It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all the moves that Barack Obama is making now that the election is over. In one which could have easily been overlooked, the President’s highly union-friendly National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has handed down a series of complaints against fast food giant McDonald’s.
In a significant victory for fast-food demonstrators, the Obama administration filed 13 legal complaints on Friday against McDonald’s USA, LLC, alleging 78 instances in which it violated federal labor law by punishing workers for taking part in fast food protests.
The complaints allege that the company and its franchisees retaliated against protesters by reducing their hours or firing them. It’s illegal to retaliate against any worker for “concerted activities” to protest workplace conditions, even when no union organizing takes place — which was almost always the case in the fast food protests.
What we’re seeing here is yet another case of Obama administration officials changing the rules to satisfy the social justice warriors in his base. The vast majority of McDonald’s outlets around the country are franchise operations which have private owners who pay a fee to use and maintain the chain’s name and brand, provided they operate within established corporate guidelines. The franchise owners are the actual employers and take responsibility for all personnel management decisions, hiring, firing, the setting of hours, etc. But earlier this year the NRLB general counsel redefined the rules of the game and said that McDonald’s could be considered a “joint employer” for purposes of such actions.
This is quite convenient for union organizers who would much rather go after the deep pockets of McDonald’s and other national brands than the individual operator who owns one or a handful of franchises. And make no mistake, it’s the SIEU that is behind most of this unrest. They want McDonald’s to magically summon up the money to double their labor costs, knowing that if they can organize the people working in these starter jobs and jack up their wages, they will be able to collect a fair portion of that money for themselves. But they have help from other groups as well. Take a closer look at this picture from a recent protest.
I wonder what the Socialist Worker has to do with all this?
Socialist Worker is a revolutionary socialist newspaper produced by the Socialist Workers Party, Britain’s largest revolutionary socialist organisation. It has been published every week since 1968. This website contains online reports, articles from the print edition, together with an archive of Socialist Worker stories going back to 1999.
My, my… there’s a great combo for you. That’s a better match than a Big Mac and a super sized order of fries.