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Wendy's restaurant sign
An Omaha, Nebraska, Wendy's franchise owner is joining the list of restaurants vowing to cut worker hours rather than have them qualify for employer-provided health coverage under Obamacare. That's endangering the livelihoods of around 100 workers who are having their hours cut (managers, of course, are remaining full-time):
The company has announced that all non-management positions will have their hours reduced to 28 a week. Gary Burdette, Vice President of Operations for the local franchise, says the cuts are coming because the new Affordable Health Care Act requires employers to offer health insurance to employees working 32-38 hours a week. Under the current law they are not considered full time and that as a small business owner, he can't afford to stay in operation and pay for everyone's health insurance.

There are 11 Wendy's restaurants in the metro. “It has a huge effect on me and pretty much everybody that I work with,” says [hourly worker T.J.] Growbeck, who understands the reasoning and says other part-timers at other fast-food restaurants are facing the same problem. “I'm hoping that I can get some sort of promotion because then I would get my hours, but everybody is shooting for that because of the hours being cut.”

This Wendy's owner has apparently not learned the lesson of Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent company Darden Restaurants, Papa John's, or the Denny's franchise owner who made similar plans, only to have Darden's profits drop 37 percent in the wake of those threats, Papa John's suffer in a brand reputation survey, and the CEO of Denny's tell the franchise owner to quit making the chain look bad.

And all of these threats to workers' livelihoods are coming over what would be tiny increases if the costs were passed directly to customers. When Papa John's CEO John Schnatter was trying to really scare people, he said his chain would pass along a 10 to 14 cent increase in the cost of a pizza—less than $22 a year if you ate Papa John's three times every single week. But when Forbes' Caleb Melby did the math on Schnatter's claims, it worked out to less than 5 cents per pizza. Mind you, all of the wailing these chain executives and franchise owners do about how they can't afford health care is suspect to begin with. But when they're not willing to contemplate even the smallest price increases rather than cutting already poorly paid workers down below 30 hours a week and risking what's now been shown to be significant public relations costs, that's a clear statement that this isn't some kind of pure, rational business decision. It's an ideological stance against anything that might benefit the low-wage workers on whom the fast food industry relies.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's hoping their Corporate does the right thing (22+ / 0-)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:10:06 AM PST

  •  You can't totaly blame the business owner. Given (11+ / 0-)

    two choices they will choose the one that puts more money in their pocket.  They are not being immoral.  The immorality is they are given a choice.  The employees in a business like this are easily replaceable being low skilled.  Cut someone's hours and they leave, there is someone ready to take their place.   Single payer is the solution.  

    Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

    by thestructureguy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:21:23 AM PST

    •  Actually, there are many cases where making (27+ / 0-)

      a choice to put more money in your pocket is immoral, assuming that the choice has a deleterious affect on other people. That's what morality about, and why the capitalist system, as implemented today, in fact encourages people running and working in enterprises to collectively exhibit the behavior of at the very least a sociopath, if not a psychopath, in society.

      Certainly employers who balance employee's needs and profits more equitably are on greater moral standing than those that do not.

      Of course, the best solution is to provide regulations that require ALL employers to operate on the same level of higher morals/ethics. Then, exploiting employees for profit would not be a competitive advantage.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:42:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what 'morality' is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, VClib

        I just know what 'the law' is.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:39:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "... the law is a ass -- a idiot." n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

          by midnight lurker on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:39:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "morality" is what stops a person from running (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          down and killing the person that just cut them off in traffic even if they could find a legal loophole that would make it perfectly legal to do so.  "morality" is what stops someone from luring you into a dark alley, killing you, throwing down a weapon by your body, and taking all your stuff.  But as you don't recognize the existence of "right" and "wrong", just what the law says at least hopefully the risk of getting caught will be enough to prevent you from doing either of those things.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:22:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sometimes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In the cases you describe though it's probably the law that stops many of them (since there likely isn't a legal loophole for the road rage case and, if found and used, it would quickly be legislated away).

            Most people just don't even think of doing these things.

            For example, why would I bother to run down and kill a person that cut me off in traffic? Morality has nothing to do with my decision not to do that -- it just isn't worth my time and trouble. If I did think to do it, morality would then enter into it, but it's never occurred to me to do this.

            (Besides, there are much more fun ways to retaliate if you do bother to catch up with the person - death is so final and just doesn't make a good story. If the person dies, well, they are dead and don't care -- if they end up feeling like a fool, that annoys them for at least a few hours.)

            However, for those that do think of doing these things, I think it's likely law that stops many of them. Some of the remaining ones are stopped by fear of immediate retaliation (street justice) as the victim may be armed, stronger, or more skilled than the psychopathic perpetrator.

        •  We already established that, I think. (0+ / 0-)

          Morality is about how we treat each other. At it's base is the golden rule. That much, everyone pretty much agrees upon, at least in theory. What people do in practice, especially in business, is something else.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:04:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure (9+ / 0-)

      if he would make more money. Having a large work force working only 28h creates a lot of logistical problems

    •  I was reading on another diary the idea of FTE's (17+ / 0-)

      and how the health care bill requires charging 2000 dollars per the equivalent number of hours that would be considered full time.  If you hire more workers at just below full time hours and have to hire more to cover your workload you still pay 2000 per the number of hours that equals full time employment.  You don't gain anything as far as the health care law goes and you have to carry the training of many more employees who will probably leave with greater frequency because of your hiring practices.

      Sounds like a terrible way to handle ones hiring plan.

      •  I doubt they'd consider something like this (5+ / 0-)

        w/o crunching the numbers.  There are consultants out there that are doing nothing but figuring out whether it's more cost effective to drop hours or pay the penalty.

      •  my understanding... (7+ / 0-)

        When this topic was discussed earlier (Denny's, etc., cases), I followed the links to the legislation.

        My understanding is this:

        - Under ACA, it matters whether you are a big employer or not, with a big employer being one with more than 50 FTE employees. An employer with 100 half-time or 200 quarter-time would count as one with 50 FTE.

        - However, the big employer only has to provide the health benefits (or pay the $2000) for employees working full-time, which is defined. (IIRC, it is 30 hours.)

        So an employer with one full-time Big Boss, and maybe some other full-time managers, but no other employees working more than 30 hours a week, would have to give health benefits to the Big Boss and the full-time managers but not to the part-timers. They wouldn't have to pay $2000 per FTE, either.

        But I could be wrong.

      •  Kaiser flow chart (7+ / 0-)

        Kaiser Family Foundation has a flow chart showing how the employer's responsibility for health benefits works.

        Notice that the first factor is: does the employer have at least 50 full-time equivalent employees?

        Then, at the penalties level, the language changes: the employer pays an annual penalty of $2000 times the number of "full time employees" minus 30.

        An employer departs from the category of small businesses that can get health insurance tax credits once it has more than 25 employees.

        But the employer that is big enough to have 50 FTE employees will either have to offer health insurance to full-time employees or face penalties--for each full-time employee, not FTEs. As I read this, if the employer has 100 FTEs, of whom two are full-time workers--one Big Boss, one Big Manager--and the rest are part-timers, then the employer has to provide health insurance to those two full-timers and nobody else.

        •  I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile

          that to avoid penalties, the employer has to offer coverage to all employees, but if he doesn't, you're right - the penalties are only paid based on the number of full time employees.

          Weird language, though. Seems to me the penalties are going to be next to nothing...

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:41:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Penalties, under the IRS Code, are generally (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane

            treated as nondeductible.  So there is the multiplier of bad news. Taxpayers annd shareholders don't like shelling out expenses that aren't deductible on the balance sheet.

            And from the FWIF department: Your Rube headed a small office for many years.  Small, as in, two.  But health insurance was always paid for by the company (a/k/a, me). We weren't awash in dough, and it was difficult.  But jeez, isn't this the right thing to do?  These people make me totally crazy.

            •  Good on you (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think it's right to claim you're a success if your employees need assistance to survive. I'd love to have help, and I'm positive that in this climate I could find someone to work for minimum wage, and hell, probably even less. But that person would be worth between $15 and $20 an hour; there is no way that I would ever hire someone for less than I know they're worth, even though it means that I go without the help. Some would say that there's a job that I'm not creating; I say that once you create that job at that crappy wage, it's there to stay. It drags all of us down. You will never make $15/hr if you start at $8. Just won't happen. Not in at least ten years, and ten years is a long time to wait to make what you should've been making ten years prior.

              Does that make me a stupid business person? Perhaps, but at least I can sleep at night.

              "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

              by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:40:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  No Penalty for no Insurance for Part time (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashoil, La Gitane, VClib

        There is no penalty for Part Time Employees not getting health insurance for any size of company.

        PPACA has no penalties to employers for not providing Health Insurance to employees who work fewer than 30 Hrs/week, regardless of company size.

        See the text of the law at Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

        Look at second half of page 155 of document (the 174th PDF page)

        PPACA has different policies for businesses with 51 or more Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees, than for smaller businesses.  The hours of part time employees are included with full time employees in this determination.  So a business with, for example 100 employees who all work 28 hours a week will be classified as a "large business" as it will have greater than 51 FTE employees although it has no full time employees.  The text for this calculation is in the section I referenced in PPACA pages preceeding page 155.

        However, the rules for large businesses have no penalty for not providing health insurance for part time employees.

        Excluding Healthcare costs for employers with fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees and for all part time employees is a major failing of PPACA.  This places strong pressure on companies that don't need to complete for employees to organize their business so they use employees that do not require they pay healthcare costs.  This pressure is especially strong in businesses with low profitability.

        Rather than attacking businesses for doing what the law pressures them to do, pressure should be applied on Congress to fix the law.

        PPACA is very large and complex while addressing the complex and large market of healthcare.  There will be many bad policies in PPACA simply due to this complexity.  So pressure needs to be applied to amend the law to address these significant failings of the law as they become identified.  Putting pressure on businesses is just a distraction.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:02:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't read it this way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile
          However, the rules for large businesses have no penalty for not providing health insurance for part time employees.
          According to the Kaiser flowchart cited by True North above, those companies with 50 or more FTE's have to offer health insurance to all their employees that covers more than 60% of the premium and keeps the premium under 9.5% of the employee's salary. If they don't, then they are assessed penalties on only the full-time employees.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:48:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is more interesting then that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane

            because the FTE calc is set at basically 30 hours per week.

            If that business at any point allows there part time employees to go over 30 hours, then that employee will add more then 1.0 to the FTE count, If this happens across enough employees that company could end up paying a higher ta premium then if all of its employees where simply full time.

            Be the case that the employer can't fill all of their new part time positions to pickup the slack, or simply increased demand over a short period of time.

            Basically, these businesses are playing chicken with the tax man, a poor bet given the probability of an employee exceeding the FTE 30 hour per week thresh hold.

            Even more so consider how many businesses already play games with part timers that work full time hours. Name me a retailer that doesn't work a part timer for 30-36hours for 13weeks then 1 week at 18 hours then repeat(mind you personal experience from Utah, results may vary).

            Employers are going to have to balance their decision on this carefully, are the added recruitment costs, ability to universally keep workers under 30 hours, and business ability to handle common rise and fall of demand(such as the holidays). Worth the maybe savings given they still rack up FTE's on part timers, and the 30 hour cutoff creating the very real potential of paying even higher taxes.

    •  Then Capitalism is a failure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:17:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a huge flaw in Obamacare. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru, splashoil

      Some employers will reduce hours to 32 per week for each employee to avoid paying.

      Obamacare should have a better solution.  Maybe it is single payer, maybe it is saying anyone over 20 hours per week must get covered, or whatever.

      Saying anyone less than 33 hours per week makes the choice easy for some companies.

      •  Yes, but prior to that it was (0+ / 0-)

        only at the companies' discretion that health care was offered at all.

        Do agree that single payer would have been better.

        If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

        by shigeru on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  nothing new (0+ / 0-)

        For as long as I have been working, I have seen firms work around laws using various employment tricks.  Many firms work to keep themselves below 50 FTE employees.  Some do this legitimately by limiting company size, happy to be wealthy, not bothered by the fact that they actually have do some heavy lifting.  Others use 'contracted' labor, people who are really employees, have no control over their time or workload, but file a 1099 instead of a W-2.

        I have talked to people who work for the same employer, but in two different locations.  They put in 5 hours in one location, take an hour bus trip, and then work 5 hours in another location.  Two different checks.  Part time working full time.

        What the AHCA has done is exactly what it was designed to do.  Bring out some of these issues that have plagued the working poor.  Yes health care benefits used to be a method by which an employer would insure a stable and healthy work force.  Now that we are back to a situation in which we have many unskilled jobs, and many unskilled workers, there is no reason for an employer to do this.

        So the AHCA provides incentives for large employers to cover workers, as well as methods for uncovered people to gain health care.  

  •  This will be interesting (16+ / 0-)

    It's the actions of a franchisor.  Wendy's corporate can't legally control their employment practices.  And it's in Nebraska so it's not going to create a significant image problem there.

    On the other hand, it's an image problem for Wendy's, which is an international business.  Remember that Wendy's provides a common health insurance plan, which is likely much cheaper than anything a local owner could get on their own.  They are very exposed to a competitor announcing "we provide health insurance for employees."

    •  The perils of franchising (7+ / 0-)

      Yes, I noted the same thing. This is just one small group out of the entire Wendy's chain. Quite a big difference from the Papa John's situation.

      It's more like the Denny's situation. I wonder what Wendy's corporate will do.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:39:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They can revoke franchises if a franchisee... (11+ / 0-)

      ...does things which negatively impact the corporation as a whole.  

      If I own a franchise, and I purposefully do something that draws negative attention causes problems for other franchisees across the nation and the corporation, I could have the franchise rights pulled.  Usually though, other corrective measures will be tried before they resort to that.  

      It has happened before.  Usually the way it plays out is that  the franchisor will go to court and file suit and get a temporary injunction against the franchisee ordering them to stop using the franchise name until the matter is settled in court.  They will claim that whatever issue is being argued is causing damage to the corporation's and other franchisee's reputation, and it is an ongoing tort that must be stopped until the issue is resolved.  This usually results in solving the problem altogether, since once the franchisee loses the right to use the franchise name (even temporarily, pending the outcome of litigation), their revenues go out the window (they lose their marketing and supply chain) and can't pay their lawyers.  

      It happened to a franchisee here in my city.  Made the newspaper because of how insidious the violation was.  Of course, plenty of people saw it the other way around and saw the big, bad franchisor and their armies of New York lawyers as picking on a local businessman trying to feed his family, etc...    

      It's extreme, but it can happen.  My guess is that Wendy's Corporate counsel will send an STFU letter and, if the owner has any sense, he'll listen to it cause franchisors legal counsels take brand degradation very, very seriously and will get nasty in a hurry.  It may not fix the problem, but at least the guy won't go around telling the world why he's doing it.      

  •  Thanks for the heads up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We RARELY eat fast food, but when we do, Wendy's has been a more likely source than others. One less reason to eat fast food!

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:37:11 AM PST

  •  So (3+ / 0-)

    If he has 100 employees affected and is cutting around 5h for each and none of them can pick any of those hours, bet you the managers will have to suck a few (manager position in many of this things are even more prone to overwork and exploitation than base workers) this guy will have to find at least 18 new workers. This of course makes the business run like shit with really high absenteeism and turnover, but he don;t care because he will not pick the shifts when someone is missing or will give a dime more to the frequent times when workers will have to kill themselves to cover someone needed not there during lunch.

  •  I believe I read that HHS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Mole

    wasn't going to let employers get away with this.  I wish I could recall and post a link.  If I locate the piece I will post a link later.

    •  Right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, aitchdee

      I thought a company has to pay for health insurance based on the total hours the company employs people to work, not on individual hours?

    •  Could they do anything about it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Sparhawk

      There are already fairly complex provisions in the bill that try to prevent gaming the system; I'd think that HHS would be limited to enforcing the provisions in the bill (although I haven't looked too closely at it; maybe they were delegated authority to draft anti-abuse rules)

    •  Ya Sure.... (5+ / 0-)

      By Design...


      The MaxTax offers this one, giant, out for corporations.

              A Medicaid-eligible individual can always choose to leave the employer’s coverage and enroll in Medicaid. In this circumstance, the employer is not required to pay a fee.

          In other words, the one way–just about the only way–a large employer can dodge responsibility for paying something for its employees is if its employees happen to qualify for Medicaid. Under MaxTax, Medicaid eligibility will be determined by one thing: whether a person makes less than 133% of the poverty rate. And who has the most control over how much a particular person makes? Their employer!

          So if Wal-Mart wanted to avoid paying anything for its employees under MaxTax, it could simply make sure that none of them made more than $14,403 a year (they’d have to do this by ensuring their employees worked fewer than 40 hours a week, since this works out to be slightly less than minimum wage). Or, a single mom with two kids could make $24,352–a whopping $11.71 an hour, working full time. That’s more than the average Wal-Mart employee made last year. So long as Wal-Mart made sure its employees applied for Medicaid (something it already does in states where its employees are eligible), it would pay nothing. Nada, zip. Nothing.

      It sure will be addressed lol....
  •  Thanks Laura (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The kids and I are eating pizzas right now. (9+ / 0-)

    I made them from scratch last night.  Barbecued chicken and pineapple with diced peppers, black olives, and smoked super-sharp cheddar.  Papa John's can't touch this stuff!

    Tomorrow night:  Cheeseburgers that you'd swear were straight from the ol' Brown Derby (hint: add oregano and basil to the meat).

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:56:02 AM PST

  •  crap (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trivium, Morgana, concernedamerican

    my list just gets longer

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:59:24 AM PST

  •  Which is it? (5+ / 0-)

    People at this site say "Don't eat at big chains.  Eat at locally-owned restaurants"

    Locally owned restaurants usually don't have enough employees to have to offer health care or they employ relatives.

  •  Not just franchises (9+ / 0-)

    As much as I like their pizza, Little Ceasers is cutting all workers hours chain-wide. I've also talked to people who work at McDonalds franchises, Taco Bell, and Burger King stores in the area, as well as Home Depot and Lowes.

    Seems like a lot of stores are doing this without making a huge announcement.

  •  There is a Wendys down the street from me. (5+ / 0-)

    I don't eat much fast food. I go there maybe 2-3 times a year, usually when everything else is closed. A big part of it as others have pointed out is quality.

    I remember after a scare over tainted tomatoes they offered some promotion to get the customers back and I grabbed a burger at the drive through and it was easily the best burger I had from them in maybe decades. The bad PR forced them temporarily to pay more attention to quality.

    A big reason its suffered over the years is because of low pay IMO. Pay your employees a living wage and its more likely that you will see them do a better job and take more pride in their work.

    •  When everything else is closed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hospital cafeterias usually have something decent. I don't know if you have any in your area, but it's a good tip to keep in mind. It helped us when we were traveling this Thanksgiving.

      Oh, and they better be providing some type of health care for their workers.

  •  Goodbye Spicy Chicken sandwich. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Looks like I'll have to cross Wendy's off the list. I'm finding myself cooking at home a lot more often lately.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:23:57 AM PST

  •  That's enough for me. Until a chain diner says... (7+ / 0-)

    the exact opposite ie, "we are providing healthcare for our employees", I am boycotting all of them; from McD's on down.

    There are plenty of family diners around that can serve up a burger cheaply that need my cash more than these dipwads.  

    I'm done with them all.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:25:24 AM PST

    •  That sounds like a great idea. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor

      If some franchises are going to deny their employees health care, we can deny them our money.

      At the same time, what if other franchises were to advertise that they provided health care for their employees? We could then reward these franchises with our business.

      We can use our wallets to provide both negative and positive incentives for businesses.

      The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

      by A Citizen on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:39:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like someone needs a visit... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

    by al ajnabee on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:28:28 AM PST

  •  Let's make this owner sorry. Contact info, anyone? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  When is someone going to author a study (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that examines that added costs of oil and transportation due to a monopolistic industry, Wall Street speculation, and global sprawling military empire?

    That's a hell of a lot more than .14 per pizza.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:41:13 AM PST

  •  this is just sick (4+ / 0-)

    first, health care should be a benefit they want to cover - I don't know why a food servcie would want to have sick peole show up to work

    2nd, the cost shouldn't be that bad, and they can either absorb it or raise prices or do some of both

    3rd, if they reduce hours they will either reduce service levels or increase staff - if they increase staffing, it will increase costs for hiring, training, scheduling and other HR issues.  I cannot believe that is less expensive than health care - but maybe it is

    When & how do we disassociate health care from employment?  Reduced benefits is getting to be a big deal everywhere - why can't we find a way to offer health care coverage to everyone regardless of employment or hours?  Especially with unemployment as high as it is now?

    •  To answer your question: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      When & how do we disassociate health care from employment?
      Only when enough prople get out in the streets and demand it.

      “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by brae70 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:22:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unless Wendy's Corporate squelches this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, madronagal

    it will be a cold day in hell before I purchase one of their Cholesterol bombs.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:30:07 PM PST

  •  Darn, now I have to remember 2 reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I won't eat at Wendy's.

    1. Their shitty food
    2. Their shitty owners

    Well, I guess it won't be that hard after all!

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:20:02 PM PST

  •  Went into a Wendy's the other day for a chicken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    sandwich after not having been in a Wendy's for about fifteen years. Looks like it'll be another fifteen-year moratorium.

    (By the way, the sandwich was good. Too bad.)

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:21:24 PM PST

  •  Wendy's cugtting employee hours to avoid Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    I will now officially boycott Wendy's - first for the immorality of their position and secondly I don't want the poor employees to be forced to work while sick for lack of health coverage. That would certainly affect all of us. This entire situation is shameful.

    •  Did you not read the diary? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      white blitz, winsock

      It's a local franchisee in Nebraska that is doing this, not corporate.

      Unless you're in Omaha, you may want to check with your local Wendy's franchisee to see what their policy is going to be before deciding whether to boycott them.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:41:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You were probably one of those people who said " (0+ / 0-)

        but it was Sony Music that infected all those people's computers, not Sony Hardware", am I right?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:36:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, that's just clueless... (0+ / 0-)

          ...because Sony Music and Sony hardware are all part of the same actual corporation.  That's not the case here.  It's a false equivalency that any beltway media pundit would be proud of.

          Wendy's corporate and a local franchise in Omaha, NE are two completely separate companies.  Wendy's has limited control over it's franchisees as defined by the franchise agreement.  And as of this point, we haven't even seen what response Wendy's corporate will have (if any) to what the Omaha franchisee is doing.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:23:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  canchita - not Wendy's Corporate (0+ / 0-)

      a single Wendy's franchisee and not the one in your neighborhood.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:51:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Assholes (0+ / 0-)

    Fuck Wendy's too.  I can certainly due without eating there.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:30:36 PM PST

  •  Fast food (0+ / 0-)

    does more damage to society than it's worth. Meat that comes form god knows where (if it even is meat), produce harvested by undocumented workers, "food" items loaded with nothing but salt, sugar, chemicals and fat, enormous amounts of waste generated by napkins, wrappers, cups, boxes and containers, and on top of all this they create nothing but shitty jobs.

    Fast food restaurants exist solely for the purpose of making a few people very rich. It is no coincidence that the owners of these crappy businesses are tea bagging Republicans. They are cancers on society; let them all go out of business.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:30:46 PM PST

  •  I hope Wendy's really gets rolled for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I think they may: inferior product to begin with (by the standards of junk food :), and abuser of minimum-wage labor, t'boot.

    Note to abusive employers: just because it's this good now, and employees are basically falling off the vine, doesn't mean this recession won't end. When that happens, you jackals are going to be scrambling. I can't wait.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:31:00 PM PST

  •  Now they'll HAVE to cut employee hours. (0+ / 0-)

    Wonder how many college-age, Democratic–voting people will decide they shouldn’t be helping (i.e. doing business with) multi-billion-dollar corporations that are too cheap to help provide healthcare for their employees?
    Quite a few, I suspect.

  •  What to expect (0+ / 0-)

    In a word, more. As the year goes forward, we will hear about a steady stream of such cutbacks, and each additional employer will essentially provide cover for the others. The lesson of the Olive Garden will turn out to be, "Don't Be the First—wait patiently until you are just another drop in the bucket." That's my prediction about this perfectly predictable kettle of Red Lobsters.

  •  if we all stop eating out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz

    our health will be better

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:38:58 PM PST

    •  Unless both parents work FT (0+ / 0-)

      (or more) and eating in means a dinnertime later than the childrens' bedtime. Then what do you propose? Sure, I can spend my whole one day off I get with my family cooking meals for the week, but how much does someone want to eat chicken cooked 6 days earlier? And suppose I want a salad? They don't keep beyond a couple days, really, so we're back to preparing it after work.
      Sometimes eating out is more than a luxury . . .

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:49:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  These restaurants are helping my diet. (0+ / 0-)

    Just spread the costs out to the public with a small increase in price and be done with it. It isn't like their costs didn't increase without Obamacare. I doubt many people are hands across the world for the plight of these fast food peddlers.

    by Common Cents on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:39:07 PM PST

  •  I Worked at Wendy's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    my first job.  $3.35 an hour the first six months, got a raise to $3.45 a month.  Woo-hoo!  Left Wendy's when the manager made up stories about me. (I quit).  I feel sorry for anybody working for that company.  They had better than average fast food, but I was put in charge of chicken when I worked because I knew how to take care of poultry properly, unlike most young people . . . which is why I rarely order poultry at fast food (well, I rarely go to fast food now, but before I stopped going with my Fast Food Nation knowledge . . . )

    So in other words, I am not surprised at all.

  •  so they'll be hiring more people then? (0+ / 0-)

    so unemployment will go down?

  •  And what absolutely sucks is that if you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Irixsh, Mr K, Cassandra Waites

    boycott enough to seriously cut into their profits, you hurt the workers the most.  Jobs will be lost.  

    And these guys know it.  

    And don't care until their bottom lines are hurt enough.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:50:46 PM PST

  •  yet another reason to find anything you can (0+ / 0-)

    that will cut you out of the Matrix. These people are animals. Of course, this is Nebraska, so none of the "good Christians" would boycott anyways...

  •  We need a blog or website tracking the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr K

    restaurants that DO embrace ACA's provisions and DO provide health benefits for their employees, and who have NOT cut workers to try to weasel out of ACA.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:58:45 PM PST

  •  This has to violate some kind of labor law (0+ / 0-)

    It can't be legal to arbitrarily cut worker's hours, or to do it to make a political point. I hope someone researches and prints the salaries of each of these CEOs to show how overpaid they are!

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:59:24 PM PST

  •  Well I will cut my Wendy's visits from once per (0+ / 0-)

    annum to nonce.

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:01:52 PM PST

  •  Wow, the balls on these people. (0+ / 0-)

    They must either be in total compliance with every local, state, and federal regulation that an interested party traveling through town might investigate, or else have their bribes well in line.  But do they offer sabotage insurance in Nebraska?  The owner might want to look into that.

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

    by Troubadour on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:17:09 PM PST

  •  There sure is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr K

    a shitload of people from Omaha posting here.  Does anyone know if the franchisee owns every single Wendy's restaurant in the Omaha area?  Or are some stores unaffected -- maybe across the river in Council Bluffs?

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:17:34 PM PST

  •  Who is the loser? (0+ / 0-)

    Those who work at the Omaha Nebraska stores lose, and lets try to make sure the owner is in the same boat.

    Lets also know that  there are 13 Wendy's stores in and near Omaha Nebraska

    If one guy owns them all they all should be boycotted, but if several people own them only Mr. (Ms?) 28 hrs should suffer.

    I never ate in Papa Johns but I have driven by some stores and they look like a hard working guy who scrimped to buy the franchise owns them... other Papa Johns - not so much...

    The man who made the announcement about making the help part time, Garry Burdett is from Omega Foods and they might or might not own all the Wendie's in Nebraska...

    If the other Wendie's stores do not share the policies of Omega Foods they should not suffer - but if they do...

  •  Tell Wendy's to shove it.... (0+ / 0-)

    I think all the chemicals that the farmers put on all the food the grow has messed up so many people in the mid west. It is really the home of the stupid. Can't these folks do better or find another shitty job like the one their in.. Get off your dead ass and go looking for something else...

  •  Finally, a place where I actually do eat, so that (0+ / 0-)

    I can not eat there again until and unless they change their policy.  Not eating there will probably be better for my health too.

  •  Oh well. Sorry. (0+ / 0-)

    It will not hurt me much to stop eating square burgers at Wendy's. Not only will it be healthy, but it will drain a right-wing money pit.

    Too bad for the thousands of minimum age workers who will lose jobs. I hope this will be a temporary pain for you all. I won't feel it directly myself. I will kick up my donations to the American Friends Field Service Committee to cover my decreased burger buys at Wendy's.

  •  Wendy's (0+ / 0-)

    Boycott Wendy's.... forever.  You'll be healthier.

  •  All the facts point to one conclusion-- (0+ / 0-)

    This is all a conspiracy to make me eat healthier.


  •  Why Stop There, Wendy's? (2+ / 0-)

    Why not cut back management hours to 28 per week? And, while you're at it, are you paying healthcare costs for your executive officers? Why? You could save even more money by cutting their benefits off, too.

    For that matter, you're probably overpaying for executive staff. You could do a lot better by outsourcing their jobs to a cheaper area. I hear that China and India are cheaper. You could probably find executive material there, cheaper, and they might even do a better job.

    China and India too pricey for you? How about Brazil or Russia? In fact, Vietnam has bargain basement prices, and a highly-trained workforce. If you're paying over $60,000 per year for any of those people, obviously you're way overpaying.

    You might consider substituting TVP for cow in your burgers. It's cheaper and arguably healthier. Just think of the money you'd save.

    And, then, there's the bun. There's a new bun you should try called the "air bun". It has no carbohydrates, fats, sugars or protein. It isn't quite as good at holding the patty to the pickle, but it is far less expensive than one made from wheat.

    Just a thought that can save you a bunch of money!

  •  Haven't eaten there since they stopped salad bars (0+ / 0-)

    now I have no reason to go back - EVER.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:13:01 AM PST

  •  Please DO stop at Wendy's! (0+ / 0-)

    Go in, ask for the manager, tell him or her you aren't buying food there because the chain doesn't want healthy employees--and you don't want unhealthy employees serving your food. Then walk across the street to Subway or Starbucks. (It's better food.)

  •  Wendy's Corporate Contact Info (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B

    Wendy's Consumer Relations - United States
    Wendy's International, Inc.
    One Dave Thomas Blvd.
    Dublin, OH 43017

    Phone: (614) 764-3100, x132032

    Wendy's Consumer Relations - Canada
    Wendy's Restaurants of Canada, Inc.
    240 Wyecroft Road
    Oakville, ON L6K 2G7

    Phone: (905) 849-7685

    One other commentary. The home office might want to reconsider the links on their page to topics such as "Responsiblity", under which the menu options is "Giving Back".

    I have to also believe that founder Dave Thomas would not approve of this move by his franchise holder.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:55:45 AM PST

    •  My call to consumer line (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob B

      I just called the consumer line. I spoke for five minute to a very polite person. Either she had not heard of this situation, or she was one of the best actors I have run in to in a while.

      She asked specifics, so I dug deeper and gave her the name of the VP of Operations in Omaha who had made the announcement, the the street address of the one location mentioned in the local news article linked to from this article.

      I emphasized the fact that Olive Garden and Red Lobster corporate profits dropped like a rock, 37%, last quarter, after their blathering about this.

      I pointed out that Wendy's is one of only two hamburger chains I will eat a hamburger at, because frankly, the quality of their meat and its taste is better. You could not force me to eat something like a Burger King, the very sight and smell makes me ill.

      Also, I emphasized the fact that I sincerely doubt if founder Dave Thomas would approve of this plan to reduce all workers to underpaid wage slaves with zero benefits.

      I also emphasized the fact that there are tax credits in the legislation to help cover the costs, a fact which seems to be blithely ignored by these corporations who want serfs and wage slaves, not workers who can afford to see the doctor and stay healthy.

      Feel free to call the USA Consumer Line. If you get the after hours message, just enter the six digit extension to go straight to the consumer line.

      "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

      by HeartlandLiberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:08:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the info! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Apparently Taco Hell Getting Onboard With This (0+ / 0-)

    John Aravosis over on AmericaBlog reports Taco Bell is doing the same thing.

    Taco Bell joins Wendy’s in gutting blue-collar employee hours allegedly to avoid Obamacare

    John reports this fact, though, which makes these corporate masters of the universe look even worse, and shows what total villains they are.

    The requirement doesn’t kick in until 2014. So why is Taco Ball cutting employee hours now, a year early? Same question for Wendy’s.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:21:32 AM PST

  •  Hmm, healthier employees for a few cents ? (0+ / 0-)

    Better productivity, better morale, happier customers ?

    Damned Obamacare.

  •  The good news is that the food (0+ / 0-)

    in these places is pretty much crap and by boycotting the restaurants the health of the nation will be better off. The bad news is that the lowlifes running the companies have not be banished to the Moon with Newt Gingrinch on a one way trip.

  •  One of my clients thinks this is a swell idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Liberal in PA

    The client, a construction contractor, announced yesterday in a meeting that all marketing materials, contracts, invoices, etc., are to now contain a paragraph in bold letters explaining that massive price increases are coming because of the "business-killing effects of Obamacare". I spoke up in the meeting to explain that, a) from a marketing standpoint, that hadn't worked out too well for Papa Johns, etc., and b) our coming price increases actually had very little if anything to do with healthcare reform. As the sole progressive in the room, I was overruled, of course--but at least my protest is now part of the permanent company record, so I have something with which to cudgel them when the plan backfires...

    Cogito. Ergo sum ​​atheus.

    by Neapolitan on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:16:04 AM PST

  •  Billboards should go up around Omaha (0+ / 0-)

    When visiting understand that patronizing Wendy's will endorse ownership greed over providing necessary healthcare benefits for its workers.

    This should do the it will get local coverage for local customers and also affect those traveling through.

    Applied pressure where owners are made accountable for their actions.

    The by product is that other Wendy franchise owners will also scream internally and either force these guys out or force them to comply.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

    by RWN on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:29:25 AM PST

  •  This concerns me (0+ / 0-)

    I worry about the effect on their workers, and on the economy as a whole. I also worry how it will effect Obama and the future of ACA.

  •  this kind of crap (0+ / 0-)

    has been going on for many years in low level jobs where employees are considered a drain on profits and not an asset except as a expense of doing business.  The attitude of "I can get anyone to do what you do" especially during a time of increased economic slavery will only get more pronounced.  

    Yeah, and I do not want an abused person preparing my food!

  •  The ACA a good start? (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps, but in many ways it is serving to exacerbate the need for a comprehensive, not-for-profit, quality universal health care system in our country.  Employer sponsored health insurance began as a fringe benefit for corporations to attract and maintain a skilled workforce.  Employers should not be expected to (and cannot realistically) meet the financial challenge of underwriting the cost of quality healthcare for all American workers and their families.

    But it seems much of corporate America wants to prop-up anti-healthcare law Republican candidates while railing against Democratic proposals to actually get us on the road to practical solutions.  

    "The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

    by Progressive Pride on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:04:32 AM PST

  •  Sounds familiar. (0+ / 0-)

    My wife's former employers blamed last years rising costs on Obamacare and have said that they won't be changing their coverage since everything is either covered or they'll be grandfathered in. So no coverage of things like contraception. This week they sent out a letter with 2012 bonuses saying that they will not be issuing end of the year bonuses for 2013 explicitly because of Obamacare.

    Good thing she's leaving for a new employer next week, one that is just adding health insurance this year so they fall under the new laws.

  •  Wendy's is sad. (0+ / 0-)

    Our favorite restaurant and one of the few that serves tasty gluten free which is important since my wife has celiac disease.

  •  National Boycott Helps (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone should boycott their local Wendy's. How else will Wendy's corporate be convinced to work against such a backwards franchise owner?

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