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McDonald's Labor Practices More Harmful Than Its Food

McDonald's has super-sized its anti-union ways.

When it comes to McDonald's, I'm NOT lovin' it.  Don Thompson, President of McDonald's USA, issued a memo to the company's 2,400 franchisees at the end of November, urging them to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. This legislation, as I've written previously, is vitally important for employees nationwide to obtain better wages, benefits, and working conditions.  To make matters worse, McDonald's has even super-sized its anti-union ways by forming an internal response team to enable franchisees to "actively participate in the opposition to EFCA."

It seems that McDonald's labor practices are more harmful than the food it serves.  The fast-food chain employs over 600,000 people in our country -- many of whom make less than $10 an hour -- and yet the company is thriving during this recession; CEO James Skinner made over $13 million last year alone.  So why can't McDonald's afford to allow workers to unionize?

Perhaps the most feeble excuse comes from lobbyist slimeball Rick Berman, who said the Employee Free Choice Act "is a huge threat to fast food and has the ability to impact the long-term health of the industry." Berman should know better than to associate the words "fast food" and "health," just as McDonald's corporate should know better than to pick a fight on an issue that President-elect Obama has made a legislative priority for 2009

In the meantime, you can tell McDonald's to give workers the free choice to unionize by dropping them a quick note on the SEIU's site. 

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
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