Fight Against Joint Employer Will be 'Long, Arduous, Costly': Caldeira
“You either punch and counterpunch, or you get your rear end handed to you,” declared Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association, over lunch Tuesday with this blogger at The Bank restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.
He was visiting in part to attend a Great Clips meeting of franchisees at the franchisor’s corporate headquarters, in suburban Minneapolis. “This is the moment for the IFA to prove its worth,” he told Franchise Times.
Caldeira was speaking about the fight against the National Labor Relations Board’s naming McDonald’s as a “joint employer,” which the board officially did in December, saying the franchisor was responsible along with its franchisees for alleged labor violations.
The next big date for those cases is March 30, when a set of hearings begins in Manhattan over the complaints—13 of them involving 78 charges, including discriminatory discipline, reductions in hours, discharges and other “coercive conduct directed at employees in response to union and protected concerted activity,” as the NLRB alleges.
To Caldeira, the actions by the NLRB, and protests to raise the minimum wage playing out around the country, are really attempts by the Service Employees International Union to unionize restaurants.
“The model will prevail,” Caldeira said about franchising, “but it’s going to be a long, arduous, costly process.” He defended his aggressive stance against organized labor, and the association’s focus on the joint employer cases.
“If you don’t fix joint employer, with all due respect to the other issues, they simply don’t matter,” Caldeira said.