(Closed) Fast Food Workers and the Slow Death of Hard Work

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 78
Member
2789 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Cummins59:  That’s how strikes work. When any group of workers strike, be they teachers or fast food workers, they lose that day’s pay. It signals how important the issue is to the people who choose to picket. Most of the time, people who go on strike do so for financial considerations and go on strike as a last resort. I don’t understand what you don’t understand.

Post # 79
Member
634 posts
Busy bee

People making minimum wage are people doing work that we need. If we didn’t need people to perform these tasks, the positions would not exist. We need people to prepare our food when we eat out. We need people to stock shelves when we shop in stores. We need people to answer our service lines and assemble the body panels on our vehicles and process our transactions.

To sit and sneer and say that people who are doing necissary jobs don’t deserve to be able to lead a basic comfortable lifestyle is disgusting. This isn’t a caste society. There is no “you don’t deserve to be able to afford air conditioning in the dead heat of summer because I am not you. Why don’t you go out and better your position with all that money you don’t have laying around and I don’t think you should be able to earn through hard work and long hours?”

And for the whole “But then the product would cost more!! Because wagest are sooooo costly!” Come ON. Do you HONESTLY think wage labor is the most significant expense in operating a business? 

 

Post # 80
Member
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@Bracelet00:  +1000. Service workers are so important in keeping our lives as we know them running. 

Post # 81
Member
2789 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@worldtraveler:  +1 billion

Thank you for sharing your story and most especially for your last comment. People don’t realize how much luck goes into the kind of life one gets to lead. 

Post # 82
Member
2515 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@worldtraveler:  But you rely on public transportation and are splitting costs with a roommate. That’s not the same as being a single person renting and living entirely alone in an area that does not offer public transportation. I know you realize all this, but it can’t be counted as a liveable wage in the example I gave. You are on a slippery slope as well. If you break an arm, and have no one to help you with that expense and time off from work, you are up a creek.

 

 

 

Post # 83
Member
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I simply do not understand the concept that the minimum wage should be less than livable. If it’s less than a livable wage for the area it’s in, what’s the point of it in the first place? I’m not against hard work – I’ve been there – but I think there is NO excuse to pay ANY person less than a livable wage if they are working anything even approaching “full time.” 

It’s an easy equation – if someone working at mcdonalds isn’t making enough to scrape by on their own (pay rent, pay for electricity/heating, buy food, etc.) they will apply for food stamps and welfare, putting the burden on the taxpayer.

Would you rather McDonalds pay them, or YOU pay them? Imagine McDonald’s applying for welfare – in the millions or billions – and receiving it. Wouldn’t you be outraged? You should be, because that’s what’s happening, basically. 

Seems simple to me – they’re a big corporation, they can afford it without much difficulty, I’d like to see them pay their employees a living wage. If you can afford to be in business, and you can afford to hire employees, you can afford to pay them enough to survive. I’m not saying pay for their trip to hawaii. I’m saying pay them enough that I don’t have to pay them, too. 

I’d rather pay a little more for a burger, though honestly considering how much money they make, if they did raise the price it would expose their greed in a big way… but still, I’d rather pay a little more for a burger and know that the person flipping it was getting paid properly to do itl

@Aquaria:  You’re totally right. It’s nearly impossible, in fact. Class mobility in the US has just about come to a standstill. Darling Husband and I aren’t making great money and it’s not a career we can keep forever, but we had to leave the country to even get a job, any job, that pays enough for us to make ends meet and make our loan payments.

Don’t get me wrong, we were able to get work back home, but not work that paid enough or offered enough hours to keep us afloat. And we didn’t stick to one small area either. We applied to jobs in 3 large cities, and no one was hiring us at our qualification levels.

Darling Husband was a paralegal, nobody wanted a paralegal – they all wanted law school graduates who hadn’t passed the bar yet or new laywers to do their paralegal work. (Can you imagine the indignity of spending $250k on law school and then the only people who wanna hire you offering 35k paralegal jobs?)

Someone I know graduated with a STEM degree – not even one of those wussy liberal arts ones (I can say that because I have one of those haha) and has been searching for a job for about eight months. He is now working at the same McDonalds as his 15 year old sister.

USA is not the land of opportunity anymore. If it were, Darling Husband and I would still be there. If things keep moving in this direction, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot more hardworking young people like us realizing that the USA isn’t such a good deal. This is how nations lose their bright young workers, when it becomes obvious that a better deal can be found elsewhere. The US used to suck the talent out of other nations, as their young students and graduates wanted to go abroad to America… if we don’t correct our course and protect individuals over corporations, I think there is a danger of that reversing itself. 

Post # 84
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@HisMoon:  I understand the purpose of protesting I just find it rather hypocritical. You don’t get paid to stand out there. Rather and protest, quit and find another job. Where I grew up, you were thankful to have a job and if you didn’t like what you were doing you either dealt with it or you searched for another occupation. If the economy is so tough, people should be thankful to have job.

There’s a difference between what people think they’re worth and what they’ll actually get paid. Everybody would like to graduate high school and start an entry level job making $70,000/year but that doesn’t happen. You’ve got to pay your dues and work your way up the ladder.  

Post # 85
Member
2515 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Cummins59:  Let’s say those McDonald’s workers get their way and get $15/hr. The $70,000 figure you quoted is a heck of a lot larger than the $28,800 they would make per year BEFORE taxes.

 

Post # 86
Member
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@MsW-to-MrsM:  My rent splitting an apartment with a roommate is comparable to the rent for a studio or a one-bedroom in a less expensive area. 

And that was kinda the point I was trying to make. If I broke my arm, I have a family support system in place to either loan me $$ or just plain pay off my medical bills. And I work for people that would be happy to give me a few days off (although at no pay) to recover. My point was that I can live how I live partly because of frugality and partly because of luck. I know that no matter what happens, my expenses will remain fairly steady. (Unless I got pregnant. That would suck.)

 

Post # 87
Member
5399 posts
Bee Keeper

Some of these responses really upset me.

I think a lot of people who believe that their *oh so hard work* has gotten them ahead in life sound just as entitled and ridiculous as they think McD’s employees sound asking for a living wage. I’m pretty much a poster child for hard work and accomplishments, but I’ll also be the first to admit that I am SO fortunate that I had the oppourtunities to excel and become successful, as well as the guidance from my parents. I was born to white, middle class, hardworking, parents who provided me many opportutnies to develop intellectually, socially, academically. My parents have also been very fortunate in their careers, and have always been able to provide for us. Many people do not have these opportunities! We love to tell poor people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, but do most of us (college educated, middle class) here on WB know how hard that is? I know I don’t personally, but I’m not arrogant enough to think that those who are less fortunate are just lazy pieces of shit, and if they would just work harder, they would be able to afford to eat.

Let’s not forget how many bees complain about their overwhelming student loan debt. Some bees even go so far as to say they wish they hadn’t gone to college. But how is it some of these same posters feel ok sitting back and complaining that these poor people are just so damn lazy and entitled? Many people just simply cannot afford to get out of the cycle of poverty. When you compound in low education, low levels of health and poor healthcare, drugs, violence, etc, a lot of these people don’t stand a chance and McD’s is literally the best they can do. Nobody has ever believed in them and told them that they CAN be more than a fast food worker. If you don’t come from that place, I don’t think you can understand the struggle {I don’t, but there’s this thing called compassion…}

These minimum wage jobs are also necessary to our society and economy. Societies that pay their members fair and living wages are also stronger economically. But the CEO’s and 1% can’t get past their greed and pay their employees a living wage, because they need their private jets and Louboutins.

The other side of the coin is:

While nobody is entitled to, or inherently deserves, to get any job, I think all working people do deserve to make a living wage. The problem with this is that fancy haircuts, designer clothes, fake nails, diamond rings, and dinners out are not necessities. If America could get away from such an overconsumption culture, people would be so much better off. The mentality that success=money=purchased stuff is horrible for us as people. We need to redefine success, and it doesn’t always have a damn thing to do with money and how much shit you can buy. But none of this means that people don’t deserve to be able to afford healthy food, shelter, medical care, utilities, etc.

Oh, and please understand we’re all just a medical crisis, accident, layoff, disability, etc away from financial crisis and becoming “one of them.”

Post # 88
Member
31 posts
Newbee

@rosworms:  Where did this $15 and hour figure come from? I read they want 108% of federal minimum wage which I think works like this: 1.08*$7.78 = $8.40 What did I miss?

Post # 89
Member
2789 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Cummins59:  That’s the problem though isn’t it? Especially in this current economy, many people can’t just up and quit and find a better job. For one thing, those jobs don’t exist for them or are only available to a few people. As a PP stated, there are many who used to work in better jobs that became unemployed due to the economy going bust and are now having to work in jobs for which they are overqualified. Secondly, it takes time and money to find jobs, and people unable to make ends meet in the job they do have can’t exactly rely on savings or anything to pound the pavement (so to speak).

I am sure many of the workers striking ARE thankful to have a job, but that doesn’t mean they should just accept the shit situation they find themselves in with their pay. In fact, that’s partially why a minimum wage was instituted to begin with – to protect desperate, uneducated workers from being exploited by the companies for whom they work.

Post # 90
Member
2789 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@AtLeastIHaveHim:  You just calculated an 8% increase vs 108%. That’s what you’re missing. The calculation should be (7.25 x 1.08) + 7.25

Post # 91
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@MsW-to-MrsM:  Yes it would be but it’s not realistic. By increasing wages that increases salary costs for companies which usually leads to less employees being hired, hours being cut and increased cost of goods. Plus, it’s hard to justify paying higher wages to complete tasks where are meant for entry level employees.

Not to get into a big debate, I’m just saying that increasing minimum wage isn’t a quick, solve all solution.

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