Posted by Curt on 1 January, 2015 at 5:44 pm. 1 comment.


Gary Wisenbaker:

Making good on a warning made in July, the National Labor Relations Board took a breathtaking move late last week to control nearly ten percent of the private output of the U.S. economy. The move came when NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin announced that he would pursue 78 charges against several McDonald’s franchisees as well as McDonald’s USA, LLC, for alleged national labor law violations.

Charges of this nature are commonplace within the NLRB. The difference here is the entities being charged: the franchisee and the franchisor. Griffin’s declaration back in July 2014 flew in the face of established law when he declared that McDonald’s USA could be held liable along with the franchisees under a “joint employer” theory should charges be filed.

The NLRB has now followed through on that threat.

A common feature of a franchise contract is the sovereignty of the franchisee regarding facility and labor management. The franchisor enhances and protects brand and, perhaps, product quality. In short, they contractually split liabilities and responsibilities.

The NLRB, however, takes the position that since McDonald’s USA makes incentives and resources available to its franchisees it goes beyond “protection of the brand”. And that, Comrade Griffin believes, makes it a “joint employer with its franchisees” and must share liability for labor law violations. In so doing, the NLRB ignores the expressed contractual provisions and the intent of the parties as well as freedom of contract.

This isn’t particularly new: the Nazis did it when they came to power in Germany as did the Communists when they came to power in Russia, China, Eastern Europe and Cuba. These moves are necessary for the socialist state to centralize power over an economy.

It should be noted that the 78 charges sustained by the NLRB represent only 26 percent of the 291 charges ginned up by Fast Food Forward, a group put together by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to target and strike McDonald’s stores. Their purpose was to (1) form a union without “intimidation from their employers” and (2) obtain a $15 hourly minimum wage.

When the McDonald’s franchisees held firm, the accusations took flight. One can almost hear the Wicked Witch of the West cheering her winged monkeys on their flight to snatch Dorothy and Toto.

The involvement of the SEIU is not accidental. This union, made up of nearly 2 million members, was aggressively involved and helped Obama push through Obamacare. And why not: half of the SEIU’s membership is comprised of healthcare workers. A remaining large slice of its membership includes fast food workers. That this union, which successfully assisted the progressive liberals in Washington gain control of 20 percent of the economy through Obamacare, would target another large segment of the US economy certainly comes as no surprise.

The NLRB’s move is huge and has serious ramifications.

It is estimated that there are 3,000 franchise business companies which account for 850,000 businesses operations in the United States. They account for 8.5 million employees, approximately 50 percent of retail sales and generate over $2.1 trillion to the economy. The NLRB’s action would redefine the contractual relationships between the franchisors and franchisees as well as employers and employees in a huge sector of the US economy.

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