http://www.bluemaumau.org/frontpagestories en Tax Day Worker Strikes Intensify in 236 Cities http://www.bluemaumau.org/14441/tax_day_worker_strikes_236_cities_intensifies <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Dy0gujHwbk8/VTARYgSPdzI/AAAAAAAB8fw/1ta7ng4ME3Y/w1448-h815-no/Atlanta_AM_12%2Bphoto%2Bby%2BSteve%2BEberhardt.jpg" style="width: 680px; height: 383px;" /> <div class="caption">Atlanta Tax Day Protests Photo by Steve Eberhardt, BerlinRosen</div> </div> <p>NEW YORK - Yesterday&#39;s slogan &quot;Fight 4-15&quot; showed unanimity on tax day among not only fast food workers in the United States, but also health, home, child care workers, airport services, retail employees, adjunct professors and students in major cities across the country and globe on raising minimum wage.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>&quot;This is our moment. We are going to change service jobs from ones that drag our economy down into ones that lift up workers, families and communities,&quot; proclaimed Terrence Wide, a 35-year old father of three in Kansas City, Missouri. He works at both McDonald&#39;s and Burger King, while his fianc&eacute;e is employed in the home care sector.</p> <p>For the past two and a half years fast food workers have demonstrated their anger over the low wages they are being paid by walking off their jobs at McDonald&#39;s, Wendy&#39;s, Burger King, KFC, Dunkin&#39; Donuts and other major national restaurant chains all over the country. With unions funding and organizing workers&#39; efforts to raise the minimum wage, the &quot;fight for $15&quot; has caught the attention of the mainstream media and soon spread to sectors outside of the food industry and around the world.</p> <p>Yesterday in New York City, thousands of home care workers wearing white lab coats marched from Columbus Circle to Times Square, boldly announcing their entry into the movement. And Washington, D.C. home care workers announced a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers in the nation&#39;s capital. Boston home care workers also marched through the streets. Their march was also to rally support for new legislation that would create a $15 minimum wage for home care workers across Massachusetts.</p> <p>&quot;The fast-food industry is dominated by a handful of multi-billion-dollar global companies, so we need to have a strong, global movement of workers pushing for better wages, better treatment and better rights,&quot;&nbsp;said&nbsp;Massimo Frattini, the international coordinator of the International Union of Food Workers, which is coordinating the global protests. &quot;By coming together across borders, fast-food workers have an opportunity to transform the industry all over the world.&quot;</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;">McDonald&#39;s may be on hook for allegedly interfering with protests at franchises</span></h3> <p>The protests, stated by unions to be the most widespread mobilization ever by U.S. workers seeking higher pay, came just days after Hillary Clinton announced she was running for president. She promised to confront America&#39;s gaping inequality. In a Reuters report this week, she stated that &quot;American families were still facing financial hardship at a time when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes.&quot;</p> <p>Other politicians were involved in the tax day &quot;Fight 4-15&quot; demonstrations. As fast-food strike lines swelled nationwide, support for workers, who demanded $15 an hour and union rights, was pouring in from the <a href="http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/press-releases/progressive-caucus-supports-lowwage-workers-striking-for-higher-wages/">halls of Congress</a> to the <a href="http://fightfor15.org/april15/main/hong-kong-is-in-the-streets-with-exploiting-vampire-ronald/">streets of Hong Kong</a>. In Oakland, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich <a href="https://twitter.com/fightfor15/status/588399913806864385">led a walkout</a> at McDonald&#39;s with 300 people, shutting down the store and prompting two workers to go on strike. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said, &quot;I want to applaud the workers who are organizing today in the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The truth is that by putting more money into the pockets of workers in underpaid jobs, we can put more money back into our neighborhoods, strengthen the economy and create more good jobs.&quot; U.S. Representative Keith Ellison chimed in with a tweet: &quot;I&#39;m proud to stand with the thousands of workers hitting the streets today and I join them in their call for dignity on the job #FightFor15&quot;</p> <p>In late 2014 after the protests were in full swing, the federal government launched a case against McDonald&#39;s, accusing the world&#39;s largest fast food chain of rampant labor-law violations. The National Labor Relations Board argues that McDonald&#39;s Corporation should be held responsible along with its franchisees for retaliating against striking workers. If the Labor Board determines McDonald&#39;s should be ruled as a &quot;joint employer&quot; because of the control it possesses and exercises over the labor relations policies of McDonald&#39;s franchisees, the ruling could extend into other areas &ndash; union organizing, picketing, boycotting, work stoppages and bargaining with unions.</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;">Franchise Ass&#39;n says less concerned about $15 minimum wage than union power</span></h3> <p>The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the largest unions in the country, has been leading the charge in organizing workers. The organization represents janitors, security guards, hospital aides and nursing home workers. SEIU has bankrolled the campaign, pumping in more than $25M, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.</p> <p>&quot;The movement that fast food cooks and cashiers started has now grown into something much bigger . . . all fighting for a fair shot at a decent life,&quot; declared Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union. She vowed that working people were going to continue &quot;speaking out in the streets, in their communities, and at the ballot box until they raise wages, strengthen the economy, and build a democracy that works for all families.&quot;</p> <p>Henry told <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/15/fight-for-15-minimum-wage-protests-new-york-los-angeles-atlanta-boston">The Guardian</a> yesterday, &quot;There is not a price tag you can put on how this movement has changed the conversation in this country. It is raising wages at the bargaining table. It&#39;s raised wages for 8 million workers. I believe we are forcing a real conversation about how to solve the grossest inequality in our generation. People are sick of wealth at the top and no accountability for corporations.&quot;</p> <p>The report said some 60,000 workers took part in yesterday&#39;s demonstrations according to organizers. The call for $15 an hour minimum wage would more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. &quot;By late afternoon on the east coast no arrests had been reported, a marked contrast to last May&#39;s action when more than 100 people were arrested during a protest outside McDonald&#39;s Chicago headquarters,&quot; the Guardian stated.</p> <p>Last evening on PBS News Hour Steve Caldeira, CEO, president of the International Franchise Association, gave his take on the tax day movement by low wage workers: &quot;First, I think it&#39;s important to state I think what happened today was really less about the minimum wage and more about providing air cover for the Service Employees International Union, which has been behind all these protests.</p> <p>&quot;I think there&#39;s no organic movement in our industry by food service workers. Just this past week, the Department of Labor in forms filed by the SEIU said they spent $18.5 million last year organizing these strikes. So, to me, we can have the minimum wage debate. A lot of cities and municipalities and states have passed that.</p> <p>&quot;But it&#39;s really more about the unions trying to organize. Private sector union membership has been from 35 percent approximately in the mid-&#39;50s to under 7 percent this year.&quot;</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/zees_face_own_problems_mcd_workers_want_higher_minimum_pay">Zees Face Their Own Problems as McD Workers Press for Higher Minimum Pay</a> (Blue MauMau)</li> <li><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/15/fight-for-15-minimum-wage-protests-new-york-los-angeles-atlanta-boston">Fight for $15 Swells into Largest Protest by Low-Wage Workers in U.S. History</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/04/15/the-push-for-higher-wages-is-starting-to-look-like-a-real-movement/">Push for Higher Wages Is Starting to Look Like Real Movement</a> (Wash. Post)</li> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/12/19/labor-board-takes-big-step-toward-helping-all-mcdonalds-employees-unionize/">Labor Board Takes Big Step toward Helping All McDonald&#39;s Employees Unionize</a> (Wash. Post)</li> <li><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/15-save-employees-break-employers/">Would $15 Save Employees but Break Employers?</a> (PBS NewsHour)</li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14441/tax_day_worker_strikes_236_cities_intensifies#comments food fast food worker demonstrations IFA minimum wage SEIU Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:04:14 +0000 Janet Sparks 14441 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Hispanics Visit More Restaurants while Other Groups Drift Away http://www.bluemaumau.org/14440/hispanics_visit_more_restaurants_while_other_races_drift_away <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Spanish language Papa John&#039;s webpage" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/041615_1910_HispanicsVi1-329x185.png" style="height: 185px; width: 329px;" width="329" height="185" /> <div class="caption">Image from Papa John&#39;s Spanish language webpage</div> </div> <p>CHICAGO &mdash; The U.S. Hispanic population is growing exponentially compared to non-Hispanics, and the group&#39;s overall restaurant visits outpaced population growth. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> Last year Hispanics&#39; visits to eateries on a per capita basis increased by 4 percent compared to a 1 percent decline in visits by non-Hispanics, according to the NPD Group&#39;s foodservice market research.</p> <p>The average Hispanic consumer visits to quick service restaurants (QSR) in America were more than the average non-Hispanic consumer. In 2014 Hispanics per capita visits to QSRs increased by 4 percent compared to a 1 percent decline in visits by non-Hispanics. Hispanics use full service restaurants less than non-Hispanics and their per capita visits to these restaurants dropped by 7 percent compared to non-Hispanics who decreased visits by 1 percent last year.</p> <p>In addition to increasing overall visits, Hispanics&#39; per capita spending at U.S. restaurants increased by 4 percent last year, compared to a 3 percent increase for non-Hispanics. Spanish-oriented Hispanics increased their per capita spending by 8 percent, and spent about the same at commercial foodservice outlets as the average Non-Hispanic consumer. Hispanics typically have larger party sizes, more visits with children, which contributes to higher spending.</p> <p>Hispanics in America increased the use of restaurants and their brand-friendly behaviors &mdash; like choosing chains (75 percent Hispanics vs. 62 percent non-Hispanic) and dining out with children more often (40 percent of the time versus 29 percent for non-Hispanics) &mdash; is being recognized by restaurant chains. Chains are investing its marketing dollars to reach them. Papa John&#39;s, a quick service pizza chain with 4600 units in 34 countries around the world, began its Hispanic marketing efforts in 2006 by expanding its 24/7 online ordering capabilities to include a Spanish-language website. In 2014 the chain shifted more of the marketing focus to Hispanic consumers by growing its Spanish-language TV spend to 13 percent of total, Papa John&#39;s now has a consistent presence on national and local Spanish-language TV, according to Univision Communications Inc. The brand&#39;s investment in marketing to Hispanic customers has paid off. Hispanic sales at Papa John&#39;s grew 43 percent, traffic rose 18 percent, average eater checks went up $1.50, and items per eater moved from 2.07 to 2.25, reports NPD&#39;s CREST Hispanic.</p> <p>&quot;We put a Spanish-language strategy in place, but the message hasn&#39;t had to change,&quot; said Papa John&#39;s chief executive officer John Schnatter. &quot;Papa John&#39;s goal of bringing family and friends together resonates with Hispanics who are very focused on getting together with family. Similarly, it wasn&#39;t necessary to change any of our menu items; we just needed to communicate to Hispanics in a way they understood in order to build their confidence in the Papa John&#39;s brand.&quot;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14440/hispanics_visit_more_restaurants_while_other_races_drift_away#comments food trends foodservice research restaurant trends restaurant visit trends Spanish language marketing increases The NPD Group Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:09:40 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14440 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Jersey City Clears First Hurdle to Limit Chain Stores http://www.bluemaumau.org/14424/jersey_city_clears_first_hurdle_limit_chain_stores <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/040815_2354_JerseyCityC1-330x274.jpg" style="height: 274px; width: 330px;" width="330" height="274" /> <div class="caption">Mayor Steve Fulop at ribbon cutting ceremony for Wonder Bages. Photo: mayor&#39;s office</div> </div> <p>JERSEY CITY &ndash; Mayor Steve Fulop&#39;s plan to limit the number of chain stores in downtown Jersey City passed 7 to 1 last night by its planning board. The proposition now moves to the city council for final approval.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The proposal is to limit chain stores from renting large ground-floor retail space, in an attempt to retain &quot;the character&quot; of downtown neighborhoods. A large area of the Waterfront, including Newport, would be exempt, as would grocery stores.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/04/jersey_city_plan_to_limit_chain_stores_downtown_cl.html">The Jersey Journal</a> explained this morning, <span style="color:#363636; background-color:white">&quot;Jersey City would follow in the footsteps of other liberal cities like San Francisco and Nantucket, which put restrictions on where chain stores could open about a decade ago.&quot; </span></p> <p>While Mayor Fulop called for the new rules for the downtown area, he intends to widen the restrictions across Jersey City in the future.</p> <p>An earlier report told that under the draft of the new rule only 30 percent of downtown commercial space could be rented to a business that has 10 other properties within 300 miles of Jersey City. Because many well-known chain stores and restaurants have many more properties than that, the mayor is trying to dramatically limit chain businesses.</p> <p>The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reported that the proposal has angered some developers but has won praise from some local businesses. It said Mayor Fulop explained his plan this way: &quot;Applebee&#39;s isn&#39;t exactly a food destination that attracts people from all over the region. We don&#39;t want every retail space to become a Gap, TGI Friday&#39;s or a Starbucks.&quot; <a href="http://www.dineequity.com/about.html">DineEquity Inc.</a>, owner of Applebee&#39;s in the area, declined to make comment.</p> <p>Advocates, neighborhood activists, urban planners and coalitions of small retailers say regulations maintain the character in neighborhoods and keep rents down for small businesses, the <em>WSJ</em> reported. Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, called the new plan &quot;ridiculous.&quot; He said Mayor Fulop would regret imposing new regulations on businesses. He feels the city&#39;s gains could be reversed. &quot;The last thing you want to be doing is turning away business,&quot; he stated.</p> <p><em>WSJ</em> also reported that Mr. Fulop is eyeing a 2017 bid for governor and intends to sell the city&#39;s story as part of his campaign. It said, &quot;His administration is marketing Jersey City as the best midsize city in the country, spending more than $1 million on an ad campaign.&quot;</p> <p>But Mr. Fulop said limiting chain stores and restaurants would prove to be a smart long-term strategy. &quot;<span style="color:#333333; background-color:white">If you look forward three, four, five years and Jersey City is filled with franchise and formula-based businesses, it would no longer be a place where you would see the continued growth,&quot; he said.</span></p> <p>Franchise attorney Justin Klein of Marks &amp; Klein said he thinks the mayor&#39;s decision to limit what retailers can service that community is not only short-sighted, but counter-intuitive and may be unconstitutional.&nbsp; &quot;What retailers operate in any given community should be dictated by the customers that patronize establishments and the businesses that want to operate there,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>The New Jersey lawyer said he knows there are various areas around the country that have done this or attempted to do this, but Jersey City is exploding right now and to limit any influx of business could be a mistake.&nbsp;&quot;People want their Dunkin&#39; Donuts coffee, and that&#39;s a fact. Jersey City with its proximity to New York City is a great place for young concepts to break into the New York market without paying New York prices,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>The other oversight Klein sees is that chain restaurants are, many times, mom and pop. &quot;Franchise operations may have recognizable signs, but they are owned by people, people that are often very active in their local communities. To neglect residents on things they may want, in any economy, is bad in my opinion,&quot; he said.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles: </strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/04/chain_stores_would_be_limited_in_jersey_city_downt.html">Chain Stores Would Be Limited in Jersey City Downtown under New Rules</a></li> <li> <div style="background: white"><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/04/jersey_city_plan_to_limit_chain_stores_downtown_cl.html">Jersey City Plan to Limit Chain Stores Clears Hurdle</a><span style="color:#323e4f"><strong> </strong></span></div> </li> <li> <div style="background: white"><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=3&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCYQFjAC&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wsj.com%2Farticles%2Fjersey-city-mayor-seeks-to-limit-chain-stores-downtown-1428369339&amp;ei=648lVf37IszUoATIgoCYDQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHvP8cVBxoHG4hJbaaguKgived8_Q&amp;bvm=bv.90491159,d.cGU"><span style="color:#660099">Jersey City Mayor Seeks to Limit Chain Stores Downtown</span></a><span style="color:#222222"> (WSJ)<span style="color:#323e4f"><strong> </strong></span></span></div> </li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14424/jersey_city_clears_first_hurdle_limit_chain_stores#comments legal Wed, 08 Apr 2015 23:54:41 +0000 Janet Sparks 14424 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Home Instead Names Jeff Huber CEO http://www.bluemaumau.org/14412/home_instead_names_jeff_huber_ceo <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Home Instead Inc. new CEO" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/033115_1953_HomeInstead1-330x330.png" style="height: 330px; width: 330px;" width="330" height="330" /><br /> <div class="caption">New CEO Jeff Huber</div> </div> <p>OMAHA, Neb. &ndash; Senior care provider Home Instead Inc. announced today that its president Jeff Huber will add the role of chief executive officer to his duties. Current CEO Roger Baumgart, age 67, will step down to become CEO emeritus, effective April 15.<span style="font-family:Gill Sans MT"> </span></p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>During his 19 years with Home Instead, Roger Baumgart held several key leadership positions, including vice president, senior vice president, chief operating officer and president.</p> <p>But incoming Huber has also helped lead the franchise network&#39;s growth. He served as chief administrative officer, chief development officer and other positions for seventeen years at the franchising firm as it grew from 125 senior care franchises to more than a thousand in 16 countries.</p> <p>&quot;Jeff has played a critical role in Home Instead&#39;s growth,&quot; says Home Instead co-founder and chairman Paul Hogan about new CEO Huber. &quot;I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the organization to a next level,&quot; he added. Hogan founded the chain in 1994 with his wife Lori Hogan.</p> <p><span style="font-family:Gill Sans MT">Huber moves into the CEO position as the organization is now looking towards global expansion. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14412/home_instead_names_jeff_huber_ceo#comments service senior care franchise senior care services Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:53:20 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14412 at http://www.bluemaumau.org The Biggest Banks for Small Business http://www.bluemaumau.org/14404/biggest_banks_small_business <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="US Bank" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Yvu5Koj1RN0/VRJYHvhy5LI/AAAAAAAB8dM/j9oQw0hnre0/w1448-h815-no/DON_2954.JPG" style="width: 680px; height: 383px;" /> <div class="caption">US Bank, photo by BMM</div> </div> <p>RALEIGH, N.C. &ndash; American financial institutions are lending more of their loan portfolios to small businesses, whether franchised or not. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> According to data from Sageworks Bank Information, outstanding small business loans totaled $12 billion more in 2014 than the previous year, marking the first annual increase since 2010. 2014&#39;s small business loans increased 2 percent compared to the 0.5% drop in 2013 and the 4.3% drop in 2012, according to Sageworks.</p> <table border="0" style="border-collapse:collapse"> <tbody valign="top"> <tr style="height: 30px; background: #366092"> <td colspan="3" style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:white; font-size:14pt">Top 15 Lenders to Small Business in $, Year Ended 12/31/14</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #4f81bd"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:white"><strong>Bank</strong></span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:white"><strong>Ttl Small Biz Loans</strong></span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:white"><strong>Small Biz loans as % of total loans</strong></span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Wells Fargo Bank, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 34,715,000,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">4.3%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Bank of America, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 33,352,000,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">4.4%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">JP Morgan Chase Bank, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 19,309,000,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">3.5%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">US Bank Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 17,131,904,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">6.8%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Branch Banking &amp; Trust</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 9,162,906,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">7.8%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">PNC Bank, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 9,072,095,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">4.4%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Citibank, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 8,802,000,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">2.5%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Regions Bank</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 6,087,359,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">7.8%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Chase Bank USA, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 5,621,863,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">5.7%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Manufacturers &amp; Traders Trust</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 5,575,160,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">8.4%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">TD Bank, Ntl Assn</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 4,913,858,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">4.4%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Suntrust Bank</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 4,755,220,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">3.5%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Synovus Bank</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 4,384,835,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">20.7%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">First-Citizens Bank &amp; Trust</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 4,166,024,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">29.4%</span></td> </tr> <tr style="background: #dce6f1"> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">Bank of the West</span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">$ 3,983,982,000 </span></td> <td style="padding-left: 9px; padding-right: 9px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt; border-right: solid #95b3d7 0.5pt" valign="bottom"><span style="color:black">7.8%</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><span style="font-size:10px;">Data: Sageworks</span></p> <p>&quot;Banks may feel that these [privately-held small business] companies are in a good position to take on debt,&quot; said Sageworks analyst James Noe. &quot;You can see that reflected in the increased overall lending volume to small businesses,&quot; he said.</p> <div class="photoright"><img alt="Biggest small business lenders as small business loans as a % of total loans" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/032515_0446_TheBiggestB1.png" width="336" height="336" /> <div class="caption">Data: Sageworks</div> </div> <p>The analyst found that Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were the top lenders when it came to total dollars dished out to small businesses. Because of the massive amount of loans the largest banks grant overall, it is important to pair total loan volume with another, the percentage of small business loans compared to total loans in a bank&#39;s portfolio. This metric indicates the relative priority and focus that a bank gives to small business lending compared with other types of lending. Using that filter, Georgia&#39;s Synovus bank and North Carolina&#39;s First-Citizens Bank stand out as two of the larger banks that dedicate a fairly significant portion of their loan portfolios to small businesses. They have both the total volume and a larger percentage of small business loans.</p> <p>When it comes to banks that commit their all to small businesses, Farmers State Bank in the flat farm fields of Humphrey, Nebraska topped the list. It allocated nearly 97 percent of its total loan dollars to small businesses last year. Pitney Bowes Bank also stood out, dedicating 95 percent of its loan dollars to small business owners in 2014. That equates to nearly $330 million worth of loans dedicated to small businesses from Pitney alone.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14404/biggest_banks_small_business#comments manage bankers banking lending small business lenders small business loans Wed, 25 Mar 2015 04:47:02 +0000 BMM 14404 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Chick-fil-A and Papa John’s Ranked Best by Customers http://www.bluemaumau.org/14402/chickfila_and_papa_john%E2%80%99s_ranked_best_customers <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="QSRs ranked by top Customer Experience" src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7642/16698052318_2238f4d291_z.jpg" style="width: 680px; height: 383px;" /></p> <p>WABAN, Mass. &ndash; Customers rank Papa John&#39;s and Chick-fil-A as having delivered the best customer experience among quick service restaurant brands in 2015, according to this year&#39;s annual survey of 10,000 consumers in America.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/032115_1947_ChickfilAan1.png" width="336" height="336" /> <div class="caption">Chart: Blue MauMau; Data: Temkin Group</div> </div> <p>Chick-fil-A took the top spot for the fourth year in a row, earning a rating of 82%, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings. That put it in fourth place out of 293 companies across twenty industries. Papa John&#39;s, a newcomer to the survey ratings, came in second with a score of 81% and an overall ranking of 8th. Four other fast food chains earned an &quot;excellent&quot; rating &ndash; Dairy Queen, Panera Bread, Subway, and Sonic Drive-In. McDonald&#39;s and Hardee&#39;s pulled in at the bottom of what consumers considered &quot;good&quot;.</p> <p>The only quick service restaurant chain not to receive at least a &quot;good&quot; score among those Temkin tracks was Jack in the Box, who received a rating of 67% and placed 128th overall.</p> <p>&quot;The fact that Chick-fil-A can stand out, year after year, for its customer experience amid such tough competition is really impressive,&quot; states Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.</p> <p>Overall, quick service restaurants (fast food) averaged a 76% rating in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings and came in second place out of twenty industries. It was also one of the 14 industries whose ratings declined in the past year, with its average decreasing by 2.0 percentage-points.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14402/chickfila_and_papa_john%E2%80%99s_ranked_best_customers#comments food consumer experience fast food QSR quick service restaurant Sat, 21 Mar 2015 19:47:45 +0000 BMM 14402 at http://www.bluemaumau.org IFA Loses Seattle $15 Wage Hike Lawsuit http://www.bluemaumau.org/14398/ifa_loses_seattle_15_wage_hike_lawsuit <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Strike for $15" src="/sites/default/files/resize/Strikefor15-680x380.jpg" style="width: 680px; height: 380px;" width="680" height="380" /> <div class="caption">Workers protest for $15 wages in Detroit. Photo from PR firm BerlinRosen</div> </div> <p>SEATTLE &ndash; While Seattle became the first city in the nation to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour in order to reduce income inequality, some in the franchise community opposed it. They objected that they would be treated as large employers and not as independent small businesses. They protested how non-franchised small businesses would reap the benefits of a delay in increases of minimum wage, a delay that franchises would not reap.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Seattle franchisees resent having to pay a higher minimum wage than their independent small business competitors. But despite the opposition, a federal judge ruled that franchisees will be subject to the three-year phase in period along with their franchisors.</p> <p>Franchisors regard the ruling as a hardship in selling franchises, since a potential franchise buyer might reason that they prefer starting an independent business to avoid higher minimum wage costs that Seattle franchises will have to pay.</p> <p>Although the International Franchise Association, which represents national chains from fast food restaurants to hotels, including&nbsp;five of the suing&nbsp;franchisees that are from&nbsp;the ranks of the&nbsp;IFA&#39;s franchisor members, assert franchise owners will suffer competitive injury, loss of customers and goodwill, and the risk of going out of business, Judge Richard Jones ruled in yesterday&#39;s decision:&nbsp;&quot;The court finds the allegations are conclusory and unsupported by the facts of the records.&quot;&nbsp;The federal judge dismissed the&nbsp;arguments and denied the franchisees&#39;&nbsp;request for preliminary injunction.</p> <p>Judge Jones did not decide definitively that franchisees are fundamentally different from independent small business owners of the same size. But after weighing the evidence put forth by franchisees&mdash;BrightStar Care, AlphaGraphics and Holiday Inn&mdash;he ruled that there was a reasonable basis for the determination that franchisees receive enough help from their relationship with franchisors to allow them to pay the higher wage.</p> <p>The court decision is also significant because it calls attention to how much control franchisors have over their franchisees&#39; operations. The judge found that franchisors have enough of a hand in their franchisees&#39; businesses that the two could plausibly be treated as one. Recently, the franchise community has been nervously monitoring the National Labor Relations Board action against McDonald&#39;s Corp., the world&#39;s largest fast food company. The NLRB filed suit against the hamburger chain to determine if McDonald&#39;s is a &quot;joint employer&quot; with its franchisees when labor laws protecting employee protests were allegedly violated.</p> <p><strong>Reaction to court decision</strong></p> <p>Seattle Mayor Ed Murray stated, &quot;This is a great day for Seattle&#39;s fast-food workers. This ruling ensures that on April 1, the minimum wage will go up for everyone in our city.&quot;</p> <p>IFA president and CEO Steve Caldeira viewed the decision as disappointing and vowed to continue the fight. &quot;The ordinance is clearly discriminatory and would harm hard-working small business owners who happen to be franchisees. Those who have set out to destroy the long-accepted, time-tested and proven franchise business model must be stopped. IFA will continue to fight against discrimination of small business owners [franchisees] in Seattle and elsewhere. It was never about Seattle raising the minimum wage to $15 wage, but rather the increase applied in a discriminatory way,&quot; he declared.</p> <p>Seattle&#39;s new law, which takes effect April 1, requires large businesses, and now franchises in franchise chains that have collectively over 500 employees, to raise the wage they pay workers to $15 an hour over the next three years. Smaller businesses will have seven years to phase in the same wage increase.</p> <p>IFA explained that the Seattle ordinance unfairly requires the area&#39;s 600 franchisees, which own 1,700 locations and employ 19,000 workers, to meet the faster three-year deadline for large businesses simply because they operate as part of a franchise network. &quot;These small, locally-owned businesses would be treated as large, national companies under the law due to their affiliation with the franchise network. This affiliation violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, given 96 percent of the franchises operating in Seattle are affiliated with an interstate commerce network,&quot; IFA said in its press release.</p> <p>Franchisee attorney Robert Salkowski of Zarco Einhorn Salkowski &amp; Brito said he thinks this ordinance in Seattle discriminates against franchisees. &quot;I think it is an attempt by the city to destroy franchisees in favor of truly local businesses,&quot; says Salkowski. He adds, &quot;It unfairly targets franchisees with no understanding of the difficulties they have in operating their businesses, both from a purely business perspective and in terms of their relationships with the franchisor.&quot; The Miami counsel said he thinks it is a misguided effort by Seattle to lump in the employee count of a franchised business with the accumulated workers of other franchises in a network, including a franchisor&#39;s.</p> <p>Salkowski also said that to some degree he believes the judge was looking at the group that fought against the law, the IFA, as sounding too much like the mouthpiece of franchisors. &quot;I&#39;m wondering whether or not the decision may have been different if it was actually brought by the franchisees themselves, instead of by the lobbying arm of the IFA,&quot; stated Salkowski. He said he appreciated the IFA&#39;s efforts, but from the standpoint of optics and effectiveness, one wonders if the judge may have ruled differently if, in fact, it was franchisees with their own independent franchisee associations at their side. Their arguments would sound different and more authentic than messages pushed and culled by franchisors.</p> <p>Seattle attorney Howard E. Bundy, representing franchise and small business owners, said the court decision puts franchisees at a competitive disadvantage that is very unfair if we are going to acknowledge that they are independent business people. He feels the battle was lost even before the ordinance was passed months ago. &quot;The people opposing the ordinance lost the message from the start,&quot; observed Bundy. &quot;They were entirely tone deaf to the culture and political situation in Seattle, and to the background of the judge. And to present arguments that don&#39;t fly well in a town that is ambivalent even to its own big corporations.&quot;</p> <p>Bundy also said, &quot;They created the impression to the community that every franchisee is as wealthy as some of the big McDonald&#39;s franchisees. The spin from the other side was that franchisees have deep pockets and can adjust their business plans to accommodate the higher wages. Nobody managed to explain to the media or to the court how franchising works, and how little ability franchisees have to change their business model.&quot; He further explained that when you have franchisors telling franchise owners that they can&#39;t charge more than a dollar for a burger, and then threaten to terminate them if they refuse, such franchisees naturally have nowhere to go to improve their dangerously low margins other than reduce their own pay. If a franchisees&#39; own compensation is near zero, then even that option would not be viable for the business.</p> <p>Bundy said that the picture that was presented was one of giant McDonald&#39;s fighting against the City of Seattle. &quot;Every time, McDonald&#39;s is going to lose that. Particularly, when they are arguing esoteric constitutional issues. And somehow it didn&#39;t come across to the media what the economic impact would be.&quot; His impression of the events was that the IFA poorly handled the messaging.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.vancouversun.com/Business/asia-pacific/Judge+ruling+block+part+Seattle+higher+minimum/10900270/story.html">Judge&#39;s ruling not to block part of Seattle higher minimum wage law hailed by supporters</a> (Vancouver Sun)</li> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/18/the-franchise-industry-went-to-war-against-seattles-new-15-wage-seattle-won/">The franchise industry went to war against Seattle&#39;s new $15 wage. Seattle won (Wash. Post).</a></li> <li><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/18/news/economy/seattle-minimum-wage/index.html">Seattle workers win fight over $15 minimum wage (CNN)</a></li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14398/ifa_loses_seattle_15_wage_hike_lawsuit#comments legal $15 minimum wage franchise law franchisees Fri, 20 Mar 2015 01:18:57 +0000 Janet Sparks 14398 at http://www.bluemaumau.org February Franchise Jobs Up 29,000 in U.S. http://www.bluemaumau.org/14393/february_franchise_jobs_29000_us <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="Denny's Now Hiring. Photo by Blue MauMau" src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7585/16853371512_41a4e63d54_n.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 248px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" />ROSELAND, N.J. &ndash; Along with the rest of the economy, U.S. private-sector franchise jobs continue to grow. Franchise jobs increased by 29,000 during the month of February. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> Job hiring growth from franchises of 0.3 percent for February outgrew the monthly growth rate of 0.2 percent for small business jobs, according to payroll solutions provider ADP and its monthly national franchise report.</p> <p>While restaurants grew at a more modest 0.2 percent, food and personal care retailers grew at the highest monthly growth rate over January. However, the giant sector of restaurant franchises hired the most -- 8,720 more jobs for the month. But that rise in jobs was down from the 15,560 rise per month over the last six months.</p> <p>Education centers and real estate franchises lost jobs in February.</p> <p>&quot;Franchise job gains in February were up slightly from January and continued above the twelve-month average,&quot; said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. &quot;Employment increased despite the fact that restaurant jobs were down by almost half from last month.&quot;</p> <p><center><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/031815_1410_FebruaryFra1.png" width="500" height="291" /></center></p> <p>The general private sector employment, not just franchises, also continues to gain steam, adding 212,000 jobs in February. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody&#39;s Analytics, said, &quot;Job growth is strong, but slowing from the torrid pace of recent months. Job gains remain broad-based, although the collapse in oil prices has begun to weigh on energy-related employment. At the current pace of growth, the economy will return to full employment by mid-2016.&quot;</p> <p><center><img alt="<br /> U.S. Added 29,000 Franchise Jobs in February, According to ADP National Franchise Report<br /> " border="0" height="1598" src="http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/2015/February/NFR/images/infographic/main/NFRFebruary2015_infographic.gif" width="598" /></center></p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14393/february_franchise_jobs_29000_us#comments trends franchise job growth Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:10:47 +0000 BMM 14393 at http://www.bluemaumau.org McDonald’s Workers Allege Hazardous Conditions under OSHA http://www.bluemaumau.org/14389/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_workers_allege_hazardous_conditions_under_osha <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="Strike for higher wage at a Los Angeles McDonald's" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Zyh1LwXOSmY/VQhImaNK2OI/AAAAAAAB8ck/CGkizr7gerk/w1445-h815-no/photo2.JPG" style="float: right; height: 384px; width: 681px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" />NEW YORK - Fast food workers filed a complaint this morning against McDonald&#39;s Corp. and franchisees claiming 28 health and safety violations related to widespread hazards of working in restaurants in 19 cities nationwide.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Filed with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as state safety and health authorities, the complaint points to a wide range of serious dangers related to slippery floors, bubbling hot oil and white hot grill. The workers contend that burns and other injuries occur when they are pressured into working faster to meet the store managers&#39; demands.</p> <p>Brittney Berry, who has worked at McDonald&#39;s in Chicago since 2011, said she suffered a severe burn on her forearm and nerve damage from such an accident states. &quot;My managers kept pushing me to work faster, and while trying to meet their demands I slipped on a wet floor, catching my arm on a hot grill.&quot; She said the managers told her to put mustard on it, but she ended up having to get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. &quot;This is exactly why workers at McDonald&#39;s need union rights, so we have a voice to make the company take responsibility for the dangers it creates in its stores,&quot; she declared.</p> <p>The employees allege that the restaurants&#39; understaffing and pressure to work too fast are created by the chain&#39;s computer system that dictates staffing levels and the pace of work. They assert those are the main drivers responsible for the injuries of fast food workers. Because they are required to clean and filter fryers while the oil is hot, and floors are greasy and wet, workers are being injured.</p> <p>Kendall Fells, organizing director of the Fight for $15 campaign, to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, said burns have been reported as a widespread problem since fast-food workers started organizing in New York City more than two years ago. &quot;In our first meeting, there were 50 workers in a room in New York City who held up their arms covered in burns and said &#39;this is what it means to be a fast-food worker,&quot; Fells told. &quot;As this campaign has spread to cities across the country, it&#39;s become painfully clear that unsafe conditions go hand in hand with the industry&#39;s low wages,&quot; he proclaimed.</p> <p>Fells explained that McDonald&#39;s sets minimal health and safety standards for all franchisees, but even these modest measures are not properly enforced.&nbsp; The company watches like a hawk nearly every aspect of its franchisees&#39; business operations via regular inspections, but it too often ignores health and safety problems. Moreover, workers in corporate-owned stores report the same health and safety hazards as workers in franchised restaurants. &quot;It&#39;s a problem that only McDonald&#39;s can fix, and the time to fix it is now,&quot; Mr. Fells added.</p> <p>McDonald&#39;s issued a statement Monday morning by spokesperson Heidi Barker SaShekhem. She stated that its franchisees are committed to provide safe working conditions for employees. The company will review the allegations. &quot;It is important to note that these complaints are part of a larger strategy orchestrated by activists targeting our brand and designed to generate media coverage,&quot; said SaShekhem.</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>National survey on injuries</strong></span></h3> <div class="photoright"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xN9TdrYeZzU?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0" width="400"></iframe></div> <p>The announcement of the OSHA complaint comes as a <a href="http://www.coshnetwork.org/sites/default/files/FastFood_Workplace_Safety_Poll_Memo.pdf">new national survey</a> is revealed, showing a staggering share of fast-food workers&#39; injuries. It states that 79 percent have been burned in the past year. 36 percent reported that first aid kits were missing, inaccessible, or empty. And one-third of workers in the U.S. have been told to treat burns with condiments rather than burn cream.</p> <p>Monday&#39;s Fight for $15 campaign announced the launch of a <a href="http://fightfor15.org/petition/burns/">petition</a> that calls on the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate widespread health and safety hazards in the fast-food industry. Workers <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN9TdrYeZzU&amp;feature=youtu.be">launched a video</a> and website, burnedbyfastfood.org, to call attention to the prevalence of severe burns in the industry.</p> <p>Workers announced that they would be holding protests at McDonald&#39;s stores across the country Tuesday to demand that the company be held accountable for the widespread dangers at its stores.</p> <p>The 19 cities where complaints were filed include Kansas City, Missouri, Miramar, Florida, Nanuet, New York, New York City, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-workers-detail-burns-job-160756760.html">McDonald&#39;s Workers Detail Burns, Hazards</a> Yahoo</li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/14327/mcdonald%25E2%2580%2599s_franchisee_accused_civil_rights_violations_racism_harassment&amp;sa=U&amp;ei=6kAHVev2FsGNNuaLg-AC&amp;ved=0CAwQFjAD&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNFymoKEfLbkvDqw0bXbMjBbDgGknA" target="_top">McDonald&#39;s and Franchisee Accused of Civil Rights Violations</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/13731/unions_protest_mcdonald%25E2%2580%2599s_alleged_wage_theft_workers%25E2%2580%2599_pay&amp;sa=U&amp;ei=6kAHVev2FsGNNuaLg-AC&amp;ved=0CA4QFjAE&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNG8unP2tOK7Cbaq7_mHZnJleOdrsA" target="_top">Unions Protest McDonald&#39;s Alleged Wage Theft of Workers&#39; Pay </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/enter_your_own_tag/mcdonalds_wage_theft_lawsuits&amp;sa=U&amp;ei=6kAHVev2FsGNNuaLg-AC&amp;ved=0CAgQFjAB&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNGSpUWYC2sliBluJS4FiHzp3UuuJw" target="_top">McDonald&#39;s wage theft lawsuits - Blue MauMau</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/nlrb_allowing_%25E2%2580%259Cjointemployer%25E2%2580%259D_claims_against_mcdonald%25E2%2580%2599s_raises_eyebrows&amp;sa=U&amp;ei=vkEHVbunA5PnoASez4JA&amp;ved=0CAoQFjAC&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNHwFI334Inn1aAK09kfb5F-zl4c-Q" target="_top">NLRB Allowing &quot;Joint-Employer&quot; Claims against McDonald&#39;s</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/joint_employerfor_whom_bell_tolls&amp;sa=U&amp;ei=vkEHVbunA5PnoASez4JA&amp;ved=0CA4QFjAE&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNH-ehmUoCmBHnqCXx7JKAG-Q0NFsQ" target="_top">Joint Employer, For Whom the Bell Tolls | BlueMauMau, Franchise ...</a></li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14389/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_workers_allege_hazardous_conditions_under_osha#comments food legal fast food worker protests Kendall Fells OSHA lawsuit against McDonald's safety and health violations Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:28:35 +0000 Janet Sparks 14389 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Hot Sauce Heats Up!! http://www.bluemaumau.org/14384/hot_sauce_heats <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3893/14617603298_95123dd024_c.jpg" style="width: 494px; height: 330px;" /> <div class="caption">Srirachi factory. Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkchick83/14617603298/sizes/c/" target="_blank">Serena Grace</a></div> </div> <p>CHICAGO &ndash; Way more consumers like it hot says a foodservice researcher. Hot sauce, the hotness of which is often ranked by quantity of flames or symbols of hell, is well&hellip; hot right now. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> So much so that hot sauce is spreading to levels of ubiquity in homes and foodservice outlets.</p> <p>Fifty-six percent of households have hot sauce on hand in their kitchens, and Sriracha, a relatively new Asian hot sauce, is already stocked in 9 percent of total U.S. households and 16 percent of households headed by someone under age 35, according to foodservice researcher The NPD Group and its recently released audit of U.S. kitchens. The popularity of hot sauce also extends to away-from-home dining experiences. Cases of hot sauce shipped from foodservice distributors to restaurants and other foodservice outlets increased by double-digits over the past two years.</p> <p>Classic Louisiana-style hot sauce is still the leader in terms of case volume shipped from distributors to U.S. foodservice outlets, but shipment growth has tapered off because of the wide variety of hot sauces now available, finds NPD. Case shipments of some habanero hot sauce flavors, particularly habanero with fruit flavors like mango, grew triple-digits in the year ending December 2014 compared to the same period a year ago. There were double the cases shipped of Chipotle hot sauce flavors and Srircha in 2014 than in the previous year, finds NPD&#39;s SupplyTrack, a monthly tracking service that tracks every product shipped from major broadline distributors to their foodservice operators.</p> <p>Females ages 18 to 44 and 55 to 64 and males ages 18 to 54 and 65 plus eat more than the average amount of hot sauce over the course of a year, according to NPD&#39;s national eating trends research. Females, ages 45 to 54 and 65 plus, eat less than the average amount. Males, ages 55 to 64, eat an average amount. Dual-income, no-kids households, commonly referred to as DINKS, eat more hot sauce than any other household lifecycle. Consumers in the south eat more hot sauce than any other region of the country, but those in the central and western U.S. also eat an above-average amount. Eating less than the average amount of hot sauce are consumers in the east.</p> <p>There is a scientific explanation as to why consumers are willing to subject themselves to the burning sensation on their tongue and watery eyes that eating hot sauce often causes. The burning sensation is caused by capsaicin, a natural chemical that sends a burning sensation from the nerve endings in the mouth to the brain. The body defends itself against the pain sensation by secreting endorphins, natural painkillers that cause a physical rush, which is similar to a runner&#39;s high.</p> <p>&quot;Hot sauce is clearly part of the diet of many U.S. consumers, and it&#39;s a food that crosses gender, age, ethnicity, and income,&quot; says Annie Roberts, vice president of NPD&#39;s SupplyTrack. &quot;Hot or pepper sauce is a large seasoning category, and for foodservice manufacturers and operators it&#39;s about understanding the category&#39;s share, where the category is growing and where it isn&#39;t, and from which other categories it&#39;s stealing share.&quot;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14384/hot_sauce_heats#comments trends food researcher foodservice research foodservice trends restaurant trends The NPD Group Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:20:58 +0000 BMM 14384 at http://www.bluemaumau.org