Labor Practices: McDonald’s

With the control that McDonald’s has on its franchises’ operations, labor organizers say the giant fast food chain is liable to its employees – as they set terms on how restaurants should be run, including the menus, training materials, supplies, and uniforms to be used.

Now, these labor groups want their pay hiked to $15 per hour, and the right to unionize.

On the other hand, McDonald’s says that they don’t determine wages at franchised locations. Yet the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) suggested that the fast food chain could be named as joint employer in several complaints regarding worker rights.


But the International Franchise Association which represents the franchisees rejected the NLRB’s joint employer suggestion saying “small business owners would lose control of the operations and equity they worked so hard to build.”

Then again, aren’t they already losing control?

If people from the corporate office would just routinely monitor their operations first hand.. even checking on drive-thru turnovers while constantly pressuring franchises to cut costs – don’t you think franchises already lost control and corporate McDonald’s is indeed a joint employer in itself?

For leaders and readers, what would we get anyway if we meddle in this McDonald’s affair?

Well, we would be opening a can of worms.. a crack in the country’s esteemed employment structure.. and a realization that business is just.. really business, even in the U.S. – that fairness is simply incidental in many establishments. This explains the increasing gap of the rich and poor.

If you see business will really lose money in giving out a $15 per hour wage then show your uncorrupted data.

For as business leaders ourselves, we even often hear social responsibility.. so? Okay, business is not charity but if we are only empathetic in words then we lose credibility to our business’ real asset – our people.

What’s your take?