Restoring justice in franchising.

October 18, 2010

When one human right is violated, all human rights are violated.Upon reflection, many franchisees consider their experiences a violation of their fundamental human rights. While the most obvious one, the one always mentioned in even the weakest franchise law (right to associate) there are several others, principally, violations of the right to enjoy free speech.

If franchising is to “get back” there must be a technology that assists in recognizing and treating this violence. It’s called restorative justice.

South Africa developed one:

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. Wikipedia

Canada is working on another for their indigenous peoples.

Franchisees are both a distinct and indigenous people. Ontario had a form of it at the public hearings that preceded the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) in 2000.

  1. Check it out for yourself: of the 40 testimonies, former and honest franchisees speak one language, one experience, one emotion.
  2. For the individuals involved, March 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2000 were important dates in their lives because a threat to someone else’s liberty, is a threat to everyone’s. There are no bystanders in a rights war. Many of these are still in public service.
  3. I started collecting articles in preparation of these testimonies and from this need, arose.

Statesmanship: A first step is the state acknowledging that systemic abuse happened and they themselves were a part of the problem. Not the individual politician or civil servant: but that, for their part, a predatory environment was tolerated and enabled that caused family violence to flourish in franchising. This is called leadership.

Public hearings may be an appropriate response.

audi alteram partem

Therese Evans, terminated Oz franchisee dies of suspected heart attack at 48

August 16, 2010

The traditional franchisor defense is an economic war of attrition.

It almost always works especially and the violence is usually borne (1) disproportionally and (2) by women.

Therese Evans was a six-year, two-unit newly terminated Wendy’s Supa Sundae franchisee. She leaves two boys (Josh and Luke) and husband Danny with a franchisor debt she claimed was only $7,000.

Please see your doctor regularly, especially when you get into a dispute.


1. Sundae, bloody sundae
Wendy’s franchisees are asking whether the ice-cream chain’s business model is built to fail, writes Stuart Washington.
August 10, 2010

2. Sad end: Wendy’s franchisee dies after detailing dispute

WHEN Therese Evans spoke to BusinessDay last Thursday she sounded upbeat and determined to continue her fight against Wendy’s, which had locked her out of her shop for a debt she put at $7000.

On Saturday morning Mrs Evans, 48, died of a suspected heart attack at her home in Singleton.

August 16th

Underperforming franchisees deserve to lose their life (savings)

May 27, 2010

Franchisees that have run out of money are human ballast (ballastexistenzen) and not worthy of existence.

They are a drain on non-disgruntled (gruntled?) peers and the system as a whole. Lawyers, advisers and consultants, too.

Franchisees are really quick to join their franchisors in determining the “other” is not fit to survive: lebensunwertes Leben (unworthy of corporate life).

Hier trägst du mit is translated as here you are also carrying.

First you believe they have no rights and then you can act as if that were true. Even to the most extreme measures.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

March 5, 2010

Some franchisors consider themselves, primarily, as enforcers.

As guards. As police. Judge, jury…

Without checks and balances, guards frequently run amok.

Taken to extremes, all hell breaks loose.

I read the news today oh, boy

March 4, 2010

We identify workplace harassment as a building issue. Violence caused by work is taken out in the family’s kitchen.

What do they do?

Who knows. Big secret.

Violence comes to work: Somebody goes postal.

Who could have predicted that, eh? Senseless, I tell you. Senseless.

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

Self-fulfilling prophecy: Franchisees are a skittish, easily spooked & dull beast-of-burden

March 2, 2010

Common observations about women a few decades ago.

Franchisors often make the same ignorant assumptions about franchisees.

If the words “Jews”, “blacks”, “indigenous peoples” were switched with franchisee, this rhetoric would be seen for what it is: hate mongering toward an identifiable, at-risk population.

Self-fulfilling prophecies are the primary barrier in modern franchising.

Self -fulfilling prophecy:

a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression “self-fulfilling prophecy” and formalizing its structure and consequences.

As I observe franchisors closely, it is breathtakingly apparent that they haven’t cracked a management or social science textbook in 40 years.

Franchisors can’t see the solution because they don’t get the fucking problem.

Their paternalism blinds them to the reality that franchisees’ want: 1% to do with $ and 99 per cent acknowledgement that families have a right to a decent level of material security.

Hint: It’s about freedom, missy.

Freedom from your over-reaching which causes financial ruin.

Debt creates slaves and slaves are indeed revolting. In ways that you will cause from your willful adherence to an authoritarian ideology.

Franchisors create a cage which affects franchisee behaviour

February 26, 2010

Franchisors control 95% of the business model (ie. when you work, what you wear, who you associate with, what you can afford, etc).

Every environment changes the people within it (franchisors and franchisees).

Franchisees, as a consequence of group and individual cultural, social and psychological forces become institutionalized.

…individuals in institutions may be deprived (unintentionally) of independence and of responsibility, to the point that once they return to “outside life” they are often unable to manage many of its demands…

The law and internet has freed franchisees: but these very powerful, internal and misunderstood forces continue a chain gang mentality.

I see this every day. Franchisees who have lost their former life-skills: confused, conflicted and in unnecessary pain. And it’s in the family where this toxic play is acted out.

Listening to you partner is the key.

A thousand-yard stare

February 22, 2010

Some people feel that running a franchise is like being in a war.

They sometimes exhibit symptoms like combat stress reaction:

  1. fatigue,
  2. slower reaction times,
  3. indecision,
  4. disconnection from one’s surroundings, and
  5. inability to prioritize.

They show to their loved ones a Thousand-yard stare.

Look familiar?

Negative effects of bullying

February 19, 2010

Symptoms, % of cases reporting

  1. Losing sense of humour, 47.1
  2. Depression, 35.3
  3. Migraine headaches, 35.3
  4. Skin disorders (dryness, rashes), 17.6
  5. Chest pains, 17.6
  6. Constant fatigue, 23.5
  7. Hypertension, 23.5
  8. Muscular tension and pain, 17.6
  9. Vomiting at thought of going to work, 11.8
  10. Diarrhoea, 11.8
  11. Coughs & Asthma, 5.9 and
  12. Abdominal pains,  5.9

It should be viewed by employers in this industry with deep concern that such high levels of ill health are being reported in such a small sample of people, as with time all these symptoms will worsen and result in significant costs in relation to sickness payments. This is in addition to inefficiency which is heightened by having to replace employees on days, weeks or months when they fall sick. It also goes without saying that if allowed to continue unabated, these workers will either leave prematurely or die prematurely from a stress related ailment such as a heart attack. Indeed, suicide is also commonplace in people who are deep in depression.

These are the realities of bullying and stress at work which we see and can easily measure. Much of the information that I have been volunteered by employees in the retail trade has been volunteered only with the guarantee of absolute confidence of anonymity but I have to say that I am not aware of any major employer in the retail food sector which was not affected by this blight.

: Workplace Bullying: Stress, Employment Law and You

Manifestations of workplace bullying

February 19, 2010

Bullying is violence.

Look it up.

Behaviour, % of cases

  1. Aggressive shouting at victim, 94.1
  2. Public Humiliation of victim,  70.6
  3. Victim set up to fail with overload of work,  23.5
  4. Unjustifiable and inconsistent discipline, 29.4
  5. Constant & consistent insulting of victim,  41.2
  6. Inconsistently changing hours & duties, 23.5
  7. Cancelling holidays without good reason,  17.6
  8. Deliberate exclusion from social gatherings,  5.9
  9. Malicious gossip/rumour spreading, 5.9
  10. Telephoning victim at home to intimidate further,  17.6
  11. Sexual/Racial harassment,  23.5

One can see from the figures above that the most common forms of bullying are the overt types such as aggressively shouting at the victim or publicly humiliating the victim. As I have pointed out earlier in this report, the use of an audience is of great importance to a bully as it spreads word of the bullies power across the store or even group of stores in the case of a more senior manager.

Source: Workplace Bullying: Stress, Employment Law and You

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: