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McDonald's Settlement Could Open Door for Worker Wins Nationwide


McDonald's Settlement Could Open Door for Worker Wins Nationwide

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Burger behemoth McDonald's has reportedly reached a settlement with hundreds of franchise employees in California, which campaigners and attorneys are saying could be a precedent-setting development in the fight for fair wages.

In the settlement, revealed in a Friday filing in a U.S. district court in San Francisco, McDonald's agreed to pay a total of $3.75 million in back pay and legal fees to roughly 800 employees of five restaurants owned by a single franchisee, Smith Family LP.


The only ones who should be celebrating about this-- even a little-- are the individual recipients. With an average wage of nine dollars an hour, and assuming a 30 hour work week, each person will get $4700, which works out to less than 18 weeks wages. Useful pocket change for sure, but not exactly enough to lift them from the ranks of the working poor.

$3.75 million is a drop in the bucket for McDonalds. The idea here was to write it off as the cost of doing business, as the amount of money that was defrauded (and almost certainly continues to be) is much more than that figure. By settling rather than taking it to trial, they avoid the negative public relations repercussions of a verdict not in their favor. All in all, it seems like money well spent.

Jeezus H. Christ. We deserve a damn break today...


I'm afraid you're right. Don't forget the lawyers' cut. But let's celebrate the victory and hold them to the full implications. The wall is cracked. The NLRB will make the crack a gate. And soon there will be a little more justice.


Hey everybody! Today (11-01-16) is International Vegan Day (I am not making this up!). Everybody celebrate by passing up the McDonald's restaurant in favor of some carrot and celery sticks with a side of Balsamic vinegarette dressing. Ummm yummy!


Keep in mind that the issue was less about the money than about the legal issue of whether McDonalds was responsible for the labor issues of its individual franchises. Having that addressed by a court to the affirmative is indeed a pretty big deal - as it allows the possibility for national (and even international) union organizing for lots of companies where it was impossible in the past.


So in 24 hours there have been four comments - three of them on-topic.

The reader-commenter response to labor news on Commondreams is always poor. I presume that it is a reflection of either the totally-off-the-radar state of labor and union organizing today, or the class interests on the readership.