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encouraged to share information about the union’s plans and the names of union sympathizers. If the rap sessions failed to provide adequate
information, the stroking was abandoned for a more direct approach.
In 1973, amid a bitter organizing drive in San Francisco, a group of young McDonald’s employees claimed that managers had forced them
to take lie detector tests, interrogated them about union activities, and threatened them with dismissal if they refused to answer. Spokesmen
for McDonald’s admitted that polygraph tests had been administered, but denied that any coercion was involved. Bryan Seale, San Francisco’s
labor commissioner, closely studied some of McDonald’s old job applications and found a revealing paragraph in small print near the
bottom. It said that employees who wouldn’t submit to lie detector tests could face dismissal. The labor commissioner ordered McDonald’s to
halt the practice, which was a violation of state law. He also ordered the company to stop accepting tips at its restaurants, since customers
were being misled: the tips being left for crew member...
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- Spring '08