A decision by the National Labor Relations Board that was taken yesterday might start a new era of unionization in the fast food industry. Unions might find it easier to organize workers and bargain with the management for better working conditions and better pay. The ruling that has been issued is in favor of unions that work for the workers in the fast food industry which are large multinationals that are taken up as franchise businesses across the world. The companies in these matters claim that, the franchise owners have control over the pay, firing and hiring decisions and not the parent company.
The ruling that was given out yesterday makes it easier for workers to bargain directly with the large multinationals like McDonalds. Many groups that lobby to an an increase of the minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour and to allow workers to unionize without fear find that they need to directly speak to the management like in the case of McDonalds. The parent company lays down, all rules, from the speed at which drive through services need to be executed to how the customer’s bags need to be folded. Hence, the parent company needs to take accountability for employees that are working at its different franchise outlets.
The owners of restaurant associations are against the decision taken by the NLRB. They feel that job growth will be stifled if unionization is made easier and workers can place their demands in an organized manner. Many owners feel that the NLRB is moving away from its main focus of helping to enforce labor standards and is creating policies that can stifle job opportunities and growth in the market.
The same sentiments are being reverberated across cities. Millions of workers who work for chains like Burger King or McDonald’s are enthusiastic about the ruling that the National Labor Relations Board issued on Thursday, 27th August, 2015.
The ruling happened when a case was being discussed involving a staffing company and a waste management organization. The issue involved identifying the employer which often comes into conflict in many regards, especially in outsourced employment matters. The ruling is now considered with its broader meaning that can be applied by unions in fast food companies. Here too, there is a conflict of who assumes the main employer role, the parent company or the franchise outlet owner. The companies usually pass over the control over matters of pay, hiring and firing of workers to the franchise outlets. This in turn makes it difficult for the workers to form a union for a restaurant chain.