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McDonald’s Under the Gun for Working Conditions at its Restaurants

August 17, 2014
Plain English Version

McDonald'sThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is in charge of on-the-job working conditions and rules. It made a big decision. The Board said that McDonald’s is responsible for working conditions in its franchise restaurants.

When a local McDonald’s violated rules on wages and working conditions, workers could only protest to the owner. Now, the giant company that owns McDonald’s may be held responsible for the franchise owner breaking those rules.

Franchise operators own about 90 percent of all McDonald’s. If the NLRB ruling holds, it will be a big change in the franchise business. Parent companies and franchise owners will be considered “joint employers.”

The action comes after many complaints about conditions at different McDonald’s. Workers said McDonald’s fired and threatened workers for trying to organize a union.

The fast-food workers said McDonald’s orders its franchises to follow all kinds of rules. These include rules on food, cleanliness and employment practices

McDonald’s and other franchise companies do not like the ruling. The company said, “This decision changes the rules for thousands of small businesses, and goes against decades of established law.”

Labor experts said the decision would make it easier to organize workers in McDonald’s restaurants. They say the ruling will make it “easier to unionize entire companies and industries.”

Big business will to everything it can to fight the ruling.

Source: The Wall Street Journal July 29, 2014


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