Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-31-13

Fast Food Workers Demand Living Wage

Fast food workers across the country have taken to the streets this week protesting for higher wages. Protests started in New York City and took off in major cities across the country with workers demanding a living wage of $15 per hour as opposed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

In the wake of news about McDonald's sample budget for their employees, the Huffington Post found that McDonald's spends only 17.1% of its proceeds on worker salaries and benefits. If worker salaries were doubled, price would be raised 17 cents for every dollar. The McDonald's staple, the Big Mac, would cost $4.67 instead of $3.99. That number also includes doubling CEO Donald Thompson's salary of almost $9 million a year. If Thompson's salary remains unchanged, the price would only increase about 25 cents.

At a speech last week in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama renewed his promise to improve the minimum wage. During this year's State of the Union, Obama called for a $9 an hour minimum wage, far lower than the $15 protesters are looking for now.

Opponents say that increasing wages will force McDonald's and other fast food restaurants to raise prices so much that fewer people will be buy Big Macs or, worse, that human employees will begin to be replaced by machines.

"Increasing the minimum wage is good for business. It puts more money in consumers' pockets," said Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC. "So what will really happen to McDonald's the next time the minimum wage goes up? The same thing that has happened to McDonald's every time the minimum wage has gone up: McDonald's will make more money."

This is not the first time fast food workers have gone on strike this year over wages. In May, an estimated 400 workers at 60 different restaurants in Detroit walked off their jobs to join protests calling for a livable wage and the right to unionize following protests in St. Louis, Chicago, and New York.

Media Resources: MSNBC 7/31/2013; Forbes 7/30/2013; Guardian 7/29/2013; Huffington Post 7/29/2013; Politico 7/24/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/13/2013, 2/13/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

5/22/2015 Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement - The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups. . . .
 
5/22/2015 New York Politicians, Advocates, and Activists Have Come Together to Protect Nail Salon Workers - Following a report by the New York Times on the exploitation of nail salon workers almost two weeks ago, New York state and city officials have partnered with advocates and volunteers to bring comprehensive educational programs and labor reforms to the 5,000 licensed salons in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered emergency measures last week in the wake of the report - including posting workers' rights information in salons in different languages, shutting down unlicensed salons, implementing new safety requirements, and creating an educational campaign aimed at employees and managers - has introduced a legislative package aimed at building upon those reforms and leading the way for long-term protection for nail salon workers. . . .
 
5/20/2015 New York Attorney General Moves to Expand Access to Contraceptives - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015 last week to enhance the availability of contraception for New Yorkers. The bill codifies the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in New York state law while strengthening and expanding many of its provisions. . . .