NLRB finds Jimmy John’s illegally threatened and fired employees backing union

Source: A poster distributed as part of the IWW's campaign to win sick days for Jimmy John's workers.

Source: A poster distributed as part of the IWW’s campaign to win sick days for Jimmy John’s workers.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint Wednesday finding that Twin Cities Jimmy John’s owned by MikLin Enterprises unlawfully threatened, disciplined and terminated workers for engaging in union activities.

The complaint about the sandwich shop stems from a March incident where six supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were fired after protesting the company’s lack of paid sick leave.

Among the findings against Jimmy John’s in the complaint: “Disparaging and threatening pro-union employees on Facebook, removing union postings from stores, interrogating employees about their union activities, and threatening mass firings for union organizing.”

Micah Buckley-Farlee of the Twin Cities branch of the IWW is one of the six fired workers.

“We’re looking forward to continue fighting for paid sick days, which is the starting point that led to the whole thing they fired us for,” Buckley-Farlee told the Minnesota Independent. “So I’m looking forward to getting back to my job and organizing around paid sick days.”

Unless there is a settlement between the company and the union, an administrative judge will hear the case in mid-January 2012.

Union supporters said they’re willing to consider a settlement if Jimmy John’s reinstates workers and pays back pay. The Minneapolis franchises, which are owned by MikLin Enterprises and headed by Michael Mulligan, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, haven’t returned a request for comment (this post will be updated if we find out more).

This isn’t the company’s first brush with labor law violations. In January 2011, the National Labor Relations Board overturned the previous union election, which the union lost by two votes, due to unfair labor practices by the company. At the time, the company and union reached an agreement that Jimmy John’s would not take action against workers supporting the union.

Buckley-Farlee said the union is keeping the possibility of an election on the table, but that the union is currently more dedicated to grassroots organizing.

Update: The Minnesota Independent has received a copy of the NLRB complaint, you can view it here.



Comment posted November 10, 2011 @ 10:20 am Mike Mulligan’s implicit message to the workers:

‘Make my wealth for me. But screw off if you want a living wage and to be treated with respect.’

Comment posted November 10, 2011 @ 11:56 am On a selfish note it makes me think twice about dining at JJ’s. If an employee doesn’t get paid sick leave they tend to come to work sick because they can’t afford not to. I don’t want sick workers handling the food I purchase from Jimmy John’s.

Comment posted November 10, 2011 @ 12:04 pm One more thought: I just emailed JJ corporate and let them know we won’t be dining at any JJ’s now that flu season is upon us. Anyone else want to email them?

Food Chain Workers » Blog Archive » News
Pingback posted November 10, 2011 @ 12:30 pm […] *Re-posted from The Minnesota Independent* […]

Comment posted November 10, 2011 @ 3:51 pm FYI, IWW stands for “Industrial Workers of the World.”

Jon Collins
Comment posted November 11, 2011 @ 11:12 am Sorry about that. My brain must have turned off. Corrected.

Zack Jackson
Comment posted November 13, 2011 @ 11:59 am Jimmy Johns is one of the most sickening corporations on the planet. They pay their employees the least amount of money for the most strenuous job possible. Their message is ‘freaky fast,’ well who makes the sandwich ‘freaky fast’? The base level employees working for table scraps with a turnover rate so high that job security could be a slapstick punchline to a joke. Their delivery drivers risking their lives on bicycles to deliver that inner city sandwich a couple minutes faster. In the hopes they might get a two dollar tip because thats the only thing that separates them from the mostly minimum wage inshop workers.

Zack Jackson
Comment posted November 13, 2011 @ 12:05 pm Join the cause to Boycott Jimmy Johns. Their un-healthy over priced sandwiches and their abhorrent labor practices. Should be enough to send any individual with a moral compass away.

Comment posted November 18, 2011 @ 6:01 pm This is a joke. I work for Jimmy Johns and I am proud of it. This is a franchise company not some fortune 500 company that is in the fast food industry. I don’t see any articles about Mcdonalds or Wendys not getting paid sick days. The policy is if you can’t make it in to work you get someone to cover for you, If you show up sick you get sent home cause of health standards. You shouldn’t be getting paid cause your sick and not doing work.

As for being union I agree with certain union organization but not for an industry like fast food. There is no reason to have a union at jimmy johns and all it does is complicate things like in this article. I hope MikLin Enterprises and Michael Mulligan do not settle and I support them.

For all the people leaving comments, please read them before you post cause most of you are sounding like ignorant, uneducated society. Wages are minimum or above and competitive to the industry. The food is the healthiest you can buy in the industry. Plus there is a nation wide corporate standard that they all have to follow that insures Jimmy Johns is safe, delicious, and wanted by the majority population.