Alternative Media

McDonald’s Uses 1868 Anti-Slavery Law To Avoid Paying Employees

Jefferey Jaxen

It appears that 2015 is not going to be kind for McDonald’s. Consumers are rushing towards the exits away from GMO filled menus and shocking ingredients to reclaim their health. As Stock prices fall, consumers reject the fast food giant, and internal management scurries to find an answer, the bad press continues to pummel Ronald and his unhappy crew.

The people of Seattle voted in favor of a $15 minimum wage last summer. In response, The International Franchise Association (IFA), which McDonald’s is a part of, is suing the city of Seattle by citing a law used to end slavery as the basis for their lawsuit.

McDonald’s is being hit with criticism for using a landmark anti-slavery law from 1868 to argue the newly passed Seattle minimum wage hike is violating the “equal protection under the law” under the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. This Amendment was named one of three “Reconstruction Amendments” leading the effort to abolish slavery in 1868.

McDonald’s has been at the center of many employee protests over the years demanding fair, living wages. Yet it seems that even when the citizens use proper channels through the voting process, the corporation still has the upper hand.

This legal action is similar to the headline making lawsuit against the state of Vermont last year in which Monsanto and Starbucks sought to block GMO labeling laws through The Grocery Manufacturers Alliance (GMA). Much like the GMA, the IFA is McDonald’s front used to deflect criticism and avoid responsibility for their actions. It is important to note that the GMA vs. Vermont lawsuit kicked off a successful, highly publicized Starbucks boycott by Neil Young.

Through their menu, low pay, and legal actions against The People’s will, McDonald’s’ clear message to the United States is one lacking empathy towards the health and well-being of the common public.

“You know what it means when they pay you minimum wage? You know what they’re trying to tell you? ‘Hey, if I could pay you less I would, but it’s against the law.’” – Chris Rock


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