Union-Busting: Six Fired After Demanding Sick Days for Fast-Food Workers
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In an interview earlier this month with National Restaurant News, Mike Mulligan explained that the company’s opposition to paid sick days and the other demands of the union “are consistent with the industry in which we operate … When I say, ‘The things for which you’re asking are not done in the industry in which we’re competing,’ the [union says], ‘Yeah, that’s the problem. We’re going to start with you and revolutionize the industry.’”
In many countries, paid sick days are a constitutional right. According to an Institute for Health & Social Policy study, 127 countries guarantee at least a week of paid sick days per year. 98 of these guarantee a month or more. In the U.S., however, 39 percent of private sector workers have no paid sick days, including 78 percent of those in the bottom 10 percent of wage earners (where most fast food workers are concentrated).
The Jimmy John’s Workers’ Union has announced that it will file unfair labor practices charges with the NLRB over the firings. Supporters organized a call-in day on Wednesday, March 23 to the Mulligans to demand both reinstatement of the six workers and paid sick days. Pickets at Jimmy John’s locations are being planned throughout the week.
The Mulligans did not respond to texts or phone calls for this article.
Dan DiMaggio is a freelance writer, temp worker and activist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His writings have appeared in Monthly Review, Truthout, and Dollars & Sense.