McDonald’s volunteers to find out their Olympic roles this week

As initial offers for the volunteering roles during the 2012 Olympics are sent out this week, some successful 10,000 Game Makers have two weeks to accept them. McDonald’s anticipates the replies particularly impatiently, because the fast-food giant is in charge of providing training for the volunteers.

 

However, it is just the beginning of a long process of filling up all of the 70,000 unpaid positions for the Olympics. Over the next few months thousands of e-mails will be sent to applicants, aiming to inform everyone about the progress of their application by the end of this year. LOCOG officials also claim the last interviews are scheduled for March, 2012 and the last role may be taken even as late as April, 2012. All candidates have to undergo security checks before signing the final contract.

The first volunteers who received conditional offers are inter alia: Nader Mozakka from North West London who will be an NOC Assistant in the Athletes’ Village; Maggie Hendry from Dundee, Scotland who will be a Physiotherapist at North Greenwich Arena at Games time; Erin Morgan from Newry, Northern Ireland who will be an Event Services Team Member at the Olympic Park and Charlotte Evans from Caerleon, Wales who has been assigned a role as an Event Services Team Member for Wimbledon.

LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe stressed the importance of the offers made, as it marks the new stage of the Game Makers programme. He said: “It has been a privilege for my team to meet and interview so many enthusiastic and dedicated people from right across the UK who would like to volunteer with us and make the Games a success for athletes, media and spectators alike.”

Jill McDonald, UK chief executive of McDonald’s, added: “We aim to help provide the volunteers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver an outstanding level of hospitality at the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.”

The “McJobs” offered are perhaps not the world’s most desirable employment, although initially promised to be financially rewarding, will be unpaid for the 2012 Olympics. Spectacle has already covered McJobs, which can be found in the Olympics 2012 section of Spectacle’s Blog.

Unsurprisingly, the official volunteer t-shirts will not be the only place where golden arches will be seen at the 2012 Olympics, as McDonald’s also obtained a monopoly on food sold during the Games. This has stirred up a debate on public health and well-being, which could be argued as not being on McDonald’s priority list. This American meal brand plans to open the largest McDonald in the world in the Olympic Park, Stratford. It is also interesting to know that there will be no kitchens provided to athletes, who will be forced to dine in the dining halls catered also by McDonald’s.

Obviously, McDonald’s sponsorship is happily welcomed by LOCOG, but should their profit really overshadow the Olympic’s overriding goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle?

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50,000 promised Olympic Jobs becomes 70,000 unpaid McVolunteers

No Jobs only McVolunteers

No Jobs only McVolunteers

Countless employers are now facing the problem of dealing with twenty three working days without key employees come 2012.  The deadline to volunteer for the Olympics is the 27th of October, 2010. The London 2012 Olympics Organising Committee (LOCOG) have stated that 70,000 voluntary positions need to be filled, but more than 100,000  people have already applied. The voluntary roles consist of general and specialised positions, from desk staff, events stewards and drivers. Volunteers must work for a minimum of 10 days for the Games, and 20 for the Paralympic Games. Training is also mandatory for all participants.

There are also a further 8000 positions to be filled for the role of “London Ambassadors”, which would involve helping the vastly overstated and questionable increase of tourists and visitors in 2012 find their way around the city.

For more information visit.

These voluntary positions have been the source of much controversy. Back in 2007 London’s Employment and Skills Taskforce and the London Development Agency (LDA) were talking of the Olympics creating up to 50,000 new jobs in the Lower Lea Valley. Dee Doocey, chair of the Committee for Economic Development, Culture, Sport, and Tourism, the leading committee on the London Assembly for scrutinising the Olympics, commented on the announcement of a new ‘Living Wage’ for London of £7.20 an hour:

“The Mayor and Seb Coe signed an ‘Ethical contract’ with London Citizens before winning the Olympics, promising a Living Wage for everyone involved. Yet to date, no Living Wage has been included in the contracts allocated and Seb Coe told the London Assembly that ‘any of the issues about a living wage is a consideration, not a condition’. This is of great concern because LOCOG will be letting contracts for all the traditionally low paid jobs such as catering and cleaning. As for local businesses exploiting the games, as Coe had suggested, it is more likely that existing businesses will be endangered.”

The “workers” will be given Macdonalds meals and bus travel for the day, but are not even allowed free tickets for the events. To read more on this click here, here, and here.

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Number of McDonald’s Trained 2012 Olympic Volunteers Increases by 8,000

Photo By Fakelvis

Lord Coe launched London organising committee’s Olympic volunteering programme yesterday. Since the previous blog post on the matter, the 70,000 McDonald’s trained Olympic volunteers have risen up to 78,000, as Boris Johnson embarks on his quest to search for an additional 8,000 to act as “the face of the capital” for visitors. Coe claims the 2012 Olympics to be the “biggest thing happening in his lifetime”, stating that everyone should attempt to be a part of it in one way or another. To attract candidates, Coe declares: “If you don’t volunteer now, you won’t volunteer. Make sure you know how you’re going to be involved.” He stresses the importance of acquiring the “best of the best” volunteers, as they are the first thing Olympic visitors will see as they arrive at the Olympic Park.

The first person you see when you arrive at the Olympic Park is likely to be a volunteer [wearing a Mc Donald’s T-shirt], the first person you see on the Javelin Train is going to be a volunteer [wearing a Mc Donald’s T-shirt].        Seb Coe.

Inevitably, it wont just be the volunteers’ faces the visitors will be greeted with- the volunteers will, of course, be wearing the famous McDonald’s t-shirts, providing the company with an easy way of free advertising. The question is, what do the volunteers get out of it (apart from carrying out the role of a McDonald’s advertising mascot)? They will first be going through 3 days of training, followed by 10 full days of work during the Olympics/Paralympics. Surely this grants them a ticket to the actual games? No. Or, at least, a so called “non-event” ticket allowing access to the Olympic Park without actually seeing the games? No. Instead, the volunteers receive meal vouchers (McDonald’s, of course), and free public transport on working days. This applies to general volunteers, as well as those with special skills, such as medics. Is a free lunch and a bus ticket really a fair method of payment, McDonald’s? This is starting to look more and more like 78,000 unpaid “McJobs”. Where are the promised jobs?

The medics might be volunteers but at least you know the burger flippers are paid professionals.

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Unpaid McJobs Available in the Olympics

Photo by fakelvis

70,000 Volunteers Set to Wear McDonald’s Golden Arches in the 2012 Olympics…

McDonald’s has been chosen as the “presenting partner” for the 2012 Olympics, helping to recruit and train 70,000 volunteers, or the so-called Games Makers, required for an array of tasks including ticket checking, interpreting and providing first aid to the masses of millions due to visit the country. McDonald’s currently employs an army of 80,000 workers– their jobs dubbed as “McJobs” (a low-paying, low-prestige job requiring few skills). The company, it seems, hopes to gather 70,000 more people to voluntarily do an unpaid McJob over the course of the Olympics.

In addition to the role of presenting partner, the fast-food company has been deemed the exclusive recognisable “meal brand” of the London Games, ensuring that other food brands are unable to sell their wares, unless labels are removed and/or packaging changed.  The company is doing better than ever, making a £708 million profit in just the first three months of 2010. It goes without saying that the Olympics will skyrocket these profits further, as masses gaze at the famous golden arches as a side dish to the games, not only through the food consumed, but also the t-shirts of tens of thousands of McDonald’s “volunteers”.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 Chairman, claims that McDonald’s is likely to attract and recruit the best volunteers due to its “established customer service expertise and strong high street presence”. Coe continues that the company is among the few organizations with the ability to prepare such a large team in the relatively short time period. His motivation is therefore made clear, but what is McDonald’s plan? To help out? Or to take advantage of people willing to do an unpaid McJob?

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