a result of his or her or its participation in the class action.
McNeely’s evidence is that he has “consistently” told franchisees
that whatever their decision on the class action, it would not
affect their relationship with him or Pet Valu. This is commendable. Unfortunately, it is inconsistent with the message delivered to franchisees by the CFC and the CPVF.
 The CPVF was in large measure an initiative of the
Executive of the CFC, which had publicly stated at the annual
meeting its concern that the litigation would jeopardize the
franchisees’ relationship with the franchisor. There was a natural concern, expressed at that meeting, that franchisees who
supported the class action would be subject to discriminatory
i.e., “repercussions”) by the franchisor.
 One of the great strengths of a class action is that it permits class members to pursue their claims, in the relative anonymity of a class, without fear of the consequences, whether real
or perceived. It recognizes that access to justice can be impaired,
in many relationships, including employer/employee and fran-chisor/franchisee, because people in vulnerable positions are
afraid of suing their more powerful superiors. The CPVF
exploited this by asking for an electronic show of hands on the
website — asking, in effect, “are you with us and your fellow
franchisees or against us”?
 In my view, the opt-out process has been subverted by the
actions of the CPVF. It has interfered with the class members’
fundamental right of access to justice.
 The CFC, wearing the hat of the CPVF, mounted a campaign designed to kill the class action. It did so by putting subtle
and not-so-subtle pressure on hold-outs by prominently listing
the “growing” list of names of opt-outs. A franchisee who did not
pledge allegiance to the CPVF and promise to opt out could reasonably conclude that he or she would be outed as part of an
identified minority who were pursuing their own selfish interests, who were not team players and who were indifferent to the
concerns of the majority. They could also conclude that they
would be easily identified by the franchisor and that their participation in the class action might prejudice them in the future.
 The campaign painted an exaggerated and misleading
picture of the dire consequences of the class action. It made no
attempt to identify, or to discuss, the potential financial benefits
of the class action.
 The campaign also painted a misleading picture of the
legal rights of opt-outs. It suggested that there was a possibility
that franchisees could opt out yet still pursue their claims either
collectively or individually when, as a practical matter, this was