An oppressed small business.
The International Franchise Association continues to run around the country making both PR and legal arguments about how the nation's franchises—all those McDonald's, Subways, KFCs, Dairy Queens, Quizno's, Del Tacos, etc.—may look like big national chains, but they're really just friendly small businesses. As you'll remember, they filed a lawsuit last week attempting to block Seattle's new minimum-wage law because it defines those nationwide franchises as "large businesses," a move they call "discriminatory." Any minimum wage law that treats McDonald's as if it were some sort of, you know, mammoth international corporation is just dead wrong, they say. (Imagine that! I know that when I think of McDonald's, I'm thinking "my li'l neighborhood burger joint.")

In fact, in a recent e-mail to media, the IFA says that blocking minimum wage laws like ours is the organization's highest policy priority right now.

The "IFA's top policy fight," they say, is "an effort to prevent cities from enacting minimum wage increases that discriminate against franchisees." And they're not just fighting it with a lawsuit—they're also running a concerted PR campaign portraying themselves as tragic victims of discrimination. Here in Seattle, they posted an open letter to our city government complaining about our wage law, and printed it as a full-page ad in the Seattle Times. They've also apparently sent a similar letter to Chicago's city council, which is considering its own $15 wage law. (You're welcome for the awesome idea, Chicago!)

And the IFA has gone the promoted tweet route, too, pushing out a tweet that urges Seattleites to tweet at Mayor Murray "and tell him he is harming Seattle franchisees."

But, um, Seattle's not exactly buying it. The first two replies to that promo tweet? (1) "Fuck you" and (2) "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on." The whole thread is worth a read (minus a couple wackos). Whoops, PR department!

One more bit of entertainment: Working Washington, the group that helped organize fast-food workers around the campaign for $15, managed to find every last one of the supportive small business people from the IFA's local video ad. Of course, all those supportive small business people were easy to find, because every last one of them was in a cheap stock footage catalog. It's good to know that at least the poor IFA has the support of "Young Asian woman smiling face" and "Young Hispanic man smiling at camera" and "Man Looking At Seattle Skyline."

Keep fighting the good fight, Mickey D's!