International Franchise Association’s latest chain of nonsense

Steeped in Tea Party logic, ads from DC lobby group for McDonald’s prove only that they have money to burn

It’s either self-parody, or they were hacked. How else to explain why the International Franchise Association is paying for radio ads about their lawsuit to block the $15 minimum wage — let alone a laughable ad which suggests that Seattle workers want lower wages for themselves in order to protect the profits of global franchise systems.

Or perhaps IFA board members like McDonald’s just have money to burn, and the DC lobby group for global franchise chains dreamed up the Tea Party logic of their ad at the same time they decided that Speaker of the House John Boehner would be the perfect guest to honor at their annual convention.

The main impact of this ludicrous ad campaign is to reveal that the franchise lobby group has no more faith in the merits of their legal arguments than anyone else does — do they really expect to convince a judge to strike down our minimum wage on dubious grounds… because of a radio ad? Maybe so, because the bizarre claims in this ad certainly aren’t aimed at the people of Seattle. Either way, they sure seem to have more money to spend on defending poverty wages than they know what to do with.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Malcolm Cooper-Suggs, a fast food worker with Working Washington who works at the 3rd & Pine McDonald’s in Seattle. “The same people who employ us and say they care about us are trying to take $15 away from us. The ad says this is about workers and jobs, but what I hear in this ad is ‘this is about our money and not paying you.’ They’re talking down to us, and it’s just a chain of nonsense.”

The truth is that the multi-billion-dollar global franchise systems who fund the IFA have lost the minimum wage debate. Here in Seattle, our $15 minimum wage plan won consensus support from the mayor’s advisory committee, passed city council unanimously, and is backed by 74% of voters. A fringe effort to bring the law to a referendum couldn’t even gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Seattle won a $3 billion boost to the local economy over the next decade, and big businesses can’t get away with paying poverty wages any longer.

“We went on strike for $15 and we won, and these corporations don’t like that,” Cooper-Suggs continued. “They make billions of dollars, and it seems like they’d rather spend money on making sure we don’t get a fair wage than it would cost to just pay us a fair wage. “

The last time the the International Franchise Association tried to make an ad about Seattle’s minimum wage law, the only people they could find to support them were stock video models like “Young Asian woman smiling face”, “Portrait Of Young Happy Handsome Man In Glasses,” and “Man looking at Seattle skyline”.

Maybe that’s why they cut a radio ad this time?


Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington:

Working Washington unites low-wage workers to fight for a fair economy where everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. We launched the fast food strikes that sparked the fight for $15 in Seattle; we helped lead the successful campaign to pass $15 in SeaTac; and we work in coalition with unions, faith groups, and grassroots organizations to hold corporations & politicians accountable to community needs.