McDonald’s will campaign to have the dictionary definition of the term McJob revised.
The Oxford English Dictionary defined a McJob as “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially, one created by the expansion of the service sector”. The UK arm of the fast-food chain is planning a petition to get this definition changed.
The term, used in the 1980s to describe low-skilled employment in the fast food industry, came into the spotlight when used in the 1991 novel Generation X by Douglas Coupland. In March 2001, the term appeared in the online version of OED.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman confirmed that a letter from David Fairhurst, chief people officer in northern Europe, to outside bodies such as figures in the hospitality sector explaining the initial stages of the fast food chain’s campaign to eradicate the McJob definition, had been intercepted by The Financial Times before the company had intended to go public. However, she would not confirm how and when McDonald’s campaign would be communicated.
She added that the negative dictionary definition is taken personally by McDonald’s and that the campaign would target employees, their friends and families, suppliers and the catering and hospitality sectors.
McDonalds ran a UK recruitment campaign last year with marketing material displaying statements such as: “McFlexible – two pay reviews in your first year. Not bad for a McJob.” At the time, Fairhurst, said: “The existing definition of McJob is outdated. A huge gap exists between the external perception and the internal reality of working for McDonalds.”