Jimmy John's on trial for firing union organizers

Categories: News

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Jimmy John's is on trial for firing organizers over this poster
​Jimmy John's went on trial this week for firing six union organizers last March.

Franchise owner Miklin Enterprises fired David Boehnke, Micah Buckley-Farlee, Erik Forman, Davis Ritsema, Max Specter, and Mike Wilkow after the workers distributed posters around Minneapolis suggesting that sandwiches at Jimmy John's posed a public health risk because sandwich-makers aren't allowed to call in sick.

The company is defending the firings against the National Labor Relations Board, which has filed a complaint against Jimmy John's alleging it violated labor law by firing the workers.

Jimmy John's vigorously denies firing the workers for union activities.

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Jimmy John's union organizers lost their jobs last March
​"The discharges here had to do with the disparagement that was found in the posters of the product," says spokeswoman Amy Rotenberg. "This was not about the labor dispute."

Rotenberg says Jimmy John's complies with all state and federal labor laws, and she touts the company's record on food safety.

"They've been in business for 10 years and have made 8 million sandwiches," Rotenberg said. "There have been only two reported instances of food-borne illness at Miklin stores."

The Jimmy John's Workers Union has a much different take on the case.

"I think the record in the trial says we were fired for campaigning for sick days for Jimmy John's employees," Erik Forman, one of the fired employees, said after the hearing.

Forman says the union's organizers were waging an internal campaign for sick days but felt they were being ignored by the franchise's bosses, so they took their campaign public with the posters. Forman contends that the posters were part of the union's organizing efforts and were therefore protected labor activity.

The trial began Tuesday morning and ended yesterday afternoon. Administrative law judge Arthur Amchan will decide whether Jimmy John's violated labor law by firing the employees. Both sides expressed confidence in their legal positions Wednesday afternoon.

Judge Amchan ordered both parties to submit written briefs by March 21. The judge will rule afterward.

Previous
Jimmy Johns about to become first fast-food union
Jimmy John's fires six main union organizers [UPDATE]
Jimmy John's food-poisoning poster fight moves to Washington


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8 comments
Nope
Nope

Who cares if the kids can't call in sick? That's every average restaurant in America.

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Gowildmn
Gowildmn

Annoyed515:  Then who would make the sandwiches you enjoy while sitting on your golden throne? Turns out the "real" jobs are few and far between.  And by far, I mean over seas where the american corporations will take advantage of those workers by telling them they can have a "real" job.  It's cyclical.  Those workers, too, will demand fair play and sick days.   

Annoyed515
Annoyed515

It's f*ck*ing Jimmy Johns! You want sick days? Get a REAL job....do you see Subway complaining?

andyman8662
andyman8662

I'm amazed at the ability of those two jimmy johns workers to make what look like exact replica sandwiches, and one of them was sick!

formerPIC
formerPIC

I worked for Miklin and was denied Worker's Compensation payments after a trip to the emergency room when i cut my finger at work. The General Manager who failed to complete my Workers Comp paperwork was fired for embezzling shortly after. This was a very traumatic experience for me because i had never been to a hospital before and did not have health insurance. Now i have medical bills that are destroying my ability to build credit.

teknik1200
teknik1200

It's pretty standard in restaurants to not allow people to call in sick.

you'd see some very snot filled servers running around, and few people was their hands after sneezing.

we can thank corporate america for this, and yes, anyplace I've worked that did not allow sick days was a corporate dump.

Annoyed515
Annoyed515

Gowildmn: I don't eat at Jimmy Johns, so don't worry about who will make my sandwiches. I will let Subway make them for me. I have a "real" job and I don't get sick days either....maybe I should take them to court....bottom line is it's FAST FOOD. You aren't going to reap any benefits working in FAST FOOD...

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