Jimmy John's food-poisoning poster fight moves to Washington

Categories: Investigations

sickdayposter2.jpg
Jimmy John's Workers Union
Should workers be fired for distributing this poster?
This fight's going all the way to the top. The latest battle in Jimmy John's workers fight for better pay and working conditions is getting adjudicated in Washington, D.C.

Remember the poster union supporters bombed the city with in March? Drawing attention to what the union says is an unfair and unsafe sick-leave policy, the poster made a pretty graphic point: Sick food workers can get customers sick.

But telling customers your food will make them sick was also an aggressive attack on Jimmy John's bottom line, and Miklin Enterprises, the owner of the targeted franchises, reacted swiftly, firing six employees thought to be connected to the poster campaign.

No fair, said the workers -- nothing in the poster was untrue, and besides, it was part of a union effort and therefore protected under labor law. They filed a complaint with the local office of the National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRB investigated, but the fliers posed a thorny legal question.

Under the law, employees can't be fired for organizing-related activities. But that protection doesn't extend to willfully sabotaging an employer's business.

So are the fliers protected or not? It was a complicated enough issue that the local NLRB bumped the question up to national headquarters in Washington.

"There's no question that the fliers invoked part of their labor dispute in asking for sick time," says Marlin Osthus, regional director of the NLRB. "The question is whether it is disloyal to the company or undermining the employer's product, suggesting to the public that the sandwiches could make them sick."

A national ruling on the contentious posters might take a while, Osthus says.

"The last case we submitted took four or five months."

Previous Coverage:

  • Jimmy John's fires six main union organizers

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    6 comments
    Flapjack
    Flapjack

    What the fuck is wrong with you people?  If you don't like working at Jimmy Johns, get another job somewhere else.

    You union morons are what's wrong with America.

    Scarleton
    Scarleton

    The irony of your statement is incredible. You know they are fighting to make sure that places like Jimmy Johns don't force sick people to make sandwiches, right? So, in your "America" people who stand up against corporations that don't care about their customers possibly getting sick because they treat employees poorly are the problem. Ha! I think your have proven that your logic is, actually, what is wrong with the world right now. Get your head out of your ass.

    Patrick
    Patrick

    Good call! There are so many jobs available these days! Poor employers, constantly having to scrounge around for workers to fill positions.

    +mc
    +mc

    I know, God. Why one Earth would people want better and safer working conditions? Don't they realize they're "the help?"

    Herb DickYOUson
    Herb DickYOUson

    What the fuck is wrong with you jackass?  If you don't like reading about Jimmy John's, read another website somewhere else.

    You conceited morons are what's wrong with America.

    Honestly
    Honestly

    What's the f--k wrong with both of you jackasses? You're both distracting from the real issue: you wanna know what's really wrong with America? Applebee's.

    That should be something all Americans should agree on. Those that don't should be shipped to zee camps!!!

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