"Having a nice day: the McDonalds Workers Resistance"

It may deliver your food with machine-like affeciency, but McDonalds is still the organisation that environmentalists and nutritionalists love to hate. But now the global fast-food chain faces a rebellion from its most powerful detractors yet: its own employees. The McDonalds Workers Resistance (MWR) was formed last year, uniting small clusters of disgruntled burger-flippers across the UK in the absence of any company-wide union. It alleges tha McDonalds staff are subjected to low wages, poor working conditions, skin irritations and stupid uniforms. Last December, an eight strong, Glasgow-based branch of the MWR (average age 20) produced a McDonalds baiting magazine called McSues - a parody of the company's newsletter, McNews - which is being distributed to fellow workers around the world. The first issue seethes with vitriolic bile against the golden-arched corporation, urging workers to short-circuit grills, unplug equipment and add generous helpings of lettuce to burgers to increase food costs.

Its editors also advocate the stealing of Happy Toys, and compile brand-damaging lists such as 'Ten Reasons Why Ronald McDonald Is A Fucking Tart'. 'McSues is an attempt to communicate with our fellow workers', says a spokesperson for the Glasgow MWR branch (who must remain anonymous). 'After years of capitulating to the company's rules, we've found a voice. There are tens of thousands who think just like us. But we're lucky because through McSues we're able to say what others are thinking.' Even though it has been made aware of the publication, McDonald's has so far been unable to pinpoint McSues' mutinous authors. 'We are not anti-union', says Amanda Pierce, a spokeswoman for the corporation. 'We simply prefer to consult directly with staff,' McDonalds refutes McSues' allegations of staff exploitation by pointing out the advantages of working for the company, such as swift promotion opportunities, staff meetings and the possibility of getting a 'Diploma in Restaurant Management' accredited by Nottingham Trent University. The MWR concedes that its members will probably lose their jobs once McDonald's finally discovers their identities. But their campaign against the empire continues regardless. 'Workers now know that they are not alone in how they feel about the company,' says the MWR spokesperson. 'McDonald's may soon be surprised - the workers united are more powerful than it can possibly imagine.'"

C. Koch, The Face, May 2001, @nti-copyright

Press cuttings about MWR

More about MWR

McSues magazine online

Get Involved

Home