Which of these best describes your position?
You're a salaried manager? Oh dear! You really are stuck in the pooh! You are definitely getting screwed at work, maybe even more than us! But there's not a lot you can do about it is there? I mean your role in life is to facilitate the efficient sodomising of the hourly paid staff in order to make lots of money for people you never meet. But if you don't keep doing it then sooner or later they're going to want to fire you and how are you going to pay for the mortgage and your holiday in Cyprus? It's not your fault but you are caught in a pretty shite situation. If you could find anybody else who would pay you as much as McDonald's you would be out the door before anyone could say, “travel path”. But you can't. As is demonstrated by the fact you are still stuck in a pissy job more befitting a monkey. Advice: steal the safe and make for Cyprus.
Does the pope wear a silly hat? Yes you are getting screwed. Buggered. You are expected to work you ass off so you can pick peanuts out of pooh while some shareholder who’s never done a days work in his whole life is buying a second yacht. Prince Charles has a man to brush his teeth while you have a man taking away your telly as an interest repayment on a debt you incurred buying a tin of beans. The question we now have to ask is- are you being screwed within the law? Believe it or not, you probably are- the law is made in the interests of the rich. However, there are some ways you may be getting screwed illegally.
[libcom edition: To determine whether your screwing falls in the law or not to continue this questionnaire see the MWR Know your rights section]
Yes I am getting screwed illegally
If you have been treated illegally then you need to be prepared to back up your claim. Therefore, you should collect and write down as much information about the incident as possible. Who’s shift was it? Who witnessed it? What were the exact times and dates? Approach your store manager, formally in writing if you want (keep a copy of anything you send or receive). Be firm but polite and ‘business like’. Always give a timescale for them to comply and stick to it.
Here is a sample letter:
During David Smellypits shift on the evening of October 16th 2004, I was ordered to do the filtering by Martin Halitosis. Since the store was still open and quite busy and the protective visor could not be found, I explained that by my personal obligations under Health and Safety law I was unable to comply with his orders since I considered that doing so would present a clear and imminent danger to my self and possibly others. Martin summoned David who told me “do it now you little bastard or I’ll fry you balls”, this comment was witnessed by John Goodguy and Lucy Nicegirl. There followed an exchange of words between myself and David resulting in me being sent home. I clocked out at 8.35pm. I had been scheduled to work until 2.00am.
I am writing to you in anticipation that this matter can be resolved speedily. Firstly, I seek written confirmation that no disciplinary action will be taken against me as a result of this incident and that my record of employment will not be tarnished in any way. Secondly, I seek your assurances that both Martin and David will be retrained regarding their responsibilities under Health and Safety Law, that a new visor will be ordered and that no person will be pressured into filtering without appropriate equipment or performing other unsafe tasks. Finally, I expect financial compensation for the five hours and twenty-five minutes I was unable to work on October 16th and that my lost wages be paid in full with the rest of my earnings this pay period.
Thank you in anticipation,
Given that your manager probably has a mental age of 7, there is a good chance that they will be unable to read and will amuse themselves by building a lopsided paper aeroplane out of your letter.
Assuming the matter is not resolved at store level then you have to contact Human Resources. Human Resources are there as a safety net for the company and try to spot where they have broken the law and risk losing a court case. If you can show you have been treated illegally then human resources will appear to ‘take your side’ and the matter will be resolved. However, you should remember at all times that they are certainly not on your side and so you should be careful what you say. If they do not agree with you then they are confident they will not lose any legal dispute that results from the matter. This could be because the company did not act illegally, or because they think you do not have enough, evidence, information or determination to see the matter through.
It is very important that you follow these internal grievance procedures promptly as failure to do so negates your right to make a legal challenge in the future.
If you still think the matter is worth pursuing then you should be aware that a long and difficult process might lie ahead. It could take years of submissions before anything comes to court. However, you might want to pursue a claim to an employment tribunal and would have to submit your claim within three months of the date on which you last worked. In the example above where the worker has been pressured into filtering unsafely, he or she could claim constructive dismissal. Other claims that might be made at an employment tribunal include unfair dismissal and discrimination.
At this stage it is absolutely imperative that you consult a solicitor. Given you work for McDonalds we can assume your only option will be a solicitor offering a “no win, no fee” service. This is no bad thing- they wont take your case on unless they think you have a very good chance of winning. Of course you will be shafted for being poor again and any compensation you get will be knicked by your lawyer, but it’s the principle that counts, right?
No I am being screwed within the law
You’re being legally screwed!?
But Shirley, but Shirley… No, they really are allowed to treat us like this. “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread” as some geezer once said. The law is designed to protect property from the majority, to protect the interests of the rich, and the interests of a certain economic system. If we have learned one thing today it is that the law is an ass and unlikely to help any of us very much.
But don’t worry about it. Just because some senile old cunt in a wig isn’t going to do anything about it doesn’t mean you can’t. Nothing ever changes unless people stand up and fight, better to get sacked on your feet than to work on your (hands and) knees.
So get involved you lazy bastard!