Fast Food Workers, McDonald’s, and the NLRB

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

This week, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that McDonald’s – the parent corporation – can be held liable along with McDonald’s – individual franchisees – for labor and wage violations.  This ruling changes 30 years of precedent and is likely to be appealed. The employees seeking redress were backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

A number of demographic and economic trends provide the backdrop to this ruling:

Trend #1: MORE Fast Food Consumption (especially since 1970)

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

Trend #2: LOW Pay for Food Preparation and Serving Workers (the lowest of all occupation categories)

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

Trend #3: INCREASING Income Gaps Between U.S. Households (particularly since 1980)

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

Trend #4: CEO Pay RISING SHARPLY Compared to Worker Pay (especially in the fast food industry since 2008)

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

Trend #5: DECLINING Union Membership (by private sector workers since 1950 as manufacturing has shifted to service)

fast food, fast food workers, fast food consumption, NLRB, wage and labor violations, unfair labor practices, SEIU, McDonald's, franchises, inequality, CEO pay, union membership, fast food worker pay

by: Palma Joy Strand

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