McDonald’s labor decision is important for workers in the US
Last month, the general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which settles labor disputes in the U.S., decided for the first time that when considering labor complaints at McDonald’s franchises, it would deem the chain jointly responsible. A variety of observers have noted how this is an important breakthrough for fast food workers — one that prevents the multinational corporation from palming off labor abuses on bad-apple franchisees. But the implications are much wider than that...Today a huge number of people...work in jobs that are temporary, freelance or outsourced...Our labor laws have yet to catch up to this new reality. Yet employees’ ability to form collective organizations, protect their rights and create fair working standards is directly connected to how we resolve this issue...The issue of employer of record — finding out which boss to hold accountable when there are multiple employers...is central in determining whether working people are able to organize in our new economy. If we are ever to bring legal protections in line with today’s economy, expanding on the McDonald’s decision and rejecting corporations’ efforts to evade responsibility for labor abuses must be a first step...As a next step, labor law needs to catch up to conditions that working people in the U.S. have put up with for decades.