http://www.bluemaumau.org/frontpagestories en Ex-Workers File Putative Class Action Claiming Celebrity Wahlburgers Stole Wages http://www.bluemaumau.org/15400/exworkers_file_putative_class_action_claiming_wahlburgers_stole_wages <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Wahlburgers meal" src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1615/26386520431_1027f706de_n.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 320px;" /> <div class="caption">Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ogluc1f3r/26386520431/" target="_blank">Joey Newcombe</a></div> </div> <p>NEW YORK &ndash; Five former workers filed a class action lawsuit last week against Wahlburgers restaurants and three of its franchisee entities and their officers, claiming widespread wage theft. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> The privately-held franchisor is owned and operated by actors and producers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and their brother, celebrity chef Paul Wahlberg.</p> <p>The Boston-based franchised company, founded in 2011 by the three Wahlberg brothers, is also the name of the A&amp;E television reality series, now in its sixth season, that follows the Wahlberg family as they operate and promote their restaurant chain. The complaint states that the brothers pride themselves on taking an active role in managing their locations and insuring that their restaurants meet their high standards for customer and employee experience. Wahlburgers&#39; company slogan is &quot;Our family, our story, our burgers.&quot;</p> <p>The Wahlburgers&#39; website boasts, &quot;We are a working class organization, rooted at our family&#39;s kitchen table where the only star is the food and the music is laughter and stories. We embrace loyalty, gratitude, excellence and community, sharing these values in our restaurants every day.&quot;</p> <p>The Wahlberg brothers, Mark, Donnie and Paul, are not named in the putative class action lawsuit.</p> <p>The Class and Collective Action Complaint, filed August 18, 2016 in U.S. District Court, Eastern District, alleges the renowned New York Wahlburgers restaurant chain has been rampant with wage theft and violations of federal and state labor law since it began opening franchises throughout New York and Long Island. It asserts that when opening its first location in September 2015 in Coney Island, Wahlburgers &quot;maintained a pattern and practice of regularly shaving compensable time from the weekly hours of all its non-exempt employees, including servers, bartenders, bussers, and kitchen staff, and paying them for significantly fewer hours that they actually worked.&quot;</p> <p>The court document also tells that Wahlburgers did not pay the non-exempt staff at the minimum wage rate for all hours worked and at overtime rates of one and one-half the regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week. And, Wahlburgers compensated its &quot;tipped&quot; employees at the tipped minimum wage rate of $7.50 per hour, without satisfying the strict requirements entitling Wahlburgers to apply a tip credit to the statutory full minimum wage rate.</p> <p>The allegations continue stating that beginning in June 2016, the chain regularly paid several tipped employees a flat salary of $300 for all hours worked, including hours totaling over forty. &quot;This payroll scheme is an obvious and willful avoidance of Wahlburgers&#39; obligation to pay one and one-half times the regular hourly rate for all hours over forty, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law,&quot; the complaint states.</p> <p>The former employees also contend that when Wahlburgers obtained gratuities from customers for tipped workers, it also imposed an unlawful tip pool that allowed them to pay non-tipped kitchen employees out of those funds. And the workers claim they were never paid for attending mandatory meetings, and were never provided with accurate wage statements showing a breakdown of hours worked, wages and tips paid.</p> <p><strong>Wahlburgers, franchisee entities, accountable as joint employers </strong></p> <p>In addition to naming Wahlburgers Franchising, LLC in the lawsuit, three of its franchisee entities, Coney Burgers, LLC, Big Apple Burgers, LLC and WBDC, all located in New York State, were also identified as defendants.</p> <p>Three officers of the franchisee entities, Mark Andrew Singer, John Cestare and Ben Niass, are also individually named in the class action, claiming they possessed operational control and policy making authority, and had ownership interest over the Wahlburgers&#39; franchised businesses. Because the franchisee officers had the authority to hire and fire employees, establish pay practices and scheduling, control labor relations and personnel policies, determine terms and conditions of employment, and maintain employment records, the lawsuit alleges they are &quot;personally, jointly, and severally liable for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.</p> <p>Because all three, Wahlburgers Franchising, the franchisee entities and the officers of those companies, all acted directly or indirectly in the interests of one another in relations to the former employees and similarly situated employees, the complaint asserts that they are joint employers over the workers.</p> <p>New York attorneys Mitchell Schley and Louis Pechman, representing the five Wahlburgers former employees, filed eight claims against the Wahlburgers defendants. They include violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law for failing to pay the required minimum wage and overtime. Other claims are for violations under the Wage Theft Prevention Act, the Spread-of-Hours Pay, Misappropriation of Gratuities, and Unlawful Deductions from Wages.</p> <p>The former employees in the suit bring two claims, under NLSA for unpaid minimum wage and unpaid overtime, as a collective action for themselves and for other non-exempt employees of Wahlburgers, including cooks, runners, expeditors, dishwashers and porters, at any time three years prior to the filing of the complaint. It consists of approximately one hundred current and former non-exempt employees of Wahlburgers.</p> <p>The lawsuit asks for class certification, and for damages, liquidated damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and award for attorneys&#39; fees and costs.</p> <p>People magazine reported on the litigation last week, saying the Wahlburgers chain has launched an investigation into the Coney Island franchise where the alleged claims of wage theft began. A spokesperson said in a statement, &quot;Wahlburgers is all about family. Treating people fairly and with respect is at the heart of our brand. Since this situation came to light yesterday, we&#39;ve been working with Coney Burgers to better understand the circumstances.&quot;</p> <p>The Coney Burgers franchise company also issued a statement, saying, &quot;As a franchisee, we work hard to uphold Wahlburgers&#39; values and brand culture. We&#39;ve become aware of dissatisfaction of some of our former employees and are now looking into the matter.&quot;</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles: </strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.people.com/article/ex-Coney-island-Wahlburgers-workers-sue-unpaid-wages-tips" target="_blank">Former Wahlburgers Workers Sue Chain Founded by Wahlberg Brothers over Alleged Unpaid Wages</a> (People Magazine)</li> <li><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2016/08/23/mark-wahlbergs-burger-chain-wahlburgers-sued-alleged-wage-theft/89219776/" target="_blank">Mark Wahlberg&#39;s Burger Chain, Wahlburgers, Sued for Alleged Wage Theft</a> (USA Today)</li> <li> <div><a href="http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2016/08/19/wahlburgers-new-york-labor-lawsuit/" target="_blank">Former Employees Allege &#39;Rampant&#39; Labor Violations at a New York Wahlburgers</a> (Boston Magazine)</div> </li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><table id="attachments" class="sticky-enabled"> <thead><tr><th>Attachment</th><th>Size</th> </tr></thead> <tbody> <tr class="odd"><td><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/FINAL Complaint STAMPED 8-18-16.pdf">FINAL Complaint STAMPED 8-18-16.pdf</a></td><td>3.82 MB</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15400/exworkers_file_putative_class_action_claiming_wahlburgers_stole_wages#comments Legal claim & allegation chef Paul Wahlberg Coney Burgers Donnie Wahlberg joint employer liability Mark Wahlberg wage theft Wahlburgers class action Sat, 27 Aug 2016 13:29:48 +0000 Janet Sparks 15400 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Fiesta Restaurant Considers Split-Up, CEO to Step Down http://www.bluemaumau.org/15399/fiesta_restaurant_considers_splitup_ceo_step_down <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>Dallas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. [Nasdaq: FRGI], announced Thursday afternoon that its CEO and president, Tim Taft, will retire by the end of this year. Fiesta, parent company of Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana fast casual restaurant franchisors, also announced that it is considering a spinnoff of Taco Cabana in light of a tough market.</p> <p>Chairman of Fiesta, Jack Smith, says, &quot;Tim was instrumental in guiding the Company through its successful transition as an independent public company and during his tenure improved operations at both brands, refined our marketing strategies and set the stage for ongoing growth.&quot;</p> <p>The board has commenced a search for Mr. Taft&#39;s successor.</p> <p>Fiesta&#39;s board also announced that due to challenging market conditions, it intends to review its strategic plan, including the previously announced separation of Taco Cabana. The firm told its shareholders that Taco Cabana a tax-free spin-off may be a possibility. Its board intends to consider Fiesta&#39;s full array of options, &quot;including the possible continued ownership of Taco Cabana.&quot;</p> <p>Fiesta will review the viability of new store openings and capital expenditure plan in light of its recent operating performance in a tough market. The board will strategize on how to best optimize the firm&#39;s capital structure in light of its long-term capital needs.</p> <p>The chairman states, &quot;The board believes that Fiesta has a solid foundation to drive future growth and long-term profitability.&quot; Smith added, &quot;We remain focused on taking the appropriate steps to maximize long-term shareholder value.&quot;</p> <p>At the end of 2015, Fiesta&nbsp;owned and operated 155 Pollo Tropical and 162 Taco Cabana restaurants while franchisees&nbsp;operated 35 Pollo Tropical and six Taco Cabana restaurants.&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15399/fiesta_restaurant_considers_splitup_ceo_step_down#comments Leadership change Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:53:57 +0000 Don Sniegowski 15399 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Consumers Blame Restaurants for Third-Party Mistakes http://www.bluemaumau.org/15396/consumers_blame_restaurants_thirdparty_mistakes <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>Even if a restaurant has a contract with a third-party ordering and delivery service, the majority of consumers (76%) still hold the restaurant at least partially responsible for any order errors, according to a foodservice researcher.</p> <p>&quot;This puts operators&#39; brand reputation at risk each time a customer orders delivery through these services,&quot; says Melissa Wilson, a principal at Technomic Inc., the research &nbsp; company. &quot;Even if delivery is not a current strategic initiative, operators should educate themselves about and understand the dynamics of the third party delivery market so they can put guardrails in place to maintain quality and brand reputation.&quot;</p> <p>Technomics published the findings in its &quot;On Demand Delivery&quot; report. The researcher surveyed 2,800 consumers online who use third-party or restaurant-operated delivery services.</p> <p>The study also discovered that:</p> <ul> <li>Third-party services are generating additional business for casual dining and other restaurant concepts that do not offer delivery.</li> <li>Chain restaurants are almost twice as likely as independents to receive delivery orders. Two-thirds of delivery orders either placed directly with a restaurant (69%) or via a third-party service (66%) were for food from a chain restaurant.</li> <li>One in five third-party service users ordered a burger: Although pizza still dominates the restaurant delivery space, third-party service users are taking advantage of the wider variety of options available and ordering items that restaurants have hesitated to offer for delivery themselves.</li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15396/consumers_blame_restaurants_thirdparty_mistakes#comments Trends Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:41:49 +0000 Don Sniegowski 15396 at http://www.bluemaumau.org KFC Quickly Runs Out of Its Free Chicken-Scented Crispy Sunscreen http://www.bluemaumau.org/15392/kfc_sells_out_its_chickenscented_crispy_sunscreen_within_hours <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="George Hamilton as Colonel Sanders sells the Extra Crispy KFC sunscreen lotion" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/XtraCrispySunscreen-320x242.jpg" style="height: 242px; width: 320px;" width="320" height="242" /> <div class="caption">Photo/KFC; Words/Blue MauMau</div> </div> <p>Summer. Skin. Extra Crispy. Can&nbsp;there be a better match? Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn&#39;t think so. It announced Monday that it would&nbsp;sell Extra Crispy fried-chicken-scented sunscreen&nbsp;for a limited time.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The chain of fast-food chicken eateries offered 3,000 free bottles of SPF 30 Extra Crispy Sunscreen on Monday. Within hours supplies were gone.</p> <p>Kevin Hochman, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S.: &quot;Our Extra Crispy Sunscreen is a fun way to leverage that delicious aroma and let our fans live the Extra Crispy lifestyle for themselves.&quot;</p> <p>KFC&#39;s lead creative agency, Wieden + Kennedy Portland, created the sunscreen product and <a href="https://www.kfc.com/extra-crispy-sunscreen/">website</a>, according to <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-kfc-unveils-chicken-scented-sunscreen-help-george-hamilton-173077" target="_blank">AdWeek</a>. The brand introduced actor George Hamilton as the Extra Crispy Colonel in its marketing campaign in June, compared to the other previous colonels who were, well, not quite so crispy.</p> <p>KFC points out that Hamilton was the first product-specific Colonel.</p> <p>&quot;While I&#39;d love to tell you our customers have been asking for this, they haven&#39;t,&quot; Hochman added. &quot;In fact, I&#39;m pretty confident nobody ever asked for this. It&#39;s just some crazy idea we dreamed up.&quot;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15392/kfc_sells_out_its_chickenscented_crispy_sunscreen_within_hours#comments Marketing Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:05:41 +0000 Don Sniegowski 15392 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Struggling Cosi Sacks CEO, CFO Resigns http://www.bluemaumau.org/15389/struggling_cosi_sacks_ceo_cfo_resigns <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Inside fast-casual restaurant chain COSI" src="https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7278/13279758183_699c320657_c.jpg" style="width: 321px; height: 156px;" /> <div class="caption">Photo by Blue MauMau</div> </div> <p>Cosi, Inc. [NASDAQ:COSI] announced Monday that it has terminated RJ Dourney as its chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. Board of Director member Patrick Bennett has already started serving as the company&#39;s interim chief executive and president. Meanwhile, Cosi is searching for a permanent CEO.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>In the same statement, the fast-casual operator of 74 company-owned restaurants and overseer of 31 franchises in sixteen states said it has also lost its chief financial officer, Miguel Rossy-Donavan, who submitted his resignation on August 16.</p> <p>The company is beginning a search to find a replacement for its CFO as well.</p> <p>Ex-CEO Dourney was Cosi&#39;s largest franchise owner. He was appointed in March of 2014 as the company&#39;s chief executive to turnaround the struggling chain as it faced a warning by Nasdaq that it would be delisted.</p> <p>&quot;I believe we are well-positioned to achieve EBITDA positive between the second and third quarters of 2016, and by year end to lay the stable foundation required to grow in 2017&quot; wrote the now former CEO to shareholder&#39;s in the company&#39;s 2015 annual report. That report showed five years of constant net loss, way before franchisee Dourney arrived to lead the company. Dourney set about trying to lift guest satisfaction with the brand&#39;s food offerings and trying to increase guest traffic in order to prop up dropping sales for the fast-casual concept.</p> <div class="photoright"> <table border="0" style="border-collapse:collapse"> <colgroup> <col style="width:213px" /><br /> <col style="width:110px" /><br /> </colgroup> <tbody valign="top"> <tr style="background: #ed7d31"> <td colspan="2" style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: solid #ed7d31 0.5pt; border-left: solid #ed7d31 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #ed7d31 0.5pt; border-right: solid #ed7d31 0.5pt"> <p><span style="color:white"><strong>Cosi&#39;s troubling numbers</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="background: #fbe4d5"> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><strong>Same-restaurant sales 2Q 2016</strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><span style="color:red">-4.1%</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><strong>Company net loss for 2015</strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><span style="color:red">-$15.5 Million</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="background: #fbe4d5"> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><strong>Loss of restaurants, 2Q 2016</strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid #f4b083 0.5pt; border-right: solid #f4b083 0.5pt"> <p><span style="color:red">-6 restaurants</span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>Despite Dourney&#39;s motivational utterances about trying harder, Cosi&#39;s most recent earnings report for the second quarter of 2016 showed a loss of same-restaurant sales of 4.1 percent. That pushed the prospects and its plan of being profitable further down a long road. The chain also lost six restaurants, going from 110 in June of 2015 to 104 in June of this year. Two of those losses were franchises.</p> <p>Cosi reassured its stakeholders that the company will not be leaderless. Its out-going CFO Rossy-Donovan will be working with the troubled company and its board of directors to ensure the continuity of financial and cash management systems, and the implementation of operating priorities required to facilitate the execution of the next phase of its strategic plan.</p> <p>&quot;Miguel has been instrumental in working with management and the board of directors to instill discipline to the execution of our most immediate needs to drive the momentum of the company&#39;s turnaround, said chairman of the board, Mark Demilio. The chairman had nothing to say about its terminated chief executive. &quot;We appreciate that Miguel has agreed to a period of transition,&quot; said the chairman.</p> <p>Departing CFO Rossy-Donovan replied, &quot;I am proud of having successfully led, in close partnership with the leadership team, the efforts to position the company to generate cash, to build strategic discipline and focus, and to foster an entrepreneurial culture with people at the center.&quot;</p> <p>There is a tidbit of good news for the brand. On Monday the company announced that its franchisee, Purdue University, was having a grand opening for the chain&#39;s newest restaurant in Purdue&#39;s West Lafayette, Indiana campus.</p> <p>Cosi&#39;s interim CEO, Patrick Bennett, has been a director with the company since April, 2014. He is currently president and founder of CEO Strategies Group, LLC, a firm that consults CEOs of small to mid-size firms.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15389/struggling_cosi_sacks_ceo_cfo_resigns#comments Leadership change Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:06:39 +0000 Don Sniegowski 15389 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Judge Rejecting Settlement with Drivers May Give Uber Upper Hand http://www.bluemaumau.org/15388/judge_rejecting_settlement_drivers_may_give_uber_upper_hand <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>SAN FRANCISCO &ndash; After a federal judge on Thursday rejected a proposed $100 million settlement&nbsp;of a class action lawsuit between Uber Technologies Inc. and 385,000 California and Massachusetts drivers to determine if drivers should be classified as employees instead of independent contractors, some are wondering if the ruling is a victory for Uber or drivers.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said in his order that, despite changes to its policies that Uber was ready to enact, the proposed settlement on the whole &quot;is not fair, adequate, and reasonable.&quot; He added that the settlement amount agreed to by the parties represented a &quot;substantial discount&quot; far below the potential total damages Uber drivers could claim. The plaintiffs in the case calculated the potential damages at more than $850 million.</p> <p>The judge said Uber had only agreed to guarantee $84 million as a settlement payment to its drivers, with the remaining $16 million contingent on the company&#39;s value growing by one-and-a-half times within a year of its as-yet-unscheduled IPO. As a private startup, Uber is currently valued at $62.5 billion. Because Uber could not prove &quot;a realistic likelihood&quot; that it could achieve the multiple set in the agreement, Chen said he could only consider the $84 million amount in the proposed agreement.</p> <p>The three-year contentious litigation is being closely watched not only by Silicon Valley technology startups but companies across the country who use &quot;on-demand workers,&quot; as one analyst put it, those &quot;who make up the so-called &quot;1099 economy,&quot; named for the tax form on which freelancers declare their miscellaneous income. While Uber faces other driver lawsuits, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-18/uber-s-100-million-driver-pay-settlement-is-rejected-by-judge">Bloomberg</a> last week reported, &quot;if the world&#39;s most valuable technology startup would escape without significant changes to its business model or financial sacrifice while keeping 385,000 California and Massachusetts drivers classified as independent contractors&quot; this case has been seen as the &quot;most likely to upend its gig-economy workforce model because of the state&#39;s relatively tough labor laws.&quot;</p> <p>Now, with the lawsuit hanging in the balance, the driver&#39;s attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, has a lot to take into consideration moving forward. While their April 2016 settlement was not the solution she had hoped for, she recently stated in an interview with San Francisco Magazine that what they did gain was &quot;a significant achievement in the lives of drivers.&quot; She touted that the most important reforms assured by the $100 million settlement were &quot;to bolster drivers&#39; job security; to force Uber to implement a more favorable tipping policy; and to give workers the means to organize as a group, granting them representation akin to what unions provide.&quot;</p> <p>But the Boston attorney, now with a new office in San Francisco, added &quot;she&#39;s far from finished with Uber and its myriad cousins.&quot;</p> <p>Liss-Riordan told Judge Chen at the June 16 hearing that if the U.S. Court of Appeals overturns a ruling by him that invalidated Uber&#39;s arbitration agreements in a different case, it would eviscerate her class action, reducing it to a few thousand drivers. The attorney said the three-judge panel&#39;s comments and questions showed that the court may be poised to overrule Chen, and even that &quot;leaning&quot; may give Uber leverage and dramatically diminish her &quot;ability to negotiate modifications to the [settlement] agreement.&quot;</p> <p>Matt Kallman, a spokesman for Uber told Bloomberg in an email, &quot;The settlement, mutually agreed by both sides, was fair and reasonable. We&#39;re disappointed in this decision and are taking a look at our options.&quot; But one legal scholar, Charlotte Garden, associate professor at Seattle University School of Law, said, &quot;This order sends the parties back to the settlement table. But it seems likely that Uber won&#39;t want to go back to the drawing board.&quot;</p> <p>One reason settlement agreement was rejected was partly because a provision that would have valued potential California labor code violations at just $1 million. Bloomberg reported that Liss-Riordan and other attorneys proposed bringing the claims at issue under &quot;California&#39;s so called bounty-hunter law.&quot; It said, &quot;The Private Attorneys General Act, or PAGA, gives employees the right to step into the shoes of the state labor secretary to bring enforcement actions.&quot;</p> <p>Chen&#39;s ruling noted that &quot;a California agency concluded that such penalties in the case before him could amount to more than $1 billion, with the settlement providing only 0.1 percent of the estimated full worth.&quot;</p> <p>In an email sent to <a href="http://www.wired.com/2016/08/uber-settlement-rejected/">Wired business magazine </a>last week, Liss-Riordan said the possibility of coming up with a new settlement has not yet been ruled out. &quot;It is possible the parties could reach a revised agreement that satisfies the court&#39;s concerns. But if not, as I&#39;ve said before, I will take the case to trial and fight my hardest for the Uber drivers.&quot;</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-18/uber-s-100-million-driver-pay-settlement-is-rejected-by-judge" target="_blank">Uber&#39;s $100 Million Driver Pay Settlement Rejected by Judge</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.llrlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Uber%E2%80%99s-Worst-Nightmare.pdf" target="_blank">Uber&#39;s Worst Nightmare</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bluemaumau.org/15101/uber_agrees_100m_settle_class_action_lawsuits_drivers&amp;sa=U&amp;ved=0ahUKEwi10fnEqdPOAhVM1WMKHUFrAMYQFggFMAA&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNHOHIRBoy5VfXyXCBkem_a6pp8fvQ" target="_blank">Uber&nbsp;Agrees to $100M to&nbsp;Settle&nbsp;Class Action Lawsuits with&nbsp;</a></li> <li><a href="https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2837993/O-Connor-Objection.pdf">Plaintiff&nbsp;Douglas O&#39;Connor Declaration</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><table id="attachments" class="sticky-enabled"> <thead><tr><th>Attachment</th><th>Size</th> </tr></thead> <tbody> <tr class="odd"><td><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/Order-Denying-Plaintiffs-Mot-for-Preliminary-A (1).pdf">Order-Denying-Plaintiffs-Mot-for-Preliminary-A (1).pdf</a></td><td>420.42 KB</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15388/judge_rejecting_settlement_drivers_may_give_uber_upper_hand#comments Small Business O'Connor et al v. Uber Technologies Inc. Private Attorneys General Act Shannon Liss-Riordan Sledgehammer Shannon Uber class action lawsuits Mon, 22 Aug 2016 23:57:06 +0000 Janet Sparks 15388 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Gallup Says Restaurants Poll as Most Popular U.S. Industry http://www.bluemaumau.org/15379/gallup_says_restaurants_voted_most_popular_us_industry <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/081816_2006_GallupSaysR1-320x214.jpg" style="height: 214px; width: 320px; float: right; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px;" width="320" height="214" />Consumers have voted restaurants as their highest regarded industry, according to Gallup. The polling firm states that restaurants and computer industries have vied for the two top positions since 2001.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>&quot;The restaurant industry enjoys the more positive overall image this year,&quot; states Gallup. It elaborated on its random sampling of telephone calls to 1,032 adults from August 3 through 7: &quot;This year&#39;s +59 net-positive score for the restaurant industry is well above its average +51 since 2001, whereas the computer industry&#39;s +53 net-positive score is about average for that industry.&quot;</p> <p>The travel industry came in as the sixth most popular by consumers.</p> <div class="photoright"> <table style="width: 389px;"> <colgroup> </colgroup> <tbody> <tr> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: 0.5pt; border-style: solid; border-color: rgb(191, 191, 191); width: 70px;"> <p><strong>Industry</strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: 0.5pt 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 59px;"> <p style="text-align: center"><span style="font-size:10pt"><strong>Total positive %</strong></span></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: 0.5pt 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 47px;"> <p style="text-align: center"><span style="font-size:10pt"><strong>Neutral %</strong></span></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: 0.5pt 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 56px;"> <p style="text-align: center"><span style="font-size:10pt"><strong>Total negative %</strong></span></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: 0.5pt 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 67px;"> <p style="text-align: center"><span style="font-size:10pt"><strong>Net positive pcts</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="background: #f2f2f2"> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt; border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191); width: 70px;"> <p><strong>Restaurant </strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 59px;"> <p style="text-align: center">66</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 47px;"> <p style="text-align: center">27</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 56px;"> <p style="text-align: center">7</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 67px;"> <p style="text-align: center">+59</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt; border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191); width: 70px;"> <p><strong>Computer </strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 59px;"> <p style="text-align: center">66</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 47px;"> <p style="text-align: center">19</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 56px;"> <p style="text-align: center">13</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 67px;"> <p style="text-align: center">+53</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="background: #f2f2f2"> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt; border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191); width: 70px;"> <p><strong>Grocery </strong></p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 59px;"> <p style="text-align: center">54</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 47px;"> <p style="text-align: center">28</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 56px;"> <p style="text-align: center">18</p> </td> <td style="padding-left: 7px; padding-right: 7px; border-width: medium 0.5pt 0.5pt medium; border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color rgb(191, 191, 191) rgb(191, 191, 191) -moz-use-text-color; width: 67px;"> <p style="text-align: center">+36</p> </td> </tr> <tr> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div class="caption"><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/194570/restaurants-again-voted-popular-industry.aspx?utm_source=alert&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=heading&amp;utm_campaign=syndication">Gallup Top-Rated U.S. Business Sectors</a>: Overall view of it is very positive, somewhat positive,<br /> neutral, somewhat negative or very negative.</div> </div> <p>Gallup asked Americans to rate industries on a scale from &quot;very positive&quot; to &quot;very negative.&quot; The computer industry is second to restaurants. Gallup stated that the restaurant industry continuously scores so highly because they offer Americans &quot;enjoyment and efficiency.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Restaurants are the beloved cornerstones of communities across America,&quot; said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.</p> <p>According to additional research by the National Restaurant Association, nine in ten consumers say they enjoy going to restaurants. One half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives. The association says that as the nation&#39;s second largest private sector employer, restaurants continue to be economic drivers, employing nearly 10 percent of America&#39;s workforce.</p> <p>In addition, more than nine out of 10 restaurants are actively involved in charitable activities. Collectively, the charitable contributions of the nation&#39;s one million restaurants are estimated to reach up to $3 billion each year.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15379/gallup_says_restaurants_voted_most_popular_us_industry#comments Foodservice Thu, 18 Aug 2016 20:07:02 +0000 Don Sniegowski 15379 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Low-Wage Workers Hold First-Ever ‘Fight for $15’ Convention http://www.bluemaumau.org/15376/lowwage_workers_hold_firstever_%E2%80%98fight_15%E2%80%99_convention <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/081716_2100_LowWageWork1-320x83.jpg" style="height: 83px; width: 320px; float: right; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" width="320" height="83" />RICHMOND, Virginia &ndash; Thousands of low-wage workers from around the country took to the street in Richmond, Virginia last weekend in the sweltering heat, ending their first-ever &quot;Fight-for-$15&quot; Convention at which they vowed to hold elected officials accountable during the election season and beyond to build an economy that works for everyone.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The two-day event, held at the former capital of the old Confederacy, highlighted the enduring effects of racist policies that are holding back low-paid working families of color today. A convention organizer declared, &quot;Four hundred years of slavery and segregation, combined with 40 years of anti-union policies, have had a disastrous effect on tens of millions of working Americans.&quot;</p> <p>One speaker, Sepia Coleman, a home care worker from Memphis, set the tone of the convention declaring, &quot;We abolished slavery more than 150 years ago, but its legacy is still felt in economic policies and working conditions that hold back Black and Latino working people across America.&quot; She said when you add in decades of attacks on workers who organized unions, you get a devastating result that has left tens of millions unable to support their families.</p> <p>Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union and staunch supporter of Fight for $15, chimed in stating, &quot;Centuries of racism ingrained in the structure of our society and 40 years of corporate attacks on working families fighting for a decent life have left America without a strong middle class, but workers of the Fight for $15 are starting to turn the tide.&quot;</p> <p>Another speaker, Derick Smith, adjunct faculty at North Carolina A&amp;T State University, told the crowd that people who work for fast food corporations like McDonald&#39;s led the way in workers demonstrating across the country their need for more pay. He added, &quot;By joining together and passing the Richmond Resolution, we&#39;re saying loud and clear that we will hold our nation&#39;s elected leaders and deep-pocketed corporations accountable to cooks, cashiers, home care workers, and all 64 million of us paid less than $15 an hour.&quot;</p> <p>Rev. William Barber II, an architect of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina and founder of the social justice group Repairers of the Breach, kicked off day two of the event by leading a rousing rendition of &quot;Ain&#39;t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.&quot; He called more than 60 pastors onto the stage, in a prelude to a morning clergy summit hosted by Repairers of the Breach, to mobilize&nbsp;faith leaders to partner with underpaid people in their congregations in the Fight for $15 to raise wage floors and overcome barriers to opportunity for working people.&nbsp;</p> <p>Prior to marching down the streets of Richmond, workers from various industries&mdash;fast food, home care, child care, higher education, retail, manufacturing and agriculture&mdash;passed unanimously the &quot;Richmond Resolution,&quot; giving them a defined direction for their movement. As part of the charter, members vowed to intensify their fight for $15 an hour minimum wage and union rights. With 64 million workers being paid less than $15 an hour, the workers promised to hold massive protests for higher wages at the Presidential and Vice President debates this fall.</p> <p>Before the vote, a group of fast-food cooks and cashiers from Memphis led the crowd in a chant shouting, &quot;Eyes on &#39;16, we want $15.&quot;</p> <p>Day two of the convention also included a moving tribute to Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Philando Castile, Rekia Boyd and dozens of other black men and women killed by police in recent years. Hundreds of workers walked silently through the hall holding signs bearing the images and names of those killed, prompting thousands to call in unison: &quot;Black Lives Matter.&quot;</p> <p>The march&mdash;led by Rev. Barber and members of the Fight for $15 National Organizing Committee, ending at a statue of Robert E. Lee&mdash;brought the convention to a dynamic conclusion.&nbsp;Addressing thousands of workers in a keynote address in front of the statue, Barber stressed the linked fates of movements for living wages and civil rights.</p> <p><strong>Convention focuses on Missouri and Alabama legislatures </strong></p> <p>The event leaders stated that working people&#39;s focus on the connections between racism and an economy increasingly out of balance is motivated in part by recent decisions made by predominantly white legislatures in Alabama and Missouri.&nbsp; They said these decisions steal away hard-fought raises for the predominantly black workforces in Birmingham, Kansas City and St. Louis, and led Alabama fast-food workers to enter&nbsp;a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/alabama-fast-food-workers-expand-civil-rights-wage-suit-1467309581" target="_blank">federal civil rights suit</a>&nbsp;seeking to overturn the state&#39;s preemption of an increase approved by Birmingham&#39;s predominantly black city council.</p> <p>&quot;When white legislators in Missouri stole the minimum wage increase we fought so hard for in Kansas City, they took food right out of my children&#39;s mouths &ndash; and did the same to thousands of Black working families like ours,&quot;&nbsp;said Terrence Wise, a McDonald&#39;s worker from Kansas City, who is a member of the Fight for $15&#39;s National Organizing Committee. &quot;But we won&#39;t let them steal our hope for a better life. I was proud to cast my vote for the Richmond Resolution to raise wages throughout cities and states across the South. Together we are standing up, fighting back, and we won&#39;t stop until we win $15 and union rights for everyone, everywhere.&quot;</p> <p>The debate strikes this fall will build off similar protests from Milwaukee to Miami last winter, which forced White House hopefuls to address the demands of working-class voters head on. On five occasions in the debates, candidates were pressed by moderators to respond to families in the Fight for $15 movement.</p> <p>&quot;Candidates who want our vote need to resolve the crisis of low pay in our country,&quot;&nbsp;said Dawn O&#39;Neal, a child care worker from Atlanta, Georgia who is paid $8.50 an hour despite 17 years on the job.&nbsp;&quot;There are tens of millions of working parents around the country who are paid less than $15 an hour, and politicians and elected officials have the power to change this. This year we&#39;re joining together to say that if you stand with us on the need for $15 an hour, we&#39;ll stand with you.&quot;</p> <p><strong>-- </strong></p> <p><strong>Related Articles: </strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/14441/tax_day_worker_strikes_236_cities_intensifies" target="_blank"><strong>Tax Day Worker Strikes Intensify in 236 Cities</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/14327/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_franchisee_accused_civil_rights_violations_racism_harassment" target="_blank"><strong>McDonald&#39;s and Franchisee Accused of Civil Rights Violations, Racism, Harassment</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/15106/naacp_files_civil_right_suit_against_alabama_governor_blocking_wage_hike" target="_blank"><strong>NAACP Files Civil Rights Suit against Alabama Governor for Blocking Wage Hike</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/15243/fast_food_workers_civil_rights_activists_strengthens_wage_suit_against_alabama" target="_blank"><strong>Fast Food Workers, Civil Rights Activists Strengthen Wage Suit against Alabama</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/15066/double_whammy_california_and_new_york_enact_15_minimum_wage" target="_blank"><strong>Double Whammy! California and New York Enact $15 Minimum Wage</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/exmcdonald%E2%80%99s_franchisee_pay_back_wages_penalties_291_workers" target="_blank"><strong>Ex-McDonald&#39;s Franchisee to Pay Back Wages, Penalties to 291 Workers</strong></a><strong> </strong></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><table id="attachments" class="sticky-enabled"> <thead><tr><th>Attachment</th><th>Size</th> </tr></thead> <tbody> <tr class="odd"><td><a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/Richmond Resolution FF$15.pdf">Richmond Resolution FF$15.pdf</a></td><td>64.38 KB</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> http://www.bluemaumau.org/15376/lowwage_workers_hold_firstever_%E2%80%98fight_15%E2%80%99_convention#comments Foodservice Black Lives Matter Civil Rights violations Fight for $15 low-wage workers convention SEIU Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:00:37 +0000 Janet Sparks 15376 at http://www.bluemaumau.org