@LRToday Morning Round-Up: March 10, 2014

Dems Delve Into Fast-Food Allegations: Ben James of Law360 ($$) writes that late last week, two Democratic Congressmen stated that they had sent letters to McDonald’s Corp., Burger King, and other fast-food restaurants. The letters asked for information concerning the companies’ labor practices, particularly allegations of illegal pay practices. Authored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT), the letters further sough information concerning training materials, standard franchise agreements, and wage-and-hour policies.

“To better understand the business dynamics at work in low-wage but profitable industries with reportedly high rates of both wage theft and employee use of public assistance, we are writing to gain insight from a number of executives of restaurant franchisors,” the letters said.

The letters come on the heels of protests and work-stoppages across the country. Workers at fast-food chains have been lobbying for higher minimum wages, with the companies that employ them stating that the costs of any wage hike would be passed along to the consumer.

Southern Bakeries Hit With ULP Charges: KNOE.com reports that Southern Bakeries in Hope, Arkansas has been accused of certain unfair labor practices by the National Labor Relations Board. In particular, the company has been accused of disciplining, threatening, and firing employees in response to union activity. The company has denied the charges, adding that employees are attempting to decertify their current union. We will keep you posted as this investigation moves forward.

MLS Locks Out Refs: Steven Goff of the Washington Post writes that last week, the Pro Referee Organization, a group affiliated with Major League Soccer who oversees professional refereeing in the U.S. and Canada, announced that it was locking out Major League Soccer’s referees until a collective bargaining agreement was reached. The referees, represented by the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA), have been in negotiations for months with PRO in order to hammer out their first labor deal as a union. MLS will make use of replacement referees until the deal is concluded. Knowing how well that went for the NFL, let’s hope that deal wraps soon.

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