52 Black Former Franchisees Sue McDonald’s Alleging Discrimination

Trump arrives in Kenosha with Bill Barr as he pushes law-and-order message

  • On arrival, president says: ‘We’ll have plenty to talk about’
  • Wisconsin governor and Kenosha mayor opposed Trump trip

Tom McCarthy national affairs correspondent @TeeMcSee Email

Tue 1 Sep 2020 14.12 EDTFirst published on Tue 1 Sep 2020 09.10 EDT

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Trump steps off Air Force One with Bill Barr in Waukegan, Illinois, en route for Kenosha.
 Donald Trump steps off Air Force One with Bill Barr in Waukegan, Illinois, en route for Kenosha. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump arrived in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday with his attorney general, Bill Barr, in tow.

Jacob Blake: father refuses to ‘play politics with my son’s life’ amid furor over Trump visit

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The president is pushing a “law and order” message as he campaigns for re-election. On his way to the Wisconsin city, which has seen protests over a police shooting of an African American man, he tweeted that he would “thank law enforcement and the national guard for a job well done. The violence stopped six days ago, the moment the guard entered the picture. Thank you!”

On arrival, greeted by the Republican Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, Trump said: “We’ll have plenty to talk about.”

Before his visit, the president defended a teenager who shot two anti-racism protesters dead in the city last week. He also compared the actions of a white Kenosha police officer who fired seven shots at a black man, hitting him four times in the back, to a golfer choking on a putt.

The Democratic governor of Wisconsin and the mayor of Kenosha both urged Trump to stay away from the city, where many have marched to protest the shooting last month of Jacob Blake by officer Rusten Sheskey. Partially paralyzed, Blake remains in the hospital.

As Trump flew in, reverberations continued from an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday night in which he compared Sheskey to a golfer missing a putt.

“Shooting the guy – shooting the guy in the back many times, I mean, couldn’t you have done something different, couldn’t you have wrestled him?” Trump said.

“You know, I mean, in the meantime he might’ve been going for a weapon and you know, there’s a whole big thing there. But they choke. Just like in a golf tournament. They miss a 3ft putt.”

Ingraham, a prominent Trump supporter who spoke at the 2016 Republican convention, cut the president off abruptly.

“You’re not comparing it to golf, because that’s what the media would say,” she said.

“I’m saying people choke,” Trump replied. “People choke.”

Trump did not plan to meet with family members of Blake, whose father Jacob Blake Sr has emerged as a powerful voice for justice in the shooting. Sheskey is on administrative leave and has not been charged with a crime.

“President Trump is a racist who stokes racial tensions,” Justin Blake, the victim’suncle, told CNN. “He has been stirring racial tensions since he got in the White House. Why, as Jacob’s uncle, would I want to talk to him? Our focus is on Jacob and healing the community.”

Trump planned to “survey damage”, the White House said. But Trump’s critics said he was traveling to Wisconsin in an effort to do more damage, hoping to inflame racial tensions and twist the nature of anti-racism protests in an effort to scare white suburban voters into a stampede in his direction.

In Pittsburgh on Monday, the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, asked: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected? We need justice in America. We need safety in America. We’re facing multiple crises, crises that, under Donald Trump, have kept multiplying.”

Two days after protests in Kenosha began, the teenager Kyle Rittenhouse came to the scene with a semi-automatic rifle and shot two people dead, prosecutors say. But in remarks at the White House on Monday, Trump refused to condemn the gunman.Play Video1:00 Donald Trump appears to defend Kenosha gunman – video

“We’re looking at all of it,” he said. “And that was an interesting situation. You saw the same tape as I saw. And he was trying to get away from them, I guess; it looks like. And he fell, and then they very violently attacked him. And it was something that we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation.”

The first person Rittenhouse killed was shot in the back, prosecutors say. Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and reckless homicide.

Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, asked Trump to stay away.

“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” Evers wrote. “I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

The Kenosha mayor, John Antaramian, said Trump’s timing was wrong.

“It just seemed to me and I think others that it would be better for us to be able to pull together, let the community get together and actually heal up the process of what’s going on,” Antaramian told reporters.

“So it would have been nice if it had waited a while a little longer down the road.”

Trump showed in his interview with Ingraham that his conspiracy-mindedness is not limited to protests. He announced that Biden was being controlled by secret forces and that the federal government was investigating a plane “almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear”.

52 Black Former Franchisees Sue McDonald’s Alleging Discrimination

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September 1, 202010:55 AM ET

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McDonald’s is facing a lawsuit from 52 former franchisees accusing the fast-food giant of racial discrimination.Gene J. Puskar/AP

A group of 52 Black former McDonald’s franchisees is accusing the fast-food giant of discrimination, alleging they were “denied equal opportunity to economic success” compared to their white peers.

A federal lawsuit filed in Illinois alleges that the fast-food chain steered Black franchisees toward certain neighborhoods where sales are lower while costs are higher, leaving them with less money and yet higher scrutiny from corporate headquarters. The franchisees, who ran a total of more than 200 restaurants in the past decade, are seeking up to $1 billion in damages.

Location is key for a fast-food restaurant, and African-American franchisees have long spoken out about higher costs associated with security and insurance as well as upkeep of stores sold to them in poor condition. A report by Business Insider in December showed a ballooning gap between the average cash flow of Black franchisees versus others in the McDonald’s system.

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“McDonald’s knew or should have known that these differential revenue and operating costs of Black-operated franchises as compared to White-operated franchises are not random or due to poor management,” the lawsuit said. “These differences are statistically significant and are the result of the historical racial bias and barriers built into the McDonald’s franchise system.”

McDonald’s rejected the allegations, saying they “fly in the face of everything we stand for as an organization.”

“Not only do we categorically deny the allegations that these franchisees were unable to succeed because of any form of discrimination by McDonald’s,” the company said in Tuesday’s statement, “we are confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunity of the McDonald’s System, including across our franchisees, suppliers and employees.”

In a separate lawsuit filed in January, two Black senior executives accused McDonald’s of a racial discrimination across the company, saying McDonald’s drove out both African-American leaders and franchisees. The company has denied the allegations.

In Tuesday’s filing, former franchisees say that they were often rushed or otherwise steered toward older and underperforming restaurants in areas that required big spending on security, staff turnover and store upkeep, and that they were sidelined when trying to purchase more lucrative locations. This meant their average annual sales of $2 million, between 2011 and 2016, were $700,000 short of the nationwide norm, the lawsuit says.

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They also allege, among other things, that there were more-frequent inspections of smaller Black-owned franchises than of other bigger ones, including at odd

U.S. manufacturing activity at 19-month high in August

2 MIN READ

FILE PHOTO: Line workers spot weld parts of the frame on the flex line at Nissan Motor Co’s automobile manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/William DeShazer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to a more than 1-1/2-year high in August amid a surge in new orders, but employment continued to lag, supporting views that the labor market recovery was losing momentum.

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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Tuesday its index of national factory activity increased to a reading of 56.0 last month from 54.2 in July. That was the highest level since January 2019 and marked three straight months of growth.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would rise to 54.5 in August.

But the continued improvement in manufacturing is uneven, as the COVID-19 pandemic shifts spending away from equipment used in the services industries such as restaurants and bars to purchases of goods like home electronics.

The ISM’s forward-looking new orders sub-index increased to a reading of 67.6 in August, the strongest since December 2017, from 61.5 in July. The survey’s measure of order backlogs at factories accelerated as did orders for exports.

Though factory employment continued to improve last month, it remained in contraction territory. The ISM’s manufacturing employment measure rose to a reading of 46.4 from 44.3 in July.

Factory employment was already in decline before the coronavirus crisis because of the Trump administration’s trade war with China. Its struggle to rebound even as orders received by factories are rising fits in with economists’ views that the labor market was losing steam after being boosted by the reopening of businesses in May.

The government’s closely followed employment report to be released on Friday is expected to show 1.4 million jobs created in August after adding 1.763 million in July, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That would leave nonfarm payrolls about 11.5 million below their pre-pandemic level.

Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4728&num_ads=5&shuffle=0&cf=545.4.Reuters%20Feed&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2Fus-usa-economy-manufacturing%2Fu-s-manufacturing-activity-at-19-month-high-in-august-idUSKBN25S5A1

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