Fast-food workers strike, organizers want wages to double?

Fast-food workers strike, organizers want wages to double?

respect our right to unite

Wait a minute. You want to double your pay?  Yes, of course. Willing to walk off the job to get what you want?  There will be job openings at your former place of employment.

Organizers say walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But it’s not clear what the actual turnout will be, how many of the participants are workers and what impact they’ll have on restaurant operations.

This is a really poorly thought out idea. I am not against fighting for your right. Just want to remind you that to go from $7.25 to $15.00 is so dramatic that it can’t be done. Don’t forget, many of these stores are franchised and as such are small, investor owned “formula businesses.”

Unless you are planning to sell fries for $8.95 and 20 ounce soft drinks, which may be illegal where you are anyway, for $5.25 all day long. And I mean all day long. Wages can’t be out of whack like this. Organizers and workers pushing for this have no understanding of how wages impact a business model. Actually, the reverse is what is true. The business model and associated cost structure defines the dollars available to pay a worker’s wages. Can someone just calculate fast food turnover? 300% annually? More? I know a worker who went through an entire employment process, got interviewed, drug tested, trained, uniforms assigned, then never worked a minute because the manager decided the person wasn’t needed on the schedule after all and terminated her. What did that cost?

You don’t launch a business, establish it, then make a change such as a doubling of wages in one fell swoop and then move on without a ripple effect.

Don’t believe me? Do some checking. Ask the GM at your company what doubling everyone’s wages would do to costs of goods. Do some research at the compensation sites. Etc, etc, etc.

Bottom line… these protests are emotional…. not based on number crunching, and cold hard business logic. Without a way to pass the costs of labor on to the consumer, i.e, in the form of $12.99 double cheeseburgers, these folks will have no chance.

Despite the growing attention on the struggles of low-wage workers, the push for higher pay in the fast-food industry faces an uphill battle. The industry competes aggressively on value offerings and companies have warned that they would need to raise prices if wages were hiked. Most fast-food locations are also owned and operated by franchisees, which lets companies such as McDonald’s Corp., Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum Brands Inc. say that they don’t control worker pay.

Unionizing these businesses will only run the workers and their employers into the ground. Or force the current owners/investors to sell, and to whom, and then what? Who wants to invest more than a million bucks, sign a franchise agreement, toe the line, then have to deal with a seat of the pants union group and an unstable, inexperienced union workforce. Just think what it will cost to have them enter the building in their own separate union entrance like the union members do on construction sites and big hotels.  What is the cost of that remodel? Where will the entrance go? Is there space in the fast food box? I don’t think so. The restaurant business won’t be able to support the union demands, the workers won’t be able to pay the dues and the entire thing will end in collapse. Oops, I forgot, won’t the union dues come out of the higher wages? Meaning what? Lower take home pay for the worker? So instead of going from $9 to $15 you go through all this extra effort to really end up with $11.50 then pay taxes, leaving you where? Back at $10 bucks an hour?

If you didn’t run the restaurant into the ground. What was accomplished? Just my 2 cents.

BTW, no offense… I make the best potato chips…for pennies… at home.



5 thoughts on “Fast-food workers strike, organizers want wages to double?

  1. Well said. I would love to double my wages, but that’s totally unfeasible. Do these people really believe customers can and will pay 12 bucks for a Big Mac? Some fast food workers are the single wage-earners for their household, but many also are college or high school kids working to pay car insurance.


    • Agreed Jason, These organizers are operating on emotion. They need to read up on how companies value jobs and broad band compensation. It is a shame they didn’t do this before they generated all this PR in effect wasting their 15 minutes of fame. I am willing to bet that no one contacted Burger King or any Corporate office to research wages, benefits, job sharing, career paths etc. Shame they are not organized. One more thing. why not hire a poised, media trained, high image spokesperson to focus the message in the media. This one will fizzle just the Occupy fiasco. Nice try. Cheers! dp.


  2. Pingback: Nashville: Fast-food protests return amid push for wage hikes | Tennessee Christian News

  3. A BS Chemistry major who works in a lab, and started at $12 , has been working 5 years to get to $ 17.50 now finds herself having the same salary as that guy who pushes cart at the grocery parking lot. There should be a proportional increase across the board.


    • Hi Kyoko, It might take a little bit of time for a person to separate themselves by hourly rate. The good news is that there is no comparison in jobs so the lab worker will eventually surge ahead in earnings and may have a path to higher earning via a management track. BTW, I am a regular reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. Hope you’ll stay in touch! cheers! dp


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