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1310633 tn?1430224091

Fast food strikes planned for Thursday

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Fast food protests aren't going away.

Organizers say fast food restaurant workers in 100 U.S. cities will walk off the job Thursday, as part of a continuing push to raise wages above $15 an hour in the industry and secure the right to unionize.

The movement began with a small walkout in New York City last year and has since gathered momentum. Strikes this past August drew fast food workers in 60 cities, organizers said.

The National Restaurant Association contends that the demonstrations are a "coordinated PR campaign engineered by national labor groups," and that "relatively few restaurant workers have participated" in past demonstrations.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said the events planned for Thursday "are not strikes," and consist only of outside groups "traveling to McDonald's and other outlets to stage rallies."

Industry officials have criticized the campaign, claiming increased starting wages will hold back job growth and increase prices.

The effort has drawn support from the Service Employees International Union, one of the country's largest, as well as activist groups. A MoveOn.org petition that has drawn nearly 50,000 online signatures calls on industry leaders "to pay your workers $15 an hour so they can make ends meet and Americans can stop paying for the hidden costs of poverty wages."

In Congress, a group of 53 lawmakers sent letters Wednesday expressing support for higher wages to McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500), Wendy's (WEN), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Burger King (BKW) and Yum! Brands (YUM, Fortune 500), which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

"We are proud to stand with workers who continue to fight for an economy that works for everyone," the officials wrote.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said Wednesday that the company is "committed to providing our employees with opportunities to succeed," offering competitive pay, training and the chance for advancement. Wendy's said it was proud to give entry-level employees "the opportunity to learn important business and personal skills so they can either grow with us or move on to another career."

Domino's rejected the "fast food" label, and said only three of its employees had taken part in the August protests, none of whom were scheduled to work at the time. The pizza maker said its delivery drivers make more than minimum wage with tips included, and that it serves as a second job for many employees who work only evenings and weekends.

"90 percent of our U.S. franchisees started as delivery drivers or at in-store positions," as did many other managers and corporate staff members, spokesman Tim McIntyre said. "We are a company of opportunity."

The other companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

President Obama also called out the plight of fast food workers in a speech Wednesday, saying they "work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty." He said it was "past time" to raise the minimum wage.

A report released in October by the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center and the University of Illinois found that 52% of families of fast food workers receive some form of public assistance. The report estimated that this aid carries a $7 billion annual price tag for taxpayers.

The median pay for the fast food workers nationwide is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

The rallies planned for Thursday follow protests last week at a number of Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500)locations, where workers and activists have called on the company to grant workers more hours and pay full-time employees at least $25,000 a year.

SOURCE: http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/04/news/companies/fast-food-strikes/index.html?hpt=po_c2
14 Responses
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1310633 tn?1430224091
If you've spent 10 yrs working for $8/hr at McD's and you've never earned a promotion to shift supervisor, or something like that, and in those 10 yrs you never invested enough in yourself to learn a career-supporting job skill... then you are earning EXACTLY the money you want/need to be working for.

Don't like it?

Get a skill!!

Do these idiots comprehend the implications of across-the-board raises to $15/hr?!?

Corporations nationwide would tank pretty quickly, and millions would be without a job completely. Forget about profits. Paying their employees $15/hr, how much do you think a Happy Meal would cost?

Cost on everything, across the board, would basically DOUBLE (if the wage doubles, then prices would double). Unless you want quality to suffer, in which case we can all look forward to the new McSawdust-Buger.
Helpful - 0
1310633 tn?1430224091
Do you really think shareholders are going to say, "Yeah, go ahead and reduce our profits, in order to double wages... we don't mind".

No... additional costs would be passed along to consumers.

So now I wait for it... "It's the greedy Republican shareholders fault!"

Come on... someone PLEASE say it.

(Like there are no Democrat McDonalds shareholders;-)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't know what I'd do it the price of a double cheeseburger went up. That really would be a tragedy of epic proportions! And what about those yummy fries? All part of a well balanced meal.
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
I'm of the frame of mind that we need to encourage people to better themselves.  I don't think anyone should think working in a fast food place in anything other than a management role would keep them financially independent.  When I was in high school, those were the jobs for teenagers.  That must be the demographics of the community I lived in because working in a fast food place was not a career path.  We did have a funnel for those not going to college to learn a trade and they began training in high school.  

I'm not really sure that just increasing the price of a hamburger really fixes the overall problem that so many need to figure out what to do with their lives to make a decent wage.  When you are a teen, flipping burgers is the usual type of gig you get and the expectation isn't that you are making your entire months rent and expenses from it.  

We need to do a better job of helping our youth get educated and not just core standard academics but real life training when someone isn't academically inclined so that when they are adults looking to support themselves, they have more options.  

This is not intended to be cold hearted.  But I really think the problem isn't giving these people another buck or two an hour but more a question of how they ended up as adults with very few options to support themselves.  I do appreciate hard work and feel gratitude to anyone that is out there working their butts off.  But we need to have a better plan for future generations to do better for themselves in life.  Strive for more.  And helping them prepare earlier on for the challenges of living as an adult financially.  

Just my 2 cents and you can add that to the price of a cheese burger any time!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Spoken like a true republican.
That is so cavalier of you to dismiss increasing the wages of fast food workers. You're not sure that "really fixes the overall problem..."
Those people don't have skills and I would guess that a few more bucks an hour would be a very welcome thing in their lives. But G-d forbid we might have to pay a little more for our Happy Meal. No, that wouldn't be pure capitalism at its best.
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
thank you Mikesimon.  I am a true Republican and while you use that like it is an insult, I'm actually just fine with it.  

I never said that I personally would mind if the price of fast food going up.  I don't.  But I think there are other issues at hand that need to be addressed with youth in our country so that they have more options for employment as adults.  
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Avatar universal
"..That must be the demographics of the community I lived in because working in a fast food place was not a career path...."

I bet.

"I'm not really sure that just increasing the price of a hamburger really fixes the overall problem that so many need to figure out what to do with their lives to make a decent wage...."

For many people the REAL PROBLEM is having enough money to live on. It's just that simple. We can work on that and the larger issues as well.
But, it costs money.
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
Yes Mike, my upbringing like yours was such that our school was a bit homogenous and most kids around me had definite ideas about the next step in their life.  That was lucky for the both of us.  I'm very blessed.

I fear for those that are not in as blessed and when I personally think of what I can do to help----  it has more to do with a system that helps our youth become stable financially in whatever means that takes.  I don't love taxes but if my tax dollars go to help kids in areas that weren't like mine find job training, community college or general college, I'd be thrilled.   But I haven't seen that as the focus.  

I feel you try to find fault in comments made rather than trying to see any areas of agreement that could be had.  I, in all honesty, have no problem as a consumer paying more for meals out.  I do get a little worried as I see my general grocery bill rising but eating out is a choice.  But if the cost of things goes up to increase the living of others, I would much rather do that than have people give up and then just go on full assistance.  I appreciate that they are working.  yes, I've seen the mother on a CNN segment that talks about trying to make ends meet on her mcDonald's hourly wage and my heart goes out to her.  I wish there was a way to help people before they get to that point to be in a better situation in terms of their options.  

Otherwise, it never ends.  They will never really get ahead.  Every increase is just trying to keep up or get somewhere near what they need.  

So, those were my thoughts on the subject but I'm glad you took it as an opportunity to let me know that my thoughts are somehow cavalier in your point of view.  According to you I represent the Republican party well.  But again, that isn't an insult to me so I'll just say thank you.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If you walk off a job around here, you are replaced.  I would think long and hard about walking off any job that I needed.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
When the recession hit, we lost 8 million jobs. Many of those jobs still have not come back. A lot of those people ended up taking jobs like fast food, and walmart in order to survive.

minimum wage has not been raised in four years, most people have not had a raise in four years either.

Our economy is 70 percent consumer driven. If no one is spending money, our economy will remain sluggish indefinitely.

I know its easy to blame these workers for having unreasonable expectations and call them unskilled labor. Keep in mind that the majority of these workers these days is over 25 years old annd the majority are women.

If they got pay raises to equal the inflation, they would be due 25 bucks an hour.....Everything has gone up. Milk and groceries have gone up, electric has gone up, water and garbage has all gone up, rent and mortgage, up...Everything up except the paycheck.

Everyone ran on creating jobs, remember? Where are the jobs? We must create jobs for starters and altho raising the min wage will not be a cure all, it is a necessary first step. Im not sure about 15 bucks an hour, but 12 might be more reasonable and if we have to pay a little more, so be it.

What difference does it make when they are on the gov teat to eat because they do not earn enuff and you give em food stamps or pay a little more for a burger, chicken leg, etc.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'd support a raise in the minimum wage, but only if the corporate income  tax rate was decreased to an equally offsetting rate.
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation is would now be over $21.00
This isn't about job skills, especially when you have college grads who can't find work. It's about compassion and caring about more than the bottom line for the CEOs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/minimum-wage-productivity_n_2680639.html
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Avatar universal
It is also about more jobs being lost as US corps become less competitive in global markets.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
America’s low-wage economy is marked by two extremes.  On the one hand, workers earning at or near the minimum wage are seeing the real value of their paychecks diminish steadily over time, as the cost of living increases while their wages remain stagnant.  After nearly half a century of neglect, today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is decades out of date.  In terms of purchasing power, its value is 30 percent lower today than it was in 1968.

On the other hand, many corporations are posting record-breaking profits. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that, after sinking from 2007 to 2009, corporate profits had successfully caught up to their pre-recession peak by the beginning of 2010 – and that by the third quarter of 2011, total profits for U.S. corporations reached a new record high of $1.97 trillion.

This report examines the connection between these opposing extremes of stagnant wages and soaring corporate profits.  While a great deal of attention has been directed at the role of Wall Street and the financial sector in driving economic inequality in the U.S., it is important to recognize that the top low-wage employers also bear responsibility for the growing disparity between corporate profits and worker compensation.

Read the Full Report -- Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage

The central finding of this report is that the majority of America’s lowest-paid workers are employed by large corporations, not small businesses, and that most of the largest low-wage employers have recovered from the recession and are in a strong financial position.

Specifically:

* The majority (66 percent) of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses, but rather by large corporations with over 100 employees;

* The 50 largest employers of low-wage workers have largely recovered from the recession and most are in strong financial positions: 92 percent were profitable last year; 78 percent have been profitable for the last three years; 75 percent have higher revenues now than before the recession; 73 percent have higher cash holdings; and 63 percent have higher operating margins (a measure of profitability).

* Top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million last year at these firms, and they have returned $174.8 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks over the past five years.

Three years after the official end of the Great Recession, the U.S. continues to face a dual-crisis of stagnant wages and sluggish job growth.  Critics argue that a higher minimum wage will discourage companies from hiring, and that most low-wage employers are small businesses that are still struggling in a weak economy.  In fact, this report demonstrates that the majority of low-wage workers are employed by large corporations, most of which are enjoying strong profits.
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