Fast-food workers push for $15 an hour
Strikes and walkouts suggest they're serious, but the cost of living in some cities suggests they're asking for too little.
Salon reports this week that fast-food workers in New York City staged a walkout, while workers in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Flint, Mich., went on strike. Backed by the Service Employees International Union and local advocacy groups, workers in each city had the same demands: a raise to $15 per hour and the chance to form a union without intimidation by management.
Does $15 seem steep? Maybe to billionaire Charles Koch, who notes that $34,000 a year puts American workers among the top 1% of earners in the world. But that's not even enough to eke out a living in the cheapest corners of America.
The fast-food labor fight began last November with a strike by about 200 employees of various chains in New York City. Over the past four months, that walkout has been followed by similar work stoppages in five other cities, plus a second New York City strike roughly twice as large.
The fast-food industry, however, isn't budging. It has been extremely reluctant to give its full-time workers the benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, never mind a more than 100% raise. Domino's (DPZ) vice president Tim McIntyre told Salon that "opportunity exists for everyone in our system who's willing to work hard and focus on rising to the next level."
Despite similar assertions from McDonald's (MCD) chief executive Don Thompson, the evidence says otherwise. According to a new study by the National Employment Law Project, nearly 90% of all fast-food jobs belong to cooks, cashiers, delivery workers and other nonmanagerial workers. By comparison, 31% of jobs in other U.S. industries are above entry level.
As NELP pointed out to The Huffington Post, front-line fast-food jobs pay a median hourly wage of $8.94 and workers stay in those positions for years at a time with scant opportunity for advancement. Only 2% of fast-food industry jobs are held by the executives Thompson used as examples.
It's a similar case nationally, with 4.3 million people holding the country's most popular job, the $25,000-a-year position of retail salesperson. While cashiers come in second with 3.3 million U.S. jobs, they include fast-food workers fueling an economy in which roughly 65% of the 5.7 million jobs added since the recession have been low-wage.
So why pay those workers $15 an hour? Because even that's getting off cheaply, depending on the city. In Montgomery County, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C., where the cost of living is highest, a worker needs a minimum wage of $23.65 to achieve economic stability. When Washington, D.C., suggested that Wal-Mart (WMT) should pay its lowest-tier employees little more than half that -- $12.50 an hour -- the chain threatened to pull six planned stores from the city.
Chances are we haven't seen the last walkout by fast-food workers.
The idea that low skill requirement jobs should pay at some arbitrary level that constitutes a so called LIVING WAGE is absurd. I worked those jobs through high school and college but continued to go to school, read, develop marketable knowledge and skills to propel me out of that realm of low wages. The low wages were a motivator for me to rise up the ladder.
The uneducated, low skilled, intellectually lazy that remain in those jobs over a long period of time make their own situation in life so thus warrant their status. The whole debate is nothing more than unions, politicians, and social engineering liberals trying to create another phony strata of disadvantaged impoverished people requiring government rescue, essentially a new vote buying scheme.
The recent Wal Mart debacle in Washington D C where the city government tried to extort Wal Mart into paying artificially high wages is a classic example of politics over public good. That is ufortunate for an area in desperate need of jobs and affordable merchandise. My empathy in minimal since those people elect and reelect those clowns. If you havent seen some of these public officials interviewed, you are lucky. It is frightening to see their level of ignorance and think they could be elected to ANY office. Washington is like Detroit and too many other cities, it doesnt have a city government, it has a posse.
As JFK said, people get no better government than they deserve.
these jobs were never intended to be life long career jobs. they are classic kid summer jobs. classic college kid jobs. classic "mom" jobs while kids are in school between 10 and 2.
anyone who thinks a burger flipping job deserves a "liveable wage" simply forgot to pay attention in school in order to get something truly liveable.
face it. if you're depending on a burger job to live on, then you simply screwed up in the game of life. the issue falls on YOU and not your employer
If you demand more money, your employee demands more knowledge, work, and skill. It's really simple.
If your only skill is asking " do you want fries with that?" then minimum wage is exactly what you deserve.
If a franchise owner has to pay everyone at least $15/hour, how much is it going to cost to get a burger? Will the $1 value menu become the $3 value menu? Will a Happy Meal now cost $9?
Imagine you started out at McDonalds as a fry cook for minimum wage. You worked your way up over a couple of years to become a supervisor or assistant manager, and now you make $14/hour. All of a sudden, this new wage goes into effect and you're making the same thing as the burger flipper who started yesterday.
If anything, we should get rid of the minimum wage altogether. I should have the right to trade my time or labor for whatever compensation I deem appropriate. If someone is willing to work for $5/hour, why shouldn't they be allowed to? Imagine being denied the right to work because the government decides that you don't place a high enough value on your own time or labor.
All fast food shops should lock the doors for two weeks, when these greedy fools miss a whole check that might teach them a lesson.
We need more managers like Henry Frick.
If I had a business and was forced to pay someone $15 per hour to make French Fries and flip hamburgers, I would terminate half my employees and keep those who had some ever "marginal skills". Another example of Unions loosing people their jobs. Most employees at fast food restaurants are students or are people that need very "flexible schedules". While others are working at Fast Food Restaurants because that's the only employment they are able to do based on their abilities and education (or lack there of). I saw a news program that interviewed some of the strikers in New York and was not surprised that they were working in fast food. Some couldn't speak a complete understandable sentence without some sort of sign language (they could see and head) while others had questionable hygiene issues and some acted as though they were in another world and had no idea and others where English was a 2nd or 3rd language. If you want a decent job at least "successfully" complete High School and speak English (without any hand signals).
Libs, just try to follow this... 1) Raise the wages to $15, 2) Raise the cost of a Big Mac to Value Meal to $10.00 to cover the cost 3) Lose 1/2 - 3/4 of your daily customers because of the cost of food 4) Fire 1/2 of the work force to compensate for lost revenue. 5) Now you have 1/2 of the people that had jobs making 8-10 an hour not working at all, and the whole country driving farther looking for an open McDonalds, as many are closed down, using more green house gas spending 10 bucks for a grease bomb. In other words - THINK beyond the first emotional response - SEE REALITY.
This is what the free market is all about. If you think you're worth more than you're paid you have the right to quit and prove it, other wise you're worth exactly what you're paid.
but still, why the hell is the cost of living so high that you need to make 23 dollars an hour just to be stable. Something is seriously wrong in my opinion.
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