TIME Labor

Labor Board Ruling Could Boost Fast Food Unions

Customers are served at a McDonald's in Times Square in New York on July 23, 2015.
Brendan McDermid—Reuters Customers are served at a McDonald's in Times Square in New York on July 23, 2015.

The ruling will make it easier for workers to bargain with their parent company

A new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board will make it easier for labor unions to bargain for higher pay.

Under the ruling, a parent company that hires a contractor is considered a joint employer of the workers at its facilities even if it has only indirect control over working conditions, the New York Times reports. This means a union representing the workers could bargain with the parent company itself, not just the contractor. In other words, this ruling makes it easier for workers at McDonald’s to negotiate with the corporation, not just the individual McDonald’s location where they work.

Previously, the parent company would have had to directly oversee its employees to be considered a joint employer.

“This is about, if employees decide they want to bargain collectively, who can be required to come to the bargaining table to have negotiations that are meaningful,” said Wilma B. Liebman, a former N.L.R.B. chairwoman.

Not all are in support of the decision; some worry it could de-incentivize opening franchise businesses by taking control away from the smaller employers.


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