National Labor Relations Board Ruling Could Make Unionizing McDonald’s Workers Easier

Scam alert!

From the New American:

The ruling by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that McDonald’s is actually a huge employer of more than 175,000 workers in the United States, rather than a franchisor with thousands of independent franchisees, will, if it is upheld, allow the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to recruit those workers much more easily.

The ruling was supposedly about low wages and local disputes with a few of those franchisees, but it had precious little to do with that carefully crafted public perception.

Richard Griffin, the NLRB’s general counsel, said he investigated more than 180 claims by local McDonald’s’ workers that they were being penalized for protesting low wages in a series of one-day strikes earlier this year. He found 43 of them to be “valid” and, in the process, ruled that McDonald’s itself would be held jointly liable for any penalties along with the individual franchisees.

The New York Times , to its credit, saw through the scam, calling it “a decision that, if upheld, would disrupt longtime practices in the fast-food industry and ease the way for unionizing nationwide .” (Emphasis added.)

Griffin claims that because McDonald’s not only owns most of the real estate and buildings used by its franchisees but also tightly controls the operations of each outlet, even down to noting when labor costs are getting out of line compared to company guidelines, therefore McDonald’s itself is really the employer of all of the employees working at all of those outlets. He held this to be true even though McDonald’s corporate has no say in who is hired, what they are paid, and what hours each employee works.

Julius Getman, a labor lawyer at the University of Texas, agreed with Griffin’s ruling, claiming,

Employers like McDonald’s seek to avoid recognizing the rights of their employees by claiming that they are not really their employer, despite exercising control over crucial aspects of the employment relationship.

McDonald’s should no longer be able to hide behind its franchisees.

The pushback to Griffin’s ruling was immediate. McDonald’s said it is looking at the ruling and is likely to appeal it. A senior VP for McDonald’s, Heather Smedstad, said “this decision changes the rules for thousands of small businesses and goes against decades of established law.”

This was echoed by Angelo Amador, vice president for the National Restaurant Association, who said Griffin “overturns 30 years of established law … erodes the proven franchisor-franchisee relationship, and jeopardizes the success of 90 percent of America’s restaurants who are independent operators or franchisees.”

The International Franchise Association explained that those franchisees are independent business owners who operate their own businesses:

Franchisees and their employees do not work for franchisors. The franchise owners who have built more than 770,000 businesses and employ millions of people control their own businesses. Franchisees have their own employer identification number with the Internal Revenue Service and file their own taxes. Franchisees establish day-to-day operations, employment practices and policies for their own businesses. Franchisees decide who to hire and fire, and also set wage rates, benefits and employees’ work schedules.

It went on to say: “If franchisors are joint employers with their franchisees, these thousands of small business owners would lose control of the operations and equity they worked so hard to build.”

David French, a senior vice president with the National Retail Federation, saw that the decision reflected the NLRB’s extreme pro-labor agenda, calling it “just a government agency that serves as an adjunct for organized labor, which has fought for this decision for a number of years as a means to more easily unionize entire companies and industries.”

The SEIU has been targeting McDonald’s since late 2012, starting in New York City, enlisting the support from some local workers and persuading them to engage in what they called “non-violent civil disobedience,” a reference to the civil rights movement decades earlier. The SEIU-spawned protests escalated earlier this year when more than 130 of those protesters were arrested at a McDonald’s shareholders’ meeting. The SEIU recruited them under the slogan “Fight for $15,” an effort to promote a $15 minimum wage, without mentioning the real purpose behind its efforts: If Griffin’s ruling is upheld, recruiting for the SEIU would be vastly easier and less costly, and would generate enormous financial gains for the union.

Jeffrey Dorfman, writing in Forbes , did the math:

The potential implications are enormous. There are over 3.5 million fast food workers. Checking some SEIU locals, it appears that dues average about 1.8 percent of earnings. For an average fast food worker, that could translate into $250 to $300 per year, or around $20 to $25 per month. Taking the low number, SEIU could potentially capture a new revenue stream of over $800 million annually.

McDonald’s is just the first target, but all by itself it’s a juicy one. Added Dorman:

Just with McDonald’s, there could be around 750,000 employees in their U.S. restaurants. Those union dues could be worth $150 million per year or more. It would be too expensive for the SEIU to negotiate individually with each restaurant operator who employs 40-50 workers per store. Holding over ten thousand organizing drives and elections would be far too difficult and time-consuming. What the SEIU wants, and what the NLRB is trying to give it, is the ability to deal with one entity (McDonald’s, the franchiser), hold one election, and suddenly gain a huge batch of new dues-paying members.

One important element missing from all the expressions of angst and delight over Griffin’s ruling is any mention of the general counsel himself. Griffin’s background is so tawdry and tainted with union corruption that when President Obama nominated him, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved heaven and earth to keep his record from being made public. The Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, headed up by pro-labor Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), didn’t even conduct a confirmation hearing and his nomination headed for a floor vote immediately.

Prior to his nomination, Griffin was general counsel to the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) dating back to 1983. During that period, more than 60 IUOE members have been arrested, indicted, or jailed on charges of labor racketeering, extortion, criminal behavior, bodily harm, and workplace sabotage. In one specific instance with which Griffin was no doubt aware, on April 9, 2008 a dozen high-ranking members of an IUOE local in Buffalo, New York, were arrested, according to Fox News, for:

Damaging more than 40 pieces of heavy machinery at construction sites where non-union workers were hired. They poured sand into oil systems and cut tires and fuel lines.

They also ran license plate numbers of [vehicles belonging to] victims through a state database to get personal information, including the names and addresses of victims’ wives.

So putrid and rancid was his background that Fred Wszolek, writing for Townhall.com, called him “an embarrassment of a nominee” and outlined a few of the more salient events that should have disqualified him for the position of NLRB’s general counsel:

Griffin participated in a conspiracy to manipulate the operation of Local 501 “through a pattern of racketeering activity.” Griffin was served with the complaint and a court summons.

He noted further the details of that “racketeering activity,” which included a “scheme to defraud [the local chapter] out of revenue … by means of kickbacks, bribery, violent threats and extortion. The suit names dozens of IUOE officials as defendants and Mr. Griffin is highlighted in a section describing an embezzlement and its subsequent hush-up.”

Further investigation reveals not only that Obama nominated Griffin to the NLRB but that the SEIU paid much for Obama’s presidency in 2008. According to the Washington Examiner , the union invested $28 million into Obama’s campaign, making the union the “organization that spent the most to help Barack Obama get elected president.”

Round and round she goes: Obama gets much needed support from the SEIU. Obama appoints Griffin to the NLRB as general counsel. Reid accommodates by effectively hiding his criminal background, and the Senate confirms him. The SEIU targets McDonald’s in its never-ending quest for more members and revenues. The case goes up to the NLRB where Griffin is just waiting for the opportunity to change 30 years of labor law and give the SEIU a return on its $28 million investment in Obama.

Source: http://m.thenewamerican.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewamerican.com%2Fusnews%2Fpolitics%2Fitem%2F18824-latest-nlrb-ruling-against-mcdonald-s-a-huge-boost-for-seiu&utm_referrer=http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenewamerican.com%2Fusnews%2Fpolitics%2Fitem%2F18824-latest-nlrb-ruling-against-mcdonald-s-a-huge-boost-for-seiu&h=vAQFQvHrI&enc=AZNAT6g3kFuBC1P9GEcf1RY5sX_m4ucdTXzrNVeW8WJwg8K5rARDYqzfj8DraZnzyfr_TPLGDJQJMr6W8YmHMkjOgGu-mDN4HyYxwQfB2XrJPMfsRZQfJHGG6IRhaBH9KRt2vMS5JqHoWsnxJ5MtNgN6&s=1#2709

Horse Poops in McDonald’s

From the Mirror:

“Come on darling, we’re going for a hack-Donald’s – and I’d like my burger well-dung…

A woman and her daughter trotted into the drive-thru section of a fast food ­restaurant on horseback for a takeaway, but when staff refused to serve them the mum took her animal inside – where it had a poo on the floor as disgusted diners looked on.

Police were called and the woman was handed a fixed penalty notice for “causing alarm and distress” to customers.

Workers and visitors had looked on in ­amazement when the horse and pony first arrived at the McDonald’s in Whitefield, Greater Manchester.

But their astonishment turned to fury as the woman, who has not been identified, dragged her fully tacked-up beast into the restaurant and it left a smelly souvenir.

Greater Manchester Police said: “Staff had refused to serve the women due to company policy. The women then took the horse into the restaurant who ended up doing his ­business on the floor.

“The sight and smell of this caused obvious distress and upset to customers trying to eat, as well as staff members. Officers arrived at the location and woman was issued a fixed penalty notice.”

McDonald’s drive-thru staff are not allowed to serve riders in the saddle over fears the horse could be spooked by cars and bolt.

A spokeswoman said: “The incident caused distress and disruption.

The health and safety of customers and staff is our top priority. For this reason we are unable to serve ­pedestrians, bike riders or customers on horseback at the drive-thru.”

These riders canter know the rules…

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mcdonalds-staff-ban-horse-rider-using-2073427

McDonald’s Says They Didn’t Fire Mom That Let Kid Play at Park

So did they or didn’t they?

From Business Insider:

McDonald’s denies that it has fired Debra Harrell, who was arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play at a park while she worked her shift at the fast food restaurant.

Harrell’s lawyer, Robert Verner Phillips, told Business Insider on Tuesday that the woman was fired from her job last week. He said at the time that he did not know the reason for her firing. We have reached out to Phillips for more information and will update when we know more.

Debra Harrell, 46, was arrested July 1 and charged with unlawful neglect of a child after she dropped her daughter off at the park on her way to work and someone called the police to report that the girl was left unattended.

Harrell, a single mother, was released from jail on bond the day after her arrest and temporarily lost custody of her child.

In a previous interview, Phillips told Business Insider that Harrell typically brought her daughter to work during her day shifts, where the girl would play on a laptop. But Harrell’s house was recently burglarized and the laptop was stolen, so the girl asked if she could play at a nearby park instead.

Harrell gave her daughter permission to go to the park — which was a six minute walk from her home — and gave her a cell phone so she could call her if she needed anything, according to Phillips.

For three days, Harrell dropped her daughter off at the park in the morning on her way to work. It was on the third day that the police were called.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-fires-debra-harrell-2014-7

Carjacker Drives Through McDonald’s Drive Through

This guy is taking the term “drive through” a bit too literally.

From Washington Post:

A carjacker stole an SUV early Tuesday, hit two vehicles during his getaway and crashed into a McDonald’s drive-through in Hyattsville, a Prince George’s County police said.

The man, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Dominique Tyrone Harrison who has no fixed address, was in police custody as of 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, said Cpl. Maria McKinney, a department spokeswoman. Harrison was taken to an area hospital for minor injuries, she said. There were no other reports of injuries.

McKinney said authorities got a 5:11 a.m. call about a car in a McDonald’s in the 6200 block of Annapolis Road. Authorities said employees were inside the fast-food restaurant at the time of the accident but no one was injured.

More at source: http://m.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/prince-georges-police-arrest-carjacker-after-crash-at-mcdonalds-drive-through/2014/07/29/e11b290c-1708-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

Joe Namath’s Daughter Weds Former Hamburglar Caught Robbing McDonald’s

From gossipextra.com:

He was arrested at least seven times here since 2006 on charges that went from possession of marijuana and cocaine to driving with a suspended license and reckless operation of a boat.

In June 2006, he pleaded guilty to armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Wearing a white tee over his head and gloves, Baker and an accomplice attacked a McDonald’s near his home on Indiantown Road and forced the manager to open a safe.

They escaped with $10,000 but were nabbed hours later at a gas station.

Bride Olivia, meanwhile, had her brush with the law in 2010, when Jupiter cops stopped her for speeding in a Mercedes.

In the trunk, the lawmen found enough pot to charge her with possession with intent to sell.

Because the arrest was her first, Olivia was placed in a pre-trial intervention program and the state didn’t pursue charges.

We reached out to Joe Namath to ask about the nuptials but he has yet to return the calls.

Source: http://gossipextra.com/2014/07/28/joe-namath-daughter-gets-married-3961/

Moscow Watchdog Group Also Investigating McDonald’s Cheese Due to Antibiotics

In more positive news, McDonald’s will still have plenty of napkins and wrappers for sale at their Russian locations.

From the Moscow Times:

Hot on the heels of accusations that McDonald’s was misleading customers about the nutritional value of its products, Russia’s food safety watchdog on Monday said it has opened an investigation into the cheese used by the chain.

The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control Service “has intensified monitoring of residual amounts of tetracycline antibiotics in cheese supplied to Russia, including McDonald’s in Russia,” the agency’s head, Sergei Dankvert, told Itar-Tass.

Most of the cheese used by McDonald’s in Russia comes from German and Czech suppliers, he said.

Food import restrictions have become the retaliatory measure of choice for the Russia in the face of Western sanctions over its alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict. It has also used them against former Soviet republics that have sought closer ties with the European Union.

Last week, Moscow said it was banning all Ukrainian dairy and dairy-containing imports starting Monday, citing health concerns.

The latest investigation should take two to three weeks to complete, Dankvert said.

McDonald’s came under fire on Friday, when the Federal Consumer Protection Service said it had “identified violations that put the product quality and safety of the entire McDonald’s chain in doubt,” Interfax reported.

A Moscow court said the regulator asked it to outlaw the production and sale of certain McDonald’s products following an inspection last June, Reuters reported.

The consumer rights agency said the energy values of the chain’s Royal Cheeseburgers, Filet-o-Fish, Cheeseburgers and Chicken Burgers were inaccurate, as were the nutritional values of its milkshakes and ice creams. The agency also said it found coliform bacteria in Caesar wrap sandwiches and salads.

A court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13, though McDonald’s told Reuters on Friday that it has received no official notice from the consumer watchdog and was unaware of an impending lawsuit.

Source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/watchdog-opens-investigation-into-mcdonald-s-cheese-/504155.html

Moscow Watchdog Group Seeks McDonald’s Burger Ban

McDonald’s burgers and shakes could become the latest victims of worsening ties between Moscow and Washington after a Russian consumer watchdog agency accused the U.S. chain of sanitary violations.
McDonald’s Corp, which opened its first Russian restaurant in Moscow in 1990, became an iconic symbol of flourishing American capitalism during the fall of the Soviet Union.
But its Golden Arches may be in the Kremlin’s crosshairs as ties between Moscow and Washington have fallen to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War with consecutive rounds of U.S. sanctions over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
“We have identified violations that put the product quality and safety of the entire McDonald’s chain in doubt,” Anna Popova, head of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, was quoted as saying on Friday by Inetrfax.
The watchdog has previously been accused of acting in the political interests of the Kremlin, banning Georgian wine as Tbilisi strengthened ties with Washington and spirits from Moldova after the former Soviet republic boosted its drive to partner with the European Union.
A Moscow court told Reuters a regional branch of the watchdog had asked it to declare production and sales of some McDonald’s products illegal after the watchdog agency carried out inspections of McDonald’s restaurants last June.
The regulator says the company is deceiving consumers about the energy value of its Cheeseburger Royales, Filet-o-Fish, Cheeseburgers and Chicken Burgers and about nutritional value of its milkshakes and ice creams.
Its also said in a statement that Caesar wrap sandwiches and a vegetable salad were contaminated with coliform bacteria, which indicates the likelihood of food poisoning.
McDonald’s, which boasts of long lines at its restaurants across Moscow, some of which sit in view of the Kremlin, said it had not received any complaint from the regulator and had no information about the lawsuit.
“For the 25 years that McDonald’s has been working in the Russian market, its main priority has been to provide quality and safe products to our visitors,” the company said by email.
It added that its calculations of energy and nutritional value were based on the methodologies approved by a Russian state institution.
The court will hold a preliminary hearing on Aug. 13 with the key hearing likely to be scheduled for September, the court’s spokeswoman said.
McDonald’s operates about 400 restaurants in Russia and sees the country as one of its top seven major markets outside the United States and Canada, according to its 2013 annual report.
The fast-food chain has often become subject to boycotts in various countries to oppose U.S. actions. In 2003, French boycotted McDonald’s to protest against the war in Iraq.
In April, some Russian politicians called for all McDonald’s outlets in the country to be shut after the company closed its restaurants in Crimea, whose annexation by Russia in March triggered U.S. and European sanctions.

Source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russian-agency-seeks-ban-on-mcdonalds-burgers-ice-cream/504066.html