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A Victory for the IWW against Jimmy John's

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2011
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      NLRB: Local Jimmy John’s Owner Violated Labor Laws

      The National Labor Relations Board found that Minnetrista-based Jimmy
      John’s franchisee MikLin Enterprises violated labor laws when it fired
      six employees for engaging in union activities.

      Federal regulators have found that local Jimmy John’s franchisee MikLin
      Enterprises, Inc., violated workers’ rights when it fired six employees
      in March for engaging in union activities, according to an announcement
      made Wednesday.

      The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sided with the workers by
      issuing a complaint against the Minnetrista-based franchisee, which owns
      10 restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. The complaint was
      issued in response to unfair labor accusations launched by members of
      the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)—an international labor union
      with which some Jimmy John’s workers are affiliated.

      The IWW filed the complaint after the workers were fired after they
      distributed roughly 3,000 posters and protested the company’s sick-day
      policy. The posters depicted two identical sandwiches, stating that one
      sandwich was made by a healthy Jimmy John’s employee, while the other
      was made by a sick worker—implying that the restaurant’s sick-day policy
      causes employees to attend work while ill, which could jeopardize
      customers’ health.

      Mike Mulligan, president of MikLin Enterprises, told Twin Cities
      Business in March that the posters crossed the line of what is protected
      under NLRB regulations. “These posters are false and misleading at best,
      and in the view of our company, they are defamatory, disparaging, and
      dishonest,” he said at the time.

      However, the NLRB found that the poster protest was an organizing
      activity protected by federal labor laws, according to the Star Tribune.

      The NLRB also alleges that supervisors at the Jimmy John’s stores owned
      by MikLin Enterprises made disparaging remarks against the fired workers
      on Facebook and threatened to fire workers who support union activity.

      “It’s basically a complete legal victory for us,” Micah Buckley-Farlee,
      one of the fired employees, told the Star Tribune. He added that the IWW
      will propose a settlement with Miklin that includes reinstatement of the
      six workers with back pay.

      Mulligan, however, told the Minneapolis newspaper that his company will
      “vigorously defend” itself against allegations in the NLRB complaint.
      “We don’t believe the union publicity campaign falsely implying that our
      customers are at risk of foodborne illness is protected activity [under
      federal labor laws].”

      If IWW and the franchisee don’t reach a settlement, the NLRB’s complaint
      will be heard by one of the agency’s administrative law judges.

      In October 2010, the restaurants’ workers voted against union
      representation by the IWW, but the NLRB nullified the vote in January,
      giving the union another shot at getting selected to represent the
      workers, according to the Star Tribune.

      —Nataleeya Boss

      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      "From the point of view of the defense of our society,
      there only exists one danger -- that workers succeed in
      speaking to each other about their condition and their
      aspirations _without intermediaries_."
      --Censor (Gianfranco Sanguinetti), _The Real Report on
      the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy_
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