U.S. union leaders said on Friday that a landmark U.S. labor board ruling on companies' obligations toward contract and franchise workers would help them organize manufacturers and e-commerce companies as well as fast food chains.
By: Reuters | August 29, 2015 7:46 PM
U.S. union leaders said on Friday that a landmark U.S. labor board ruling on companies’ obligations toward contract and franchise workers would help them organize manufacturers and e-commerce companies as well as fast food chains.
Unions see the decision as a breakthrough not just in efforts to help employees organizes at franchisees of McDonald’s Corp and other chains but also as a tool to counter the proliferation of subcontracting in other industries in which workers are one or two steps removed from the companies indirectly controlling them.
Big labor has focused much of its resources over the past few years on pushing for higher wages in the fast-food industry, and the Browning-Ferris ruling could have implications for an ongoing NLRB case seeking to hold McDonald accountable as a “joint employer” for alleged violations at franchisees.
Rand Wilson, a veteran organizer and a communications and policy director at a Massachusetts chapter of the Services Employees International Union, said he saw potential in warehousing, cleaning services and health care.
It was a local branch of the Teamsters that originally brought the complaint about a union election at the Browning-Ferris recycling plant to the labor relations board, and the union has been active in organizing truck drivers and warehouse workers at delivery companies and tech firms.
“The litigation strategy is somewhere between challenging and nonexistent, and of course the NLRB knows that,” said Michael Layman, a vice-president at the International Franchise Association on Friday.