7-Eleven Franchisee Group Votes to Skip Parent Company's Annual Meeting
BOSTON — There will be less franchisees attending 7-Eleven Inc.'s next convention and trade show, the 7-Eleven Experience.
The presidents of all 43 Franchise Owners Associations (FOAs), which represent the interests of nearly 7,000 franchised locations in the United States, voted unanimously to not attend the 7-Eleven Experience during a recent board meeting of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF).
NCASEF is the national trade association for 7-Eleven franchisees.
"Our FOA representatives spoke loud and clear and the coalition listened. They voted to urge members stay away from the 7-Eleven Experience and now the coalition wants to deliver that message to all," said Rehan Hashmi, vice chairman of NCASEF. "The relationship between [7-Eleven Inc.] and its franchisees is no longer evenhanded and that is hurting our members and their livelihood."
According to Hashmi, the Irving, Texas-based parent company closed its regular channels of communication after franchisees in California filed a federal lawsuit against 7-Eleven Inc. last month.
"If [7-Eleven Inc.] truly wants to recognize and celebrate its franchisees as the marketers of the 7-Eleven Experience claim, it shouldn't cut off communications. Franchise owners have invested their lives in this brand and we want to prosper, but we can't if our relationship with [the retailer] remains one-sided," he said.
As CSNews Online previously reported, NCASEF filed a lawsuit against its parent company, 7-Eleven Inc., claiming the retail company has not fulfilled its promise of treating the franchises as independent contractors and business owners.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenges certain provisions of the 7-Eleven Franchise Agreement, and seeks monetary damages, attorney's fees and costs and other relief for claims relating to unpaid overtime wages and unreimbursed expenses.
7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 60,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,700 in North America.