News And Other Busyness
McLibel 2 Take Second Bite
Squall 16, Summer 1998, pg. 8.
The two McLibel defendants, Dave Morris and Helen Steel are to appeal against the unfavourable sections of the McLibel trial verdict.
After the longest civil trial in British legal history Mr Justice Bell acknowledged that McDonald's "exploit children" and are "culpably responsible" for cruelty to animals. However, his verdict was a mixed affair and served to exonerate McDonald's on some of the key issues.
The two tenacious defendants are now in the process of taking the British government to the European Court of Human Rights over the nature of this country's libel law. The defendants' claim that the denial of legal aid, and the refusal to allow a jury to hear the case, denied them access to a fair hearing. Since the verdict, McDonald's have gone on a PR offensive. Following Mr Justice Bell's ruling that McDonald's low pay helps depress wages in the catering industry, McDonald's have raised the pay of the lowest paid workers in their burger bars.
The McLibel defendants can take much of the credit for the recent increase in wages, although the Oxford English Dictionary's intention to incorporate the word 'McJob' in its lexicon might have also had a baring on the matter. The dictionary was legally threatened by the burger giants after it publicly announced its intention to incorporate the word 'McJob', a monicor now commonly used to describe all crap employment.
For the full list of Squall articles about the McLibel Trial click here