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Date: Tue, 15 Jul 97 16:57:05 CDT
From: dbriars@world.std.com
Subject: McSchools in Australia
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 22:08:30 +0100
From: Daniel Cass <dcass@mov.vic.gov.au>

McSchools in Australia

By Daniel Cass
14 July 1997

Dear McSpotlighters,

You may be interested to know that McDonalds have had discussion with Australia's Minister for Education, Dr David Kemp, about getting accreditation in the national curriculum for McDonalds staff training.

McDonald's casual staff (young kids earning money over summer) will get marks towards their graduation grade for on-the-job training. The Greens concerns are several:

1. It is an insidious form of advertising which dignifies a commercial operation through the imprimatur of the educational system.

2. McDonalds and other companies will become integral to education, letting the government justify further savage budget cuts and then more dependence on Corporate sponsorship.

3. McDs will have immense power over young employees; not only can it sack them, it can fail them, ruining their future employment prospects.

4. McD's will be able to pay a miserly "training wage" with a captive market of jobseekers who think they are getting a good deal by earning money and doing some school subjects over their holiday break.

5. It epitomises the commodification of life and corporatising of the public sphere.

You may be interested to know that I tried and failed to get quoted in the media saying:

"McSchools are just the thin edge of the wedge. Let's go to the logical conclusion and find sponsors for Parliament. We could have an Exxon Minister for Shipping Safety, a Marlboro Minister for Health and a Pyramid Minister for Banking."

(Note: Pyramid were the dominant bank in the blue-collar town of Geelong, which has been hard hit by corporate sackings and bulling by such luminaries as Alcoa, Shell and Caltex. Pyramid mismanaged their investments and went down, taking tens of thousands of ordinary peoples' savings with them.)

We also have built a street sign with positive goals in one direction (Jobs, Forests) and the negative pointing the other way, (Sleaze and McSchools). The only TV who turned up were the local community network, Channel 31/ StKilda Access TV (SKA TV). Unfortunately, the media have not really followed the McLibel suit as much as they have in other countries.

We have much admiration of your work - keep it up!

Best wishes,
Daniel Cass Spokesperson on international issues, democracy and environment
Australian Greens Party - Victoria
Tel: +61-3-9388-1470
Fax: +61-3-9349-4674

U.S. McLibel Support Campaign
PO Box 62
Craftsbury VT 05826-0062

Email dbriars@world.std.com
Phone/Fax 802-586-9628

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