3 April 2015 – McDonald’s, labour activism and US franchising

Workers in US fast food companies have become active about low pay and lack of benefits despite many being long-term employees of big companies like McDonald’s. Back in September last year, the New Yorker was reporting on how workers were getting unionized and protesting about their poor pay and conditions (see this blog 19 September 2014).

A recent article by Kate Rogers describes how this might change the face of US franchising and what corporations are responsible for at individual chain locations as the case between the unions and McDonald’s is litigated in front of the National Labor Relations Board on whether McDonald’s is considered a joint employer with its individual franchisees. If this is the outcome, McDonald’s could be held jointly responsible for working conditions, pay and worker’s rights violations at individual franchised locations. Likewise, if the ruling makes McDonald’s jointly responsible, individual franchises become more beholden to corporate regulation which also changes the business franchise model.

You can read the full article here

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