May 5, 2015

Always on the wrong side of every issue, the Washington Free Beacon is taking the side of franchise owners who wish to skim money from the paychecks of their minimum wage-earning employees.

Veteran management-side labor attorneys say franchise businesses are facing a “perfect storm” of assault from labor regulators and unions.

The franchise model, in which small business owners pay corporations such as McDonald’s to operate under the brand, face pressure from labor giants like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and scrutiny from the Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

What they are really trying to say is that they are upset the government will step in and try to mitigate the unholy practice of wage theft and paying employees even less than minimum wage.

Here's why they are so upset:

The NLRB has long considered franchise operators and corporate brands to be separate entities as long as franchisees control operations of employee relations, such as scheduling, hiring, and pay. NLRB General Counsel and former union attorney Richard Griffin broke with that precedent when he held McDonalds liable for the actions of its franchisees in 2014.

The right-wingers are all about "right to work" (for less) and are anti-union, because owners of businesses should be able to pay workers any amount they choose. You know how those let the market decide Libertarians can be.

Griffin has issued complaints naming the McDonald’s Corporation as a “joint employer” of workers at independent franchises, a win for unions in their efforts to get the NLRB to hold franchisers liable for labor violations by independent franchisee restaurant owners. This theft conspires to pickpocket McDonald’s corporate deep pockets

It's not pickpocketing, it's called paying people their fair paycheck and not skimming hours off each day an employee clocks in. The privileged writers at the Free Beacon, all of whom were born on third base, want to protect their billionaire buddies while they perpetuate and grow the class of the working poor. The reality is:

The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)...In 2012, $933 million was paid in back wages for wage theft violations, although that figure is an under-count because there were six state departments of labor and five attorneys general the organization couldn’t contact.
Compare that to the less than $350 million stolen in all robberies, including from banks, residences, stores, and on the street in 2012. That’s not just the figure for those that were solved, but for any robbery simply reported to the police.

Sorry, WFB, I won't be shedding any tears for thieving franchisees who want to cheat hard-working employees. It seems these callous people would like to bring us back to the days of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Of course this conservative sham of a newspaper is happy to help the thieving 0.1% class that butters their bread.

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