Reporting by WOWT Channel 6 News in Omaha, Nebraska:
A fast-food chain is slashing employee hours so franchise owners don’t have to pay health benefits. Around 100 local Wendy’s workers have learned their hours are being cut. A spokesperson says a new health care law is to blame.
“Thirty-six to 37 hours a week.” That’s how many hours T.J. Growbeck works at the 84th and Giles Wendy’s restaurant. The money he earns helps him pay for the basics, but that’s not the case for all his co-workers. “There are some people doing it trying to get by.”
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.
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.
To make it even clearer that cutting staff hours and wages is pure act of political theater, and a hissy fit by the corporate oligarchy, the provisions of the health care act that affect the situation in question do not even kick in until 2014! If so, why is Wendy’s cutting their employees hours now? Actually, I think I answered that question in the previous sentence.
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.
From the Wendy’s corporate web site:
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
News Media Inquiries
Senior Vice President, Communications
One Dave Thomas Boulevard
Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: (614) 764-3100