Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

McDonald's Protest

The low-wage worker movement has grown dramatically over recent years. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr/cc)

Fast Food-Loving Trump's Labor Board 'Pulls Rug Out' From Under Fast Food Workers

"While working people struggle to make ends meet, Trump's NLRB is making it harder for those who hold real power in workplaces to be held accountable."

Jessica Corbett

In a "shocking and brazen" move to advance the Trump administration's "aggressive anti-worker agenda," Republicans on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted along party lines to overturn a rule that helped hotel and fast food workers bring labor rights lawsuits against major companies like McDonald's and other chains.

The decision restores a policy that legal experts warn lets "joint employers evade liability" and "makes it easier for a big-pocketed [corporations] to outsource parts of their operations without taking responsibility for the outsourced workers' working conditions."

In 2014, labor unions and workers had celebrated a decision by the NLRB's general council that chains such as McDonald's—which primarily relies on franchise owners to handle daily operations at the vast majority of restaurants—could be treated as joint employers for the sake of settling labor disputes. While another ruling a year later expanded the joint-employer classification, McDonald's and its contemporaries have continued to fight against it.

"And once again, this administration pulls the rug out from under working people."
—Rebecca Smith, National Employment Law Project
Following the vote on Thursday, "two or more entities will be deemed joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if there is proof that one entity has exercised control over essential employment terms of another entity's employees (rather than merely having reserved the right to exercise control) and has done so directly and immediately (rather than indirectly) in a manner that is not limited and routine," according to a statement by the NLRB, which settles labor disputes between workers and employers.

Because the reversion to the old rules applies to "all future and pending cases," Thursday's ruling is expected to have significant and rather immediate consequences for workers.

As Huffington Post labor reporter Dave Jamieson noted: "Earlier this year, McDonald's was put on trial as a potential joint employer so that it might be held responsible for violating the rights of workers employed by its franchisees. That case has not been ruled on yet, and the change in precedent Thursday could knock a hole in the workers' argument."

The NLRB's decision Thursday infuriated workers, labor unions, and Democrats—including the two Democrats on the NLRB who voted against the proposal—who said this was just the latest boost to the pro-corporate agenda of President Donald Trump, a fast food enthusiast who earlier this year tried to appoint the chief executive of Hardee's and Carl's Jr.—despite a long anti-worker record—to lead the Labor Department.

"This shocking and brazen decision to overturn pro-worker precedent is further proof the Trump administration will stop at nothing to line the pockets of corporations—no matter what price workers and their families are forced to pay," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate's labor committee, told Huff Post.

Other Democrats in Congress and workers' advocates turned to Twitter to call out the Trump administration's NLRB for putting "corporate interests/wealthy donors before working families."

Although, as the New York Times noted Thursday, "the joint-employer decision was arguably the highest priority" on the NLRB's chopping block, the Republican-majority board is expected to continue attacking worker-friendly rules that were established under Obama.

In addition to the joint-employer classification, the Times reports that major employers have also targeted "rulings that made it easier for smaller groups of workers within a company to unionize, that gave workers access to a company's email network for organizing purposes, and that conferred a federally protected right to unionize on graduate students at private universities."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo