Mayor Murray statement on International Franchise Association lawsuit

Mayor Murray made the following statement today about a lawsuit filed by the International Franchise Association:

“The movement around wage equality in our nation began with fast food workers walking off the job. I believe we have to recognize that’s where this started. That was the straw that broke wage disparity’s back in this nation.

Franchises have resources that a small business in the Rainier Valley or a small sandwich shop on Capitol Hill do not have. Franchise restaurants have menus that are developed by a corporate national entity, a food supply and products that are provided by a corporate national entity, training provided by a corporate national entity, and advertising provided by a corporate national entity. They are not the same as a local sandwich shop that opens up or a new local restaurant that opens up in the city. Our process for reaching $15 an hour in Seattle recognizes that difference.

There is a problem in the franchise business model and I believe this is a discussion franchise owners should be having with their corporate parents. I don’t believe that the economic strain comes from a fairly slow phase in of a higher minimum wage, but on a business model that really does — in many cases — harm franchise owners. I don’t doubt at all that franchise workers are operating under tight conditions, but I think it’s a conversation to have with the people who have decided to spend oodles of money on lawyers to fight a higher minimum wage.”

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