U.S. labour board approves McDonald's bid to settle case by franchise workers

By Daniel Wiessner (Reuters) - A U.S.

Reuters December 13, 2019 04:07:00 IST
U.S. labour board approves McDonald's bid to settle case by franchise workers

US labour board approves McDonalds bid to settle case by franchise workers

By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) - A U.S. labour board on Thursday approved McDonald's Corp's proposed settlement of a major case, allowing the fast-food company to avoid a ruling on whether it is a “joint employer” at its franchises and could be made to bargain with unions.

The National Labor Relations Board said the settlement, which will bring an end to a sprawling case first brought in 2012, was fair and would provide "a full remedy" to workers who claimed they were disciplined or fired for advocating for better working conditions.

The settlement allows McDonald’s to avoid being held liable when franchisees violate federal labour law.

The workers who brought the case, along with union-backed organizing group Fight for $15, claimed McDonald's disciplined or fired them for participating in nationwide strikes and protests calling for higher wages.

The group, now known as Fight for $15 and a Union, said in a statement that it planned to appeal the decision.

"McDonald's is walking away with a get-out-of-jail-free card after illegally retaliating against low-paid workers who were fighting to be paid enough to feed their families," the group said.

Illinois-based McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fight for $15 also said the NLRB decision may be invalid because board member William Emanuel, an appointee of President Donald Trump, took part despite his past work at a law firm that advised McDonald's on some of the practices at issue in the case.

McDonald's in the settlement proposed paying between $20 and $50,000 to individual workers. But an NLRB judge last year agreed with Fight for $15 that the proposal was inadequate and lacked important details.

The NLRB in a 2-1 decision on Thursday said the settlement was reasonable and would allow both sides to avoid more costly litigation in the case.

Business groups have said that a ruling that McDonald’s was a joint employer could upend the franchising model by making franchisors more vulnerable to lawsuits and requiring them to bargain with unions representing franchise workers. The NLRB earlier this year proposed a rule that would make it more difficult to prove that companies are joint employers.

The International Franchise Association praised Thursday's decision, saying it brings an end to years of uncertainty for franchise businesses.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.