Labor organizers are opening a new front in their campaign for a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers by aiming to mobilize an unusual ally: franchisees.
The Service Employees International Union plans to announce Thursday that it is launching a website in hopes of building a national network of fast-food franchisees who want stronger protections for their businesses. The push has the potential to create more unrest within the ranks for companies like McDonald’s, which are already dealing with ongoing demonstrations calling for higher pay and a union for workers.
The outreach to franchisees is just the latest move in a campaign to win pay of $15 an hour and a union for fast-food workers. The effort began in late 2012 and involves a range of tactics intended to build pressure on McDonald’s, including demonstrations in a growing number of cities and multiple lawsuits on behalf of workers in the U.S. and abroad.
Here’s a suggestion: If a franchisee really wants to help the SEIU against fast-food corporations, perhaps the first steps should be to raise their own employees’ wages to $15 an hour and let the SEIU take over their own franchises first.
Then, by being the SEIU’s guinea pigs, everyone in America can see how well that works out for the franchisee and its employees.