Legal Reader: Marick Masters on McDonald's workers’ strike

A demonstration organization by union leaders was held outside of a Detroit McDonald’s this month at which employees were demanding an increase to $15 per hour wages “and an easier path to unionizing fast-food workers” on a larger scale. The group, led by the Service Employees International Union, included approximately 300 people who marched the blocks surrounding the location chanting, “We work, we sweat, put $15 in our check” and “If we don’t get it, shut it down.” Labor experts say organizing on a larger scale is difficult for many reasons, including the high employee turnover rate and franchised structure.  This makes it only possible to organize one location at a time. “You are technically only able to organize and form a bargaining unit with the franchise – not with the corporation that oversees all of them as a whole,” said Marick Masters, a professor at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business.

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