Franchisee Bill of Rights Highlights Need for Fairness

When franchisee association leaders gathered in Washington last month for the 2011 CFA Day Forum, they were witness to an important piece of franchising history. For months leading up to the June 22 meeting, members of the Fair Franchising subcommittee worked to draft a groundbreaking document, the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights. Before a conference room of approximately 100 people, the document was read publicly for the first time—by none other than Benjamin Franklin.

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Franchisee Bill of Rights, Input Requested

The Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) which DDIFO is a founding member, which Jim Coen, President of DDIFO as the Vice Chairman of CFA and Co-Chairman of the CFA Fair Franchising Committee with CK Patel of the Asian American Hotels Owners Association (AAHOA). The CFA Fair Franchising Committee has been working with franchisee leaders from multiple franchise systems to develop the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights.

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Seismic Shift in Franchisees Seeking Balance

Don Sniegowski of BlueMauMau reports that there is a seismic shift under way in how franchisees approach balance in franchisee/franchisor relationships. It is a multi-pronged strategy headed by the three-year-old Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) that utilizes market forces, collective bargaining and possible legislation.

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CIT Testimony Blocked in Dunkin’ – Barkan Trial

Janet Sparks reports at BlueMauMau that after six years of litigation with Dunkin’ Donuts over losing his six stores and store development agreements to open new restaurants, franchisee Irwin Barkan was convinced that the franchisor intentionally interfered in his efforts to refinance his debt. Now because of new information he has discovered on his own, Barkan feels even stronger in his beliefs.

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Franchisees as Stakeholders: Your Rightful Claim

DDIFO’s first National Members Meeting on September 21 at the Mohegan Sun was chock-full of valuable information for franchise owners, but perhaps the most compelling presentation — The Franchisor In Play: Your Role as a Stakeholder, Not a Spectator — came from attorney Eric Karp. Karp’s message about the role franchise owners need to take in advance of and during a sale of the franchisor resonated strongly with the franchisees in attendance. DDIFO Members Only.

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A Timbit of Trouble

570 News in Toronto reports that Tim Horton’s franchise owners have launched a near $2-billion lawsuit claiming lost profits since the iconic Canadian company switched from fresh-baked to frozen donuts. The $1.95-billion suit is scheduled to go to court in November and it has even divided franchisees, as a large group of store owners is trying to stop a smaller group from following through on the lawsuit.

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Support the Arbitration Fairness Act

Binding arbitration clauses are increasingly being inserted by businesses when entering into contacts with other parties. These clauses, which often provide businesses with an advantage and go unnoticed by the signer, drastically limit the legal options available to the signing party. The Arbitration Fairness Act bans mandatory binding arbitration clauses in consumer and employment contracts, including franchise agreements. Specifically acknowledging the disparate economic power between the parties, the bill invalidates the enforceability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in franchise disputes

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How Franchisees Fire Franchisor CEOs and Boards

Don Sniegowski writes at BlueMauMau that Experts say that well organized franchisees can make profound changes in a franchisor’s behavior. Some have even been able to fire wayward CEOs, replace a franchisor’s board of directors, and spearhead a new strategy that lifts store profits and the brand.

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