you'll get sacked…Spot potential allies (people throwing things about while shouting "I hate this job, I fucking hate this job")… Spread ideas and information- Discuss, debate, type up a simple newsletter for your store…. Do something practical- It could be anything- confront racism, or get long overdue bonuses paid, ordinary workers can make a difference… Make contact with others- workers, Trade unionists, Syndicalists, us lot… Meet regularly… Help each other- One person might be good at writing letters of appeal, another might be up for confronting a bullying manager, someone else might just be a good listener. As Ray Kroc once said: "none of us is as good as all of us".
McDonalds has been dubbed McGreed in Mpumalanga, South Africa, after refusing to supply anti-AIDS drugs to a staff member who was gang raped after working a late shift. The crime rate in South Africa is one of the highest in the world but McDonalds refuses to supply transport for staff finishing after midnight even though they are regularly ambushed by criminals. Even after the attack McDonalds did not offer her the chance to work during the day, nor any transport home or trauma counselling. As a result, the employee was so afraid that after finishing her shift at the Nelspruit branch, she would spend the night hiding in the local mall only leaving after sunrise. She commented after the attack: "my HIV test has come back negative but there is a window period. If I do end up getting HIV McDonalds will have helped sign my death warrant". McDonalds makes over $3billion every year. 'It's a team', 'it's a family' and yet it looks so much like a racket set up to make money.
The legendary dead lyricist, one time inspiration behind the Manic Street Preachers, is definitely still manic, but a manic still prepared to talk about McDonalds…
Richey is leaning back in his chair looking mildly bored. He lights a fag and glances out the window. Grimsby is grey, it's drizzling slightly, it's a strange setting. He tells me he thinks the last two Manics' albums stank, adding that James Dean Bradfield is "overweight and out of date". I bring up the subject of McDonalds and Richey looks at me sternly for a second before laughing "big Mac: smack" and punching his palm. Richey never was a fan of the golden arched corporation, "Europe freed by McDonalds and Levi's - born to end. Can't afford it so I hate it all", he muses. I start to ask his opinion of McDonalds food but he interrupts me- "pass the prozac", I look surprised, "heroin is just too trendy" he mutters. When I finish the question he just shrugs and mumbles "worms in the garden more real than McDonalds". There's an awkward pause, I look at the rain. When I glance back Richey is casually carving '4 real' into his arm. I ask if he's ever read McNews: "sterile like a line of piss" he tells me matter of factly. Is McSues any better? I ask tentatively. "I can lick your face, I can bite it too, my teeth got rabies, I'm gonna give it to you". I figure it's time to leave but not before one last question: is he really dead? Richey rolls back in his chair with a, well, manic laugh, "nah, I work in a chip shop in Grimsby…"
Next issue, McSues is with Marilyn Monroe in L.A.
We were more than a little surprised by the number of responses we received for last issues competition. We asked "why are salaried managers so fucking stupid?" and we got a wonderful array of replies commenting on: psychological problems, imploding heads, the need to make Andy Taylor look bright, the effects of McDonalds food, the effects of inbreeding, the effects of sexual relations with farmyard animals and much, much more. Thanks to everyone who entered, we got a good laugh.
However, it would be wrong to choose a winner, basically because we don't actually have a fondue set to give away. So, this issue, instead of a competition, we're making an appeal… Last Christmas we sent senior management a card. Christmas can be a very difficult time for lonely socially inadequate people and we have a great deal of sympathy for those who have so totally lost sight of what matters in life that a burger bar seems important. They didn't reply but no doubt we're on their list for this year. This Christmas we want to send mass festive greetings to Greenberg's office in Chicago and Andy Taylor's home in Bedfordshire, and we want a comment from you! What do you want to say to these goons at this special time? Please make up a pseudonym and send us your message, we'll type them all up and pass them on to these two modern day scrooges. If they read the card on Christmas morning they'll have less time to steal their relatives chocolate money. To be included messages must reach us by December 10th .
Write to us at: M.W.R. PO BOX 3828, GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM G41 1YU
e-mail us at: [email protected]
Have you heard about the new 'Ronald McDonald burger'? It's a 35 year old piece of meat stuck between some 5 year old buns.
Pissed bloke on quarters
Onward the parade of badly lifted jokes but first a true story. Last month I was on the night shift, the shift runner was away stripping his carrot or something and the phone starts ringing. Being a team player I've left the quarter station, made to the office and answered the phone. "Right you", shouts a voice down the line, "nip out and see if the car park is busy". I've wandered out and returned to an impatient "well?" "Nah, just one big car, looks like that overpaid shit head Andy Taylor's Bentley", I said. "Do you know who you're talking to?" booms the voice on the other end, "this is Andrew Taylor". But I stayed calm: "do you know who you're talking to?" "No" answered Taylor. "Well fuck off then you overpaid shit head".
Right, this one's true. McDonalds had been accused of being ageist, 'cos they employed so few older people, so Andy Taylor sets off looking for an older worker who would say something nice about the company on the telly. First store he gets to he finds this old geezer cleaning the car park, "what do you think of your job?" asks Andy. "Bollocks" says the bloke. This happens a few times but eventually he finds this really ancient guy clearing tables in Dundee. "What do you think of your job?" asks Andy without much hope, "Oh it's great I love it". Andy is delighted and they talk for a while during which time the guy explains how happy he is at work, how much he likes the food, how fair he thinks the wage is, and what an ethical company he thinks McDonalds is. Andy says, "listen my good man, you're absolutely perfect, but there was just one thing I was wondering; what's that fucking lump on your leg?" The old guy looks a bit embarrassed then says "well you see Mr. Taylor, I'm incontinent and I need this bag to take the piss out of me, a bit like what I've been doing to you for the last five minutes". I'm telling you, that's the way it happened.
It's your letters
Thanks to everyone who has contacted us. Unfortunately, there isn't enough space to print everything we receive, but here are a couple of letters that raise some interesting issues.
Hi, I used to work at McDonalds in England but left on maternity leave to have my baby girl in July last year. when I first started at McDonalds I was constantly told that it wouldn't be long before I was promoted because I worked so hard and was always taking on extra responsibility. But then, lo-and-behold, as soon as I fell pregnant, I wasn't given a look in, being passed over while people who had been there for just weeks were given promotion. Then, these people came to me for information on how they were supposed to do their jobs. And of course, it is needless to say that these people getting promotion didn't have children. Now at this particular restaurant there is only one manager with children and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he is male. This of course is because he will not need to take time off work to tend to a sick child at any time or take the allowed 13 weeks unpaid leave for mothers in this country. there is one manager who is pregnant, but she was promoted before and can hardly be stripped of her position. I believe McDonalds are parent-phobic and resent their staff having other concerns outside of work. They disgust me and many of my ex-colleagues.
MWR Replies: Thanks very much for getting in touch about this. It's very true what you say. McDonalds seems to either discriminate against people with kids or have totally unreasonable expectations of them. For example, at our store there once was a mother, who was a manager, and she had to take her littlest one to hospital and the area supervisor was shouting "fucking, fuck off with her kids any time she feels like it", it was unbelievable. McDonalds spends so long saying how it's a 'flexible work place', it's flexible for them because they can cut our hours whenever they feel like it, but if something unexpected, like sick kids, suddenly comes up then suddenly they are not so flexible. It's true that it is different for blokes, this sort of 'parentphobia' is also totally sexist, it rests on traditional assumptions that women should and will accept full time, unpaid caring responsibilities. It's good these issues are brought to our attention, we sometimes over look them in dealing with all the other ways McD's shits on its staff. So, thanks for writing and stay angry!
I was a floor manager at McDonald's Camberwell Green at S.E.5 and I became a trade union member, the name of the union is USDAW trade union. The franchise owner's gang broke into my flat and there stole documents regarding the case. The franchise owner and his friends in the police helped set up the burglaries and at the same time I was harassed by his friends who are police officers. I want to know whether you could publicise my story, it was just like the McDonalds libel case,
MWR Replies: We are delighted to publicise your account of what happened. Regrettably, we hear many similar stories. At first they sounded far fetched, but by now we have heard so many similar accounts of harassment and intimidation of trade unionists by those associated with McDonalds that it would appear the company considers discrimination, harassment, and dismissal of trade unionists to be acceptable practise. In courts around the world, McDonalds have been found guilty of mistreating trade unionists numerous times and we can only assume they have got away with it on hundreds, maybe thousands of other occasions. We know how low McDonalds are prepared to go from evidence produced at the 'Mclibel' trial. They admitted paying people to break into an office, steal mail, etc. Before we requested the Post Office tighten security, all our mail went missing from our PO Box. It is because of McDonalds infamous record that we do things anonymously. The truth is they're scared shitless, terrified that their massive workforce will organise itself and no longer put up with the exploitation that keeps the dollars rolling into McDonalds profit bank. We really very strongly believe that over the last couple of years McDonalds workers in many different organisations around the world have taken huge steps towards developing the kind of international resistance that will finally allow all Mcworkers to stand together and fight back. We will see on October 16th how far we have come. As to your description of the police's behaviour, that also sounds entirely in character. Over the years there has been a very close and totally illegal collaboration between the police force and McDonalds. This resulted in the Metropolitan police paying the Mclibel defendants £10,000 compensation in July, 2000. The collaboration between the police and a multinational corporation against members of the public exposes the political role of the police in ensuring the wheels of big business keep turning. As Sid Nicholson said, McDonalds security "are all ex-policemen". Sid, who was UK vice president at the time, was formerly a cop in apartheid South Africa. Not very nice people.
That's it, don't be a stranger.
M.W.R. PO Box 3828 Glasgow G41 1YU UK
"A dynamic rebellion (…) changing workplace politics for ever" Agora magazine
"the global fast food chain faces a rebellion from its most powerful detractors yet: its own employees (…) Issue one seethes with vitriolic bile against the golden arches corporation" The Face
"Your disgusting offensive rubbish(…) I was disgusted (…) You could be making a serious argument to persuade others of your views but all the foul mouthed totally unnecessary swearing shows what you really are. You are fucking idiots, what if kids picked this up, or don't they matter? (…) you think you are so cool but you are typical burger flippers. You should go back to flipping burgers or get an education before you go talking about things you can't understand (…) you are scum and you don't deserve minimum wage. If everyone was like you there would be no economy." Some bloke
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