Posted 1 hour ago

Suzanne was one of the Bellevue fast food strikers. #fightfor15 #strikepoverty

Posted 2 weeks ago

We Are Rising

Seattle won $15 but the movement to strike poverty isn’t over yet. The International Franchise Association is suing to overturn our minimum wage law because they think it’s not fair to McDonald’s, and Tim Eyman wants more than $1 million to try and take away the power cities have to raise wages.

The fast food workers who led the way to $15 aren’t stopping either. We are rising, and there’s no turning back.

Click here to send workers a message of support.

On Wednesday, September 10th, local fast food workers have committed to do whatever it takes to defend our victory in Seattle and expand the fight to the hundreds of thousands of others in our state and across the country who can’t support themselves on poverty wages.

Inspired by the example of other struggles for justice, many are willing to risk arrest in peaceful civil disobedience.

We can’t tell you all the details yet, but stay tuned. We will be live-tweeting and posting photos to Instagram on Wednesday, September 10th. If you don’t follow us on Twitter or Instagram, now is your chance.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Raising the minimum wage without raising havoc

SeaTac, Wash., boosted its minimum wage to $15 nine months ago — and the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Attention journalists: internet comments about tipping aren’t a story

The Seattle Weekly has a story out this week with your usual journalism-lite helping of mean quotes about tipping (breaking: people on the internet really hate tips), but person-with-a-comment remains a pretty sorry way to look at the issue of tips, wages, and poverty. Or to look at… anything. 

So, to all you journalists out there, here’s some actual data: In nearby Idaho, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $3.35/hour. (In much of the country, it’s $2.13.) Here in Washington it’s of course $9.32/hour. So do servers in Spokane report lower tips or lower income than in Couer D’Alene? NO, THEY DO NOT. Because there is zero evidence beyond snitty internet comments that tips are a response of wage levels. The Bureau of Labor Statistics actually collects data on servers’ income (including tips) — a better resource to consult than the bitter comments of a few restaurant owners still angry they lost the public debate in Seattle.

Furthermore, every city & state which has raised the minimum wage for tipped workers has seen total incomes for servers increase. That’s true in Washington, true in Oregon, true in San Francisco, and will be true in Seattle as $15 phases in. No matter what restaurant owners and their lobby groups like to say, paying tipped workers more money means more money for those workers.

Of course it does.

Posted 1 month ago

Microsoft Ditches ALEC In Latest Blow To Conservative Group

Another company leaves the secretive lobbying group behind such gems as “Stand Your Ground” and “Right to Work.”

Posted 1 month ago

Guest Editorial: It's a McWedding and I'm Lovin' It

McDonald’s and their franchisees already share responsibility for working conditions and wages. So the wedding ceremony we threw them inside the Denny triangle McDonald’s just made it official. Check out our op-ed published in PubliCola!

Posted 1 month ago

think-progress:

Refreshing!

Finally some sense. This is because activists shed a light on Walgreens attempt and shouted it down!

Posted 1 month ago

A forever-commitment of McDonald’s and Franchisees

McDonald’s Corporation and franchisees tie the knot, take joint responsibility for employees

mcdonaldsfranchiseewedding

In a intimate ceremony held in the Denny Triangle neighborhood this morning, McDonald’s Corporation was formally betrothed to its franchisees, marking the long-awaited Federal recognition of their status as joint employers. (The couple is registered in Federal district court, where their lobby group is suing to block the $15 minimum wage, and also at the New York Stock Exchange, where they’re worth billions of dollars.)

The most beautiful moment came when McDonald’s Corporation was asked “Do you recognize the franchisees and their half-million employees as your lawfully-joined partner?" and choking away the tears, they responded with a heartfelt "I do".

The vows were also touching:

I, McDonald’s Corporation, a multibillion-dollar Oak Brook, Illinois based global enterprise do hereby promise to cherish my Franchisee, by providing extensive rules, regulations, and investments. For richer or for even richer, in sick-days or in health, in lawsuits and in lobbyists, as long as we both are incorporated.

The franchisees made similar vows:

I, Franchisee, do hereby promise to love, honor, and especially obey, McDonald’s, following all of their rules. For richer or for even richer, in sick-days or in health, in lawsuits and in lobbyists, as long as we both are incorporated.

The words of the officiant are also worth savoring:

Who here had a feeling this was going to happen ever since McDonald’s first started seeing its franchisees more than a half-century ago? Raise your hands if you just *knew* these two were really one. They’re so much the same, when they lock eyes, it’s like looking in the mirror!

What’s incredible is that over the years, their relationship has only grown stronger. Even today, every time there’s a corporate inspector in a store — and that happens a *lot* — you can see this special glint in their eyes.

It’s not just about ensuring adherence to an encyclopedic list of rules and procedures — it’s about history, and togetherness. And consistency.

The relationship between these two is so strong that everywhere you go, when its McDonald’s and a franchisee united, things are EXACTLY THE SAME. The food, the advertising, the working conditions, the training, the scheduling system. EXACTLY THE SAME.

That’s true intimacy, and that’s really something.

So we stand here today underneath these golden wedding arches not to unite McDonald’s and its franchisees. No, that time has long since passed.

We stand here ready to gorge ourselves on the meal of happiness because today, they can bring their love out of the alleyways where Hamburglars roam.

We no longer need grimace because the Federal government this week has taken yet another grand step forward in recognizing true love, pronouncing that McDonald’s and its franchisees can be treated as one. And that’s something worth celebrating.

Just a year ago, while the love and the relationship between McDonald’s and its franchisees were exactly the same as today, this ceremony may not have been possible in the eyes of the Federal government.

Sure, they made time to get away together at International Franchise Association events — just think, they’ve been sharing a DC lobby group this whole time, of course we all knew about them! But they weren’t quite ready to come out into the open.

Like in all relationships, they even argued sometimes.

When workers went on strike against poverty wages, McDonald’s would point the finger at franchisees and say they didn’t have any power. Then the franchisees would point the finger right back at McDonald’s and say they couldn’t afford it. Oh those two & their little spats!

There are arguments in every relationship. And most relationships don’t come with an operations manual. But this one does. Several, actually.

There’s a franchise agreement, and there are long and extremely detailed appendices, and there are training procedures, and grill and fryer and inventory operations manuals, and real estate contracts, and advertising agreements, and scheduling software. It’s thousands of pages. Spells the whole thing out. No room for error.

It’s really an extraordinary way to be together, and it says a whole lot about them.

So let’s supersize this relationship!

Posted 1 month ago
#TBT Minimum Wage Edition. 1923. Sound familiar?

"No greater calamity could befall the wage earners of the 
country than to have the legislative power to fix wages upheld… 
It will logically, if persisted in, end in social disorder and revolution.”

—Opinion by District Court Justice Van Orsdel that declared a Washington D.C. minimum wage law invalid.

#TBT Minimum Wage Edition. 1923. Sound familiar?

"No greater calamity could befall the wage earners of the 
country than to have the legislative power to fix wages upheld… 
It will logically, if persisted in, end in social disorder and revolution.”
—Opinion by District Court Justice Van Orsdel that declared a Washington D.C. minimum wage law invalid.
Posted 1 month ago

Fast food workers score a big win against McDonald’s

McDonald’s can no longer get away with reaping all the benefits and the profits while saddling their franchises with all the risks and the costs.