Alternative crew handbook - McDonalds Workers Resistance

The notorious 'alternative crew handbook' produced by rebel McDonalds employees, containing everything a disgruntled worker and needs to know to get on in the job. This is the document management do NOT want you to read...

Remember at all times that the company is your enemy, it exists only to make money and only cares about you in so far as it can make a few more dollars off your back.
Liberation begins when we put self-respect before burgers!

“This is not amusing, and has consequences you have clearly not considered (...) What you’ve done is thoroughly
obstructive to my business. You may consider this as funny, but have you considered what should happen should
anyone be foolish enough to follow your suggestions? (...) I am not a man without humour but what you have done is inapropriate and I must request you remove it immediately or I shall be forced to legal recourse.”

-Bill Davies, McDonalds franchise holder

From www.mwr.org.uk, early 2000s

This is not amusing, and has consequences you have clearly not considered. What you’ve done is thoroughly obstructive to my business. You may consider this as funny, but have you considered what should happen should anyone be foolish enough to follow your suggestions?
Bill Davies, McDonalds franchise holder

Get paid your full wages!

McDonalds already pay us the least they possibly can, but if they can get away with it, they’ll pay us even less. Here are a few thoughts on how to try and make sure you receive the pitiful wage you’re legally entitled to.

Firstly, and most importantly, never assume that just because you have clocked in for a shift this means you will be paid for all the hours you work. Theft of wages is rife, we keep hearing about this, it really can’t be emphasised enough. Managers alter clock card entries to save on labour costs, i.e. they might clock you out a couple of hours before you actually stopped working. This practice has been exposed at our store twice and we have heard of it occurring on numerous other occasions. We have NEVER heard of a manager being dismissed for this offence. Widespread fraudulent theft of employees' wages in order to save the company money is not a cause for dismissal, taking a drink without permission potentially is. The managers do it because they are under so much pressure from their bosses to keep costs down, but there can be few clearer indications of the depravity of the system and the degeneracy that it breeds that servile, two faced, pathetic managers are prepared to steal from minimum wage workers, not even for themselves, but for a $35 Billion a year corporation. DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT! Record the hours you have worked and check you get paid properly. If needs be make the shift running manager sign a piece of paper every shift indicating the hours you have worked and the length of your break. NEVER TRUST THE BASTARDS TO PAY YOU WHAT YOU’RE DUE!

Also, managers sometimes say a day is double time when it isn’t really in order to get you to work. If you’re in any doubt then it’s worth checking with the human resources department or getting signed confirmation from the shift running manager.

If you attend a staff meeting (crew/ training squad meeting, safety circle, rap session, etc.) then you are entitled to payment at your full hourly rate for the duration of the meeting. So clock in! Managers will probably tell you not to clock in and will say that they’ll sort your money out later, complying with this means you will almost certainly not get paid, either because of deliberate fraud or just because of incompetence. The UK crew handbook states “it is your responsibility to clock in and out when you start and finish work”. For once do as it says.

If you are doing a short shift and are only entitled to a 15 minute break then you don’t have to clock out for your break (EU).

If one day you have to go to work at another store then you are entitled to payment for time spent travelling between your store and the other store and any costs incurred.

Do not accept any deductions from your wages (for lateness, breakages, cash shortages, new uniform, etc.) as this practice is illegal.

Getting sick pay/ maternity pay if you work for McDonalds is not easy and the regulations vary from country to country, but do not assume it’s impossible. Your entitlement will, of course, depend on statutory provisions in the country where you work.

During your period of employment you will accrue HOLIDAY PAY. A lot of this gets kept by McDonalds. If you’re thinking of quitting suddenly and not working your two weeks notice then make sure you get any holiday pay you’re due put through first. Insist on collecting your holiday pay every year (you’re not supposed to get the money in lieu of holidays not taken). You’re legally entitled to this money but McDonalds are very adept at stealing it.

If you’re offered a bonus, insist the manager puts it through before you do the extra work, get written confirmation and check your wage slip to make sure you have indeed received it.

You should also try and make sure that you’re not paying too much tax. Especially if you started the job part way through the current financial year, it’s possible you will be on the wrong tax code. For example, in the UK, you are allowed to earn some £4000 without paying any tax (you are still liable for National Insurance contributions). If you think you have been over taxed then take a recent wage slip to a tax office and hopefully they will give you a cheque (it takes a few weeks), and the government will have a bit less cash to spend on killing Iraqis.

Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of McDonalds great generosity and concern for its employees. In the event of a death in your immediate family, you may be entitled to receive paid leave so you can nip along to the funeral.

And remember kids...

"Our competitors can try to copy many of our secrets, but they cannot duplicate our pride, our enthusiasm and our dedication for this business. There is no single factor more important than the dedication and effort of McDonald's employees. The McDonald's spirit is exclusively ours and yours." Andrew Taylor, President and CEO of McDonalds UK

Everything you ever wanted to know about 'stealing' from McDonalds!

('Stealing' in inverted commas because you can’t steal what already belongs to you)

McDonalds steals the wealth we produce in the form of profits every shift we work, so it’s totally ethical for us to try and take the profit back through whatever means we can. Unfortunately, legal systems across the world exist to preserve the capitalist system. As Noam Chomsky put it “the country was founded on the principle that the primary role of government is to protect property from the majority, and so it remains”. Therefore, this article is included purely for entertainment purposes....

The most obvious way to take back what belongs to us is through taking money from the tills. McDonalds knows that most crew members despise the company and it has taken precautions to try and reduce the amount of money ‘stolen’. These include uniforms without pockets, the T-reds obsession from a couple of years back (that lasted a few weeks), cameras and fairly rigorously controlled cash handling procedures. Nevertheless, it’s fairly easy to more than double your wage.

You could try taking a stack of notes in a one off spectacular, but this is more of a parting shot than a steady income. As long as you don’t take too much, and don’t make it too obvious, then such actions tend not to result in prosecution (best to split on your break and never come back, oh and make sure that what you take is considerably more than the holiday pay you’re due or it’s pretty pointless).

You could just take a bit now and again and then play innocent when your till is down. However, if your till is down more than £20/ $30 then it should be immediately obvious to all but the stupidest managers that you (or someone else with access to your till) has been stealing. If you keep ‘losing’ smaller amounts of money then sooner or later you will wither be sacked or banished to kitchen (years ago one of our gang was banned from ever using tills when management became convinced he was stealing but couldn’t prove it).

When managers get rushed they may insist you take over someone else’s till without it being cashed up, or order you to share a till with someone else. Christmas has come early! As long as you don’t get caught on camera with a bag of loot, then they have no way of determining which of you is an honest serf and which of you is an evil criminal genius. If it’s a lot of money then they will pursue the matter further but if it’s not that much then the manager will just be left red faced in the office while you and the other crew member are splitting the money in the local boozer.

However, it is normally a much better idea to make sure that when your till is cashed up everything tallies... and you’ve got a few notes tucked in your sock. There are a number of ways this can be achieved.

The old way was to enter the order into your till, receive the money then delete most of the order before ringing it through. The difference between the correct cost of the order paid by the customer and the cost of the one item you finally entered, would then be yours to take. This is why McDonalds started going on about T-reds. T-reds appear when you delete an item without having it cleared by a manager, some till systems block this action, others show it up on your till report and this can lead to cash retraining slips. This hasn’t totally stopped this method being used- at busy times managers will hand over till keys/ swipe cards so that crew can do their own deletions, not to mention refunds... Christmas has come early! I don’t exactly understand this one never having worked at a drive thru restaurant, but we’ve heard of people working together where the person taking orders has till keys (or a swipe card, whatever). The order taker enters the correct order and collects the money, then once the person gathering the order has collected it the order taker deletes the order. Apparently, you can make £15 on one big order this way.

However, the attention paid to T-reds has led to a search for improved tactics and there are a number of possibilities. Perhaps the most reliable technique is to enter a single sandwich on the till when a customer purchases a meal. If the customer eats there fairly regularly (and is not a tourist or an OAP) then it is exceedingly unlikely they will question why you’re charging them more than appears on the till and even if they do you can just correct your ‘mistake’ (one of the delights of this scam is that it can so easily be passed off as a mistake, whoever takes an interest in what you’re doing). Most customers know off by heart how much a meal costs, as long as they’re paying the right price they don’t care what the till says. You then simply repeat this action, adding up the discrepancy between the total amount entered in the till and the total amount in the till drawer until it approximates a round number (i.e. £10 or $20, it doesn’t need to be exact), and then you take the difference. Disco.

Alternatively, if some prices where you work are exact (i.e. $5) or just off it (i.e. £2.99) then just keep a few pennies, cents, centimes (if prices are exact you don’t even need to do this) and don’t ring the orders through the till at all if someone gives you exact money. If someone gives you £3.00 for a £2.99 meal, then just give them one of the pennies you have by your till and keep the £3.00. You don’t want piles of money around your till and coins are difficult to smuggle from the scene, so take the next order properly and stick the coins in the till (again remove a note or two later on). If you do end up with coins lying about it’s worth remembering that you can fit seven pound coins in an empty creamer portion!

Once you have a positive balance in your till you enter stage two- smuggle your ill gotten gains to safety. The classic is simply to slip notes into your sock when you pause to tie your laces, but there are various alternatives. Some people devise ingenious cash stashes, for example, in the lining of your tie. Whatever you do, at the first opportunity go to the crew room and get the money into your wallet, avoid taking money with you when you get your till cashed up. The safest way to get rid of money is to get a mate to come in late on your shift and impersonate a customer. You simply overchange her/ him by however much your balance is positive.

Thus far we’ve talked only about money. This is, of course, only a fraction of the potential swag present in a McDonalds. Everything is up for grabs- happy toys, cheese, chocolate flakes, lettuce, wedges, sauce portions, cleaning substances, strip lights, sticky tape, cooking equipment, salt, pepper, sugar, pancake mix, plants, tea bags, rubbish bags, balloons, ladders, toilet roll, fire extinguishers... You need never shop again! All your worldly needs can be met by McDonalds (except alcohol and class A drugs which you can get by selling McDonalds stock), they are delighted to help.

Obviously closes, and opens to a lesser extent, are the best times to make off with larger items, but try and nick things when you might reasonably be carrying them about, so if you want to nick hash browns, don’t do it at dinner time. Normally the best way is to be totally blatant. If you say that you need to check the schedule and you just happen to be carrying a sleeve of cheese at the time then normally everyone is too busy to notice whether you come back with the cheese or whether everyone you know eats toasties that week. Bring in a spare bag and then if you arouse suspicion you can safely show your bag with nothing but personal possessions, if they look in the spare bag then just deny it’s yours, if they don’t then at the end of the day, when all’s clear, stick the spare bag in your bag and get out of Dodge.

But far and away the best way to smuggle stock out is, if you work at a drive thru store, get a mate to drive through and at the first window you quickly pass out all sorts of shit, she/ he stashes it under a blanket and drives on to collect their regular fries with half the store in the back of their car.

If this sort of stuff is happening on a grand scale (as it often is) they’ll start trying to keep stock areas locked. No problem, just throw the keys in the main bin when nobody’s looking. This will seriously fuck up the shift- soon there’s nothing to sell, they have to get hold of the manager who has got the spare keys, they get dragged out of the house, they’ll probably want new keys cut, it’s a fucking nightmare and they certainly wont lock the stock areas again in a hurry.

There is plenty that is of value- happy meal toys make nice presents for young relatives. We used to know someone who swapped hash browns for hash, you can keep friends and family supplied with tea bags, household equipment, sauces, etc. Get stuck into the black economy. McDonalds owes us, we could be robbing them blind for years and not get back half of what they’ve stolen from us.

We hope you enjoyed this humorous, just for entertainment article. Please remember that theft is a criminal offence.

Know your rights

When Ronald Beavers was vice president of McDonalds US, he famously boasted that crew members, “have no guaranteed employment rights. They do not have guaranteed employment or guaranteed conditions of employment”. Well, he was almost telling the truth. But you do have some rights, about three of them.

If you think you are being treated illegally at work, then you might want to try our magnificent online survey, “are you being screwed at work?”

Alternatively, please select from the sections listed below if you have a specific query.

These pages are ‘use at your own risk’! We’re burger flippers not lawyers and we strongly recommend you consult a ‘no win, no fee’ solicitor before doing anything crazy. We can also only provide a superficial over view here. More detailed information on employment law can be found at:
http://www.emplaw.co.uk
http://www.worksmart.org.uk

These pages are based on UK and EU law but some of the information will be relevant in the US and elsewhere. For information on US employment rights, see:
http://www.workplacefairness.org

[libcom note: readers should also bear in mind that some of this advice will be out of date as laws will have changed]

Discrimination, Victimisation and Harassment

Are you being screwed more than everyone else or are you being screwed literally?

Discrimination

Capitalism, in its generosity, has granted us all the right to be screwed equally. It is therefore illegal for you to be treated differently from your fellow workers without good reason. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, sexuality, ability, age, etc. But it is also illegal to discriminate against someone for any other non-valid reason- because they have big ears for example. Discrimination can take different forms, it could be that people of a certain ethnic group are refused promotion, or it could be that people of certain sexualities are subjected to name calling, unpleasant jokes, or are excluded from certain activities. All of this is illegal and if you have suffered discrimination of the sort mentioned above, or of any other sort, then you may have been treated illegally.
Regrettably, there is an element within McDonalds management with goose-stepping sympathies, so unfortunately discrimination will tend to rear its ugly head from time to time. However, there are also other more subtle ways that discrimination can occur. For example, it is not acceptable to ascribe people particular tasks on the basis of their gender. Are you always put on tills because you are female or in kitchen because you are male? This is also a discriminatory practice. Similarly, it is discrimination to demand female staff wear skirts while their male colleagues wear trousers. We know management had to back down on this one in the past, but the reverse argument, that men should be allowed to wear skirts, has yet to be tested!
One important note on discrimination- you may think that if it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, and if you do the same job as someone else but get paid less because they are a year older than you, then you are being discriminated against. Well… no. Discrimination against young workers is enshrined in law as a cornerstone of minimum pay legislation. No, it doesn’t make sense to us either.

Victimisation

There are specific laws prohibiting victimisation on a number of grounds including but not limited to, trade union membership (your legal right), ‘whistle blowing’ (reporting illegal or unsafe practices to the relevant authorities- also a legal right) and claiming you legal rights under minimum wage and work times regulation laws.

Harassment

Examples of harassment include unwanted sexual attention, name-calling, physical intimidation or other bullying. All of the above and other forms of harassment are illegal.
You should not be subject to any sexual advances you are not comfortable with, nor discriminated against for refusing such attention. You should not be forced to do anything you are uncomfortable with… sexually- unfortunately it is not harassment if you are made to stand by a hot grill for 6 hours.

Money

Unpaid labour
Bonuses
Wage Deductions
Minimum Wage
Sick Pay
Holiday Pay
Maternity Pay
Paternity Pay

McDonalds managers sometimes try to save on labour costs by altering clock card entries. In other words, stealing workers wages. Although this is obviously illegal, in the instances where we know managers have been exposed for this practice they have never been dismissed, suggesting that fraudulent theft of employees' wages is a practice the company is prepared to tolerate. For this reason you should always keep a record of the hours you have worked and should check you have been paid correctly.

Unpaid labour

If you wanted to do voluntary work you wouldn't do it at McDonalds. Never let them tell you that you should not be clocked in when working. You should be clocked in and paid at your usual rate during training meetings, crew meetings, disciplinary hearings (whether of yourself or another employee you are accompanying) and while your till is being cashed up. In short, while you are working, you should be paid. Not a complicated notion but one that McManagers sometimes struggle with. If you are unable to work for some reason not relating to yourself (the store has to close during a bomb threat for example), then you should be paid. True story- a store in London was evacuated because of a bomb threat and the managers made all the crew go back inside to clock out!

You are not entitled to be paid for the time it takes you to travel to work (unfortunately) but if having arrived at work you subsequently have to travel to a different store, then you are entitled to be paid for your time and any expenses you incur.

Bonuses

If you are ever offered a bonus (to work an extra shift for example) then we strongly recommend you insist on signed written confirmation or you will probably never receive anything.

Wage Deductions

Do not accept any deductions from your wages to pay for cash shortages or anything else. There is no legal basis for such deductions.

Minimum Wage

Since the 1 st of October 2003, the national minimum wage has been set at £3.80 for 18-21 year olds and £4.50 for those aged 22 and above. If you are under 18 then you have no rights, can't vote (it's a waste of time anyway) but at least you get to pay tax. The minimum wage is expected to increase again in October 2004. It probably wont help you much since it is set at a level designed not to fuck with big businesses like McDonalds and their incessant quest for profit. However, if you turn 22 and are earning less than £4.50, make sure your wage goes up. If it isn't put up immediately, make sure the difference is back paid.

Sick Pay

You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay ("SSP") if you are off sick for four or more days in a row, including weekends and holidays and you normally earn more than £77 a week. It is not payable for the first three days in any period of entitlement but thereafter is payable at a flat weekly rate, £64.35 per week. You are entitled to receive a percentage of that basic rate depending on how many ‘qualifying days' you have been sick for. If you work six days a week and you are ill for two full weeks, then the first week you would be entitled to £27.58 as your first three days of sickness would not count. During the second week you would have six qualifying days so you would be entitled to the mighty sum of £64.35, which you could then invest in a chain of ice cream parlours. For periods of illness between four days and a week, you can ‘self-certify', but if you are off for any longer than that you will need a doctors note. There is no minimum period of service required for entitlement to SSP. SSP can last for a maximum of 28 weeks. If you are due it, make sure they pay it! If you're not due it… see if you can make them pay it all the same!

Holiday Pay

You have the right to four weeks paid holiday per year, or proportionally for part of a year. If you work 5 days a week you are entitled to 20 paid days holiday per. Under the regulations you cannot carry untaken holidays forward to the next year. So be sure to use them up! If you're employment is terminated during the course of a year and you have not yet taken your holidays then you are entitled to whatever holiday pay you have accrued. For example, if you work six days a week for three months and then quit without ever taking a paid holiday, you would be entitled to 6 days pay at you usual rate. Again, if you are due it, make sure they pay it!

Maternity/ paternity Pay

If you have a sprog you are entitled to paid leave according to statutory provisions. For more information see:

www.worksmart.org.uk

Have you been illegally disciplined or fired?

Disciplinary Procedure

Your crew handbook forms part of your contract of employment. As such, the terms contained within are legally binding. With regards to discipline, this means that the company is obliged to follow its own disciplinary procedures, except where a single act is cause for summary dismissal. If they want to sack you for lateness, it will be unfair dismissal if they have never given you a warning before. Did you really get a formal written warning? Probably not given that McDonalds managers are overworked and don’t care that much. Were you really retrained on cash handling procedures, were you ever trained in the first place? A note on disciplinary action that results from cash irregularities- if someone else used your till, even once, then you should not accept any disciplinary measure.

Right to be accompanied

You have the right to be accompanied at any disciplinary hearing by another company employee OF YOUR CHOICE. If the person you choose happens not to be at work on the day they want to give you your discipline, then you can make them wait for up to five days until that person is available. By which time they will probably have forgotten all about it!

Written explanation of dismissal

If you have been employed for more than a year then you are entitled to a written explanation if you are dismissed. Great.

Wrongful and Unfair Dismissal

There are numerous reasons why a dismissal could be deemed wrongful or not, but broadly a dismissal is not wrongful where the employer can prove a valid reason, i.e. the worker was a lazy fuck. However, such a dismissal may still be deemed unfair if the proper procedures were not followed. The law is specific that it is illegal to discipline workers for, amongst other things, demanding their rights, for having children, for whistle blowing or joining a trade union.

Safety at work

Unsafe practices (general)

Under Health and Safety law you have a legal right to refuse to do any task that you think may cause you imminent danger. For example, if there is equipment that has frayed wires and is unsafe, you are within your rights to refuse to use it. If they try to make you then you may be able to claim for constructive dismissal.

Dangerous tasks

Certain jobs like filtering and compacting are regarded as dangerous. You do not have to perform them unless you have been properly trained. In the instance of filtering, you do not have to do it unless all the equipment is present and in a functioning state. If the visor is broken, then fuck em, don't do it. It's a pain in the ass job anyway.

Phoning in sick

You have a legal responsibility to stay off work if you have a communicable illness (one folk are likely to catch off you if you go to work). So the next time you phone in sick and they try and force you to come in, remind them they are trying to force you to break the law and are in breach of their legal obligations.

Accidents at work

If you are injured at work or your work is making you sick, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, the courts are unlikely to award you money because your job depresses you and makes you want to hang yourself.

Hours of work

General

You have no guaranteed hours of work. You have, in fact, only a few more rights than the people who built the pyramids. However, if everyone else is scheduled 6 days a week and you are scheduled none, and there is no good reason why this should be the case, then this may be an example of victimisation. However, if they suddenly cut everybody’s hours completely and the entire payroll can’t pay their rent, that’s OK, because everybody is getting shafted equally, which is what freedom and democracy is all about… apparently.

Schedule

Your employment contract (crew handbook) stipulates when the schedule will be posted- “no later than 5.00pm on the Thursday before”. In reality, at many restaurants it may not be posted until Saturday or Sunday. To our understanding of the law (and we could be wrong, the law is after all an ass), you are under no obligation to turn up to work if the schedule was posted after the stipulated time and you happen to have made an alternative arrangement. “Sorry, won’t be in on Tuesday, I’ve arranged to go to the pub with some mates” is a line everybody should use at least once during their McCareer. Explain that you had been waiting to make plans all week and couldn’t delay any more.

Work Times Regulations

Your standard working week cannot be longer than 48 hours unless you have given signed consent. If they are trying to get you to work 40 hours a week, and you only want to do 32, tell them you have another job and work there 18 hours a week!

Rest Periods

You are legally entitled to a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours between shifts. So, if you finish a close at 2.00am and are scheduled to start at noon the next day, you do not have to come in until 1.00pm. If you are under 18 then this rest period is extended to 12 hours.
Additionally, you are entitle to an "uninterrupted rest period of not less than 24 hours in each seven-day period or if you are under 18, you are entitled to a delicious 48 consecutive hours away from that shit hole. If you are over 18, instead of giving you your 24 consecutive hours, they can make you work 12 days in a row but then give you 48 consecutive hours to recover enough to go back and make them more money.
These rest periods are in addition to the 11/12 hours you are entitled to each day. So if you finish at 5.00pm on Wednesday it would not count as a 24 hour rest period if you are scheduled to work again at 5.00pm on Thursday.

Breaks

Possibly the only area where McDonalds provision exceeds the most basic legal requirement, McDonalds break allowances are longer than the legal minimum and form part of your contract of employment:
3-4 hours: 15 minutes
4-5 hours: 30 minutes
5-10 hours: 45 minutes
Over 10 hours: 45 minutes and then another 20 minutes
If you work for between 3 and 4 hours and take a 15-minute break then you do not have to clock out, so make sure you don’t!

Time off

You are entitled to reasonable time off to care for a dependent relative. So if you have a kid that gets sick and you cant come to work and they complain as fucking usual, threaten them with an employment tribunal.
You are also entitled to time off with pay to attend the funeral of an immediate relative (not sure if it stretches to a wake or reception). Freedom isn’t it wonderful? If your old man pops it you get to see him buried, even if McDonalds are left short of a grill person.
True story, a guy wrote to us, said he was working the night before his wedding when a manager demanded he did an extra night shift the next day. “Ha, you’re forgetting, tomorrow’s my big day, I’m getting married!”
“Yeah I know, but that’ll be over by 6.00”!

Holidays

You are entitled to 4 weeks paid holiday a year. Of course you can’t choose when, but if you ask nicely, you never know. Another true story, two FMs were going out together and for two years they were forbidden to take a holiday at the same time. Eventually they thought ‘fuck them’ and booked a week in Spain. They broke up two months before they were due to go. See holiday pay for more information.

Sunday Shifts

Fed up going to work on a Sunday with a hangover? If you provide 3 months notice you can legally opt out of working on a Sunday. Who said religion had no use?

Compulsory overtime/ “staying on”

Hmmm, this one deserves a section all of its own...

Compulsory overtime/ “staying on”

If you are scheduled to finish work at 5.00pm, does your manager have the legal right to demand at 4.00pm that you work until 8.00pm? You would think not, but the best that can be said is that this is a grey area. Incredibly, there is no specific law against the abhorrence that is compulsory unannounced overtime. However, nor is there any law stipulating that workers must perform overtime.

McDonalds would argue that their right to cancel your plans whenever they think they might be short of a fry person is enshrined in your employment contract, where it says, “on occasions you may be asked to continue working past your normal finishing time; you will be released (sic) as soon as the need for your services has passed”. McDonald’s probably have too much money for any court to accept the argument that they asked and you declined.

One of the reasons why it is a grey area is because article four of the human rights act 1998 states that “No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.” However, it also states that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude” which suggests that if it was worth the paper it was written on, nobody would have to work for McDonalds at all. In fact, we could probably close down McDonalds on the basis that article 3 stipulates that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Seriously, the document is so pissy because having stated that, “No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour”, it goes on to provide a list of exemptions including every conceivable way in which we might be forced to do forced, compulsory labour, ending with the catch all “any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations”. McDonalds have too much money to lose a case like that.

However, legal or not, compulsory overtime is a stain on humanity and you should never put up with it. Managers don’t really know whether they can force you to stay on or not either. We found that the best way to deal with an “I’ll need you to stay until eight” demand was to laugh loudly and explain you have something else to do, like picking your toenails. Resist it, resist work by all means necessary!

Ten things to do in McDonalds when it’s dead

Top 10 things to do when you're working at McDonalds to liven up a shift.

Relying on McDonalds for your income may lead you to suffer poverty, cuts and burns, possibly even a breakdown. All this is pretty desperate, but never underestimate the effect of the tedium, the horrific Boredom, the mind numbing monotony. It’s imperative that you think up some ways to pass the time. What you can do on a shift will be largely determined by where you work and how busy it is, but here are a few suggestions:

1. The frozen phallus
Timeless entertainment for the whole family. Take a wet border cloth and mould it into a shape of your choice. The penis is the classic and most obvious option but you could potentially choose anything. Then leave it in the freezer for a few hours before returning to collect a large frozen phallus! Entertain work mates and customers with this amusing prop.

2. Chess
Bring in a travel chess set and find someone else on the shift who wants to play. Hide the set in an obscure place and slip away to make a move whenever you can, before notifying your opponent that you’ve played and waiting to hear from her/ him that it’s your turn. A game can last a whole shift and begin to take on great importance.

3. Who’s really popped a rocket?
A complex and sophisticated game guaranteed to amuse colleagues while frustrating management. Everyone sticks objects down their trousers before another employee has to guess which worker has genuinely hit on a stiffy and who’s just got a border cloth in their pants. This isn’t just a game for the boys, a variation is ‘who’s really been to the freezer and who’s just got things stuffed in their bra?’. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Never make anyone play either version of the game if you think they might not want to or might feel pressured into it. Never comment on other people’s bodies if you are concerned it might cause offence or might be experienced as harassment. That shit’s not right. However, having a strong respect for people’s personal boundaries needn’t put an end to workplace flirting. There’s nothing like a bit of sexual tension to get you through the working day. More flirting! More sex between employees! Just make sure that it’s always mutually appreciated and is never done in a way that could be experienced as bullying or hurtful. As a wee aside, the old McDonalds crew handbook used to have a bit that stated “McDonalds do not object to employees dating so long as this does not interfere with their work”. Gee, that’s good of them, just how much do these pricks think they can control us?

4. Bun Tray Roulette
Guaranteed to make a kitchen shift seem shorter. One crew member writes a forfeit on a tray liner and hides the liner in amongst the bun trays. Next, shuffle the trays well before everyone carries on cooking as normal. Whoever exposes the tray liner has to perform he forfeit written on it. It could be anything- “tell the store manager he fucks chickens”, “make romantic overtures to the next customer served at till 5” etc. After completing the forfeit he crew member gets to write down another one, knowing that she/ he could have to perform it as well.

5. Hide and seek
A great fun game that anyone can play. Simply desert your designated station, preferably at a busy time, and take up a position in the obscurest part of the store you can think of. Dream up some half baked reason to be there (“I was on the roof because I was looking for cones...”). After a while a manager will notice you are missing and will try to find you. It’s then up to other crew members to feed the manager as much misinformation as possible: “I saw her in the backroom”, “no, she was wearing her jacket on DA”. Whoever manages to evade service for the longest is declared the winner.

6. Time card bingo
Everyone on front counter gets a bingo card with various numbers on it. The person on wrap and call then puts random time cards in the production bin. “69, everyone’s favourite, etc.”. The rules are just like normal bingo! The beauty of this game is that after a while a stern faced manager will complain “what the fuck’s this supposed to be? Are you playing bingo with the time cards? Which is guaranteed to cause amusement.

7. Buzz word bingo
This one is reserved for crew meetings, rap sessions, etc. Again everyone gets a bingo card but this time instead of numbers the card contains buzz words! For example: “opportunities”, “teamwork”, “profitability”, “family”, “customer satisfaction” and other banal corporate bollocks. Again the rules are otherwise like normal bingo, just tick off the words as the meeting leader inevitably utters them. Be sure to make it obvious that you are playing this game as a way of expressing your total contempt for their pointless, sham meetings.

8. Split the deck
You will need a pack of playing cards. Simply split the deck and whoever gets the lowest card has to take a big sniff of ‘time out’ or some other toxic cleaning substance. After a bit everyone is buzzing out their nut, brilliant! Alternatively you can play this game with a couple of bottles of vodka stashed in the crew room, or with a couple of grams of amphetamines. Substance abuse helps pass the time and staves off the indescribable numbness produced by hours of pointless and degrading tedium.

9. Cross dressing capers
This one started when some female employees (hostesses and FMs) quite rightly got pissed off with being expected to wear skirts just so that senior managers can make them bend over and perv on them. It’s discrimination to make people wear certain clothes on the basis of their sex. So, the same can be extended to the stupid clip on things we’re supposed to wear. Guys swap with girls! Almost instantly a manager will get a wee bit upset: “what are you wearing that for?” “I don’t think my clothing should be determined by gender definitions imposed on me.” “er... what?” “it’s discriminatory to make us wear different clothes because of our biological sex” “eh... well.. you look like a faggot” “oh that’s nothing, you should see the thong I’ve got on” “faggot, goddamned queer, faggot, etc.” At which point you make an official complaint that you are being harassed because of your sexuality. It doesn’t matter whether you’re as camp as a row of tents, a bisexual femme into S&M, or straight as an arrow with a wife and kids, but that’s the point- it doesn’t matter, it’s none of their fucking business... And it’s good for a laugh.

10. And, Courtesy of MWR in Wales...
Also, here are a couple of new scams courtesy of MWR Wales- On a close when its dark, you and a colleague dress up looking like thiefs, take the car keys belonging to the best car owned by a wanker manager, and get someone to scream (example) "your cars being nicked!''. Of course when they run out, simply take the joke as far as you want, whether it be simply putting the key in the ignition, or driving the car around the corner, abandoning it, and returning to your station via the back door! it does work! Also, when you have a manager that gets really stressed grab a mobile ring the store, and tell him/her that you are from a local newspaper and you have received a complaint about spitting in burgers/sexual haraassment/slave labour etc, again take it as far as you want!!!

The McWorkers Resistance Cook Book

McDonalds food is shit and really boring. Here’s a couple of recipes you may want to try:

Sweet and sour stir fry (vegan)

A delicious simple to prepare sauce with an Oriental flavour.

You will need:
1 pancake mixing bowl, or if you don’t have one a large metal pot.
One grill
One grill spatula
An egg spatula from breakfast equipment
A Tomato slicer

Ingredients:
A few drops of shortening
1 and a half tomatoes
2 handfuls of diced fresh onions
10 sweet and sour sauce portions 6 sachets of pepper 3 sachets of salt

Method: Place the shortening in the metal container and leave on the grill until it heats/ cools to a steady temperature. Slice the tomatoes and then dice/ puree with the grill spatula. Add the fresh onions to the shortening and sauté (shallow fry), keep the onions moving with the egg spatula and when they are sautéed (slightly brown) add the diced tomatoes and continue to fry lightly while mixing well with the egg spatula. After a few minutes add the sweet and sour sauce and continue to heat while mixing well, add the salt and pepper and heat for five minutes stirring continuously.

Serving suggestion: Serve with chopped product of your choice, i.e. vedgie patties, chicken patties (not vegan!) and salad made from tomato and lettuce.

Pizza Italiano (vegetarian)

Add a Mediterranean flavour to your cuisine with this delicious Italian style pizza.

You will need:
One bun toaster
One fillet steamer
One small pot
A grill spatula

Ingredients:
One bun (ideally one of those dodgy ‘Italian style’ buns they do from time to time, but failing that a reg bun will do)
Ketchup
2 slices of cheese
1 tomato
A sprinkle of fresh onions
2 sachet’s pepper

Method: Dice the cheese into the smallest pieces possible with the grill spatula and do the same with the tomato after you have sliced it. Next, squirt a little ketchup into a small pot, add the diced tomatoes and mix well with the ketchup while pureeing the tomato. Add a sachet of pepper and mix it into the tomato sauce. Alter the compression on the bun toaster (or just use a small stack of trays) so that it will slightly flatten the bun when you toast it. Toast the bun for about 20 seconds. Spread some of the tomato sauce on the toasted bun, sprinkle on half the cheese, then add the onion before sprinkling on the remainder of the cheese. Sprinkle the second sachet of pepper across the top and place on the fillet steamer for 30 seconds. Hey presto, one mini pizza. You can make as many as you want, try experimenting with different toppings.

Got some tomato sauce left over? why not make these delicious bruschetta!

Bruschetta (vegan)

Ingredients:
Fresh onions
shortening,
4 sachets of pepper
1 sachet of salt
tomato sauce left over from pizzas
2 regular bun heels

Method: fry the onions as if for ‘sweet & sour stir fry’, then add the tomato sauce. Heat over grill while stirring continuously, add the salt and pepper. Toast the bun heels for 45 seconds. Then spread the tomato and onion sauce on the toasted bread.

Coming soon: curried dishes with the spicy exotic taste of the sub-continent.

John Wayne's bumper guide to the job

Kitchen

Obviously in kitchen the priority is to cook what food you have to with as little effort as possible. The golden rule in all instances is therefore, “more food less often”. Always cook in the highest runs possible. So, depending on your store, you should cook big macs in runs of 6 or 12, regulars in runs of 9 or 18, etc.

Kitchen should function as a team, it should be non-hierarchical and based on direct democracy. If the person on wrap and call is being a dick then the others should vote to replace him or her. If the person doesn’t comply then immediately everyone should go on a go slow. At busy periods a five minute go slow can lead to production being completely lost. Our collective strength is never more obvious than when a group of friends work together in kitchen. Here are a few specific notes:

Wrap and Call

This position, if occupied by a penis, can fuck up everyone’s day. When you’re on wrap and call your main objective is to make sure that everyone in kitchen has as easy a day as possible. So, “two sandwiches please” isn’t going to make any friends is it? Also, don’t tell people what to do, make suggestions. Don’t turn into a petty tyrant burger boy. In order to perform your role to the best of your ability you will need to cheat with time cards- when the food goes out of time, replace the time card, when the new card is out of time, replace it again. Keep this going until all the food is either sold or grows legs and runs away of its own accord. If you want this to go unnoticed then a good trick is to ask managers to throw token bits of food out from time to time- “could you throw out the first quarter please” makes it sound like you give a fuck and the manager doesn’t know the quarter she throws out (and all the others in the bin) saw action in Vietnam. The food tastes like shit whether it’s fresh or has just got its bus pass.

Grill

It’s pretty self-explanatory, you slap down meat when you can be fucked. One little thing, if you’re using a damaged Teflon and it’s ripping all the meat but you can’t be bothered changing it, just sprinkle salt liberally on the frozen patties before latching the grill. The meat will come up in one piece and the customers will eventually die of heart attacks which means there will be less of the bastards to serve. If you have to clean a grill, then don’t worry about the top platen, just change the Teflon round and claim you’re helping the openers. This saves a lot of time and has the added advantage that over time it can lead to carbon build up which can warp a grill causing McDonalds considerable expense. Bonus!

Dressing

The pickle just gets thrown on the ground anyway so don’t bother with it. There’s probably no need to use mustard either. Also, you know how your hands end up stinking of onion, pickle, mustard, all sorts of shit? Well especially if you’re going out later, wear plastic gloves so you don’t smell so bad when you’re trying to pull someone.

Buns

Be creative, Mac crowns can go in the regular toaster, regular buns in the Mac toaster, use your imagination.

Chicken

Keep your holding levels very high and cook everything in big runs.

DPSC

Everyone else just copies it from a couple of days ago..

Filtering

The equipment will almost certainly not all be present in a useable condition. So refuse to do it. If they complain then ignore human resources and go straight to the health and safety executive (UK- 0171 717 6000) or the equivalent organisation where you work. If you do, do the filtering, a good trick is to get a metal jug and (very carefully!) scoop hot oil from other vats and pour it down the sides of the vat you’re filtering clearing any debris.

Front counter

Anyone working on front counter should read our humorous, just for entertainment piece on stealing.

Your other main concern here is the customers. It seems that all the scum on earth eat at McDonalds from time to time- don’t take shit, never apologise and above all else, never, ever smile unless YOU feel like it.

You should work out with kitchen staff signals to deal with objectionable customers. For example, ‘extra bacon’ as a grill order might mean the order is for a police officer. It’s then up to kitchen to do their worst. Or, a ‘big Mac extra cheese, extra milk’, might mean ‘an abusive customer has ordered a big Mac extra cheese, please spit in it’. Abusive customers very often order grills because being awkward is their raison d’être.

However, you should never, ever encourage people to do horrible things to burgers randomly. This is because lots of customers are actually really nice people. Give free food to anyone who is pleasant or looks like they are short of cash. Be careful giving free stuff to middle aged, middle class people because they just don’t get it and will stand there saying “I don’t think you charged me for this”. If you make a habit of giving free stuff to regular customers who work in local shops, pubs, etc. then you will hopefully find that visiting their workplaces soon results in the favour being reciprocated. Workers solidarity against the bosses!

Unlike in kitchen, there is usually no point trying to do things quickly on front counter- it rarely buys you a break but just means more punters want served. Remember- if the queue gets long enough then people are less inclined to wait which ultimately means less people to serve. Try to leave your till whenever possible, go to the toilet, wash your hands excessively, claim your trousers are falling down, anything to break the tedium. Try talking to customers (!?), instead of “can I take your order here please?”, try “all right there, just finished work?” “er... yeah” “Looks like it’s been a rough day...etc.” Just serving food robotically is dehumanising for you and the customers.

Oh, and never use the ice scoop!

Backroom, lobby, trash walks, etc.

Remember: never wear decent shoes to work as they will just rot with all the grease and skank that floods about the floor.

Backroom

If you have to move heavy stuff and you don’t have a trolley then improvise with bun wheels and a bun crate (for bringing out boxes of fries, for example). Don’t put yourself out for McDonalds.

Delivery

As long as it’s not you regular job then you wont need to rotate stock properly. Just put a few older boxes on top to make things look right. By the time anyone notices it’s all fucked nobody will remember who did the last delivery. Nick a few boxes of stuff and claim the were never delivered (just joking, that might be illegal!). When you’ve chucked everything away slap a bit of ‘do not use’ tape about randomly to make it look like you’ve tried. Drag the whole thing out as long as possible. If anyone does notice how badly you’ve done it then hopefully they wont ask you again.

Pulling stations

Think what can be seen when the station’s back in place (sometimes just the floor) and clean it. Do the floor with a litre of APC (or local equivalent) and a damp mop. Some people like to pour salt on grease spills, I’ve never thought this was very useful but I suppose it wastes lots of salt. When you’re ‘finished’ quickly push the station back into place really fucking tightly so that no one will pull it out and see that you’ve actually done fuck all.

Cleaning

If you have to clean a greasy surface, don’t try and clean it properly with soapy water, just wipe it with a DRY grill cloth.

If you get sent to lobby to clean walls or something similar then make a big show of filling up a bucket of clean water then take a couple of cloths and a newspaper round to the wall. Splash the clean water about a bit then look for a plant (almost every McDonalds will have real or fake plants somewhere). Scoop some of the earth out of the plant pot and mix it well with your water. Sit back with your newspaper. After a while take your bucket and clothe back and make a big show of having to change this very dirty water- “fucking hell, when were those walls last cleaned?”. The manager will feel like a good burger slave and will ask if they’re scrubbing up all right, “yeah but it’s a lot of work” and with that you go back to your paper. Keep this going until you’ve at least read the sport, the cartoons and have had a go at the crossword. This really works!

Dining Area

Skive, read the paper, talk to random members of the public, it’s boring as fuck out here but it should be a bit of skive. If you get really bored then go to the shift runner with a really disruptive request from an imaginary customer- someone wants to check a rule from a now closed promotion or something. After the manager’s pissed about for a while, found the relevant file, searched and been unable to resolve the enquiry, looked up the number where the customer should direct enquiries, noted it down and took it out to the customer, you go “fuck- they were sitting right there, they’ve just left, that was so rude, etc.”

Trash Walks

Trash walks are great- empty one external bin and leave that bag somewhere you can find it, then compress the rubbish down in all the other bins and go to the pub, do your shopping, whatever. Come back and carry the bag you left earlier around to the front of the store and in full view of management chuck a few things in the bag. A manager (who had probably forgotten you were out there) will come to ask why you’ve taken so long. Look frustrated and ask when the last trash walk was done. “Just an hour ago” “Fucking hell, messy bastards today, this is the second bag I’ve filled,. I mean it’s still not great but you should have seen the mess before, etc.”. If anyone was out looking for you while you were in the pub, just claim you were along the street picking up litter in line with McDonalds community friendly policies.