business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's employees in New York City yesterday staged a one-day strike "to demand better pay and the right to unionize, calling for minimum wage to more than double from $7.25 to $15 an hour and the end to what activists called 'abusive labor practices'."

According to the story, "Similar strikes were planned across the country this week, organized by the national Fast Food Forward campaign, which was launched last year to tackle stagnating wages and the proliferation of low-wage jobs as the nation recovers from the recession, said campaign director Jonathan Westin.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) issued a statement saying that increasing wages as demanded would have a "significant effect on the private sector's ability to create jobs, especially those typically filled by first-time workers and teens."
KC's View:
It makes much more sense to me that the fair wage issue be decided within the context of the marketplace, without legislative intrusion. Let's be clear about it - this is precisely the same issue that essentially is being debated in Washington, DC, with Walmart's opposition to a "living wage" bill, and that was highlighted when McDonald's created a financial services website for its employes that showed total ignorance about what it takes to support a family.

People who work for these fast feeders and cannot support their families have a right to wonder how come the CEOs of their companies make millions, while people on the front lines make so little. Some of them may be teens and first-time workers, but there are plenty of them who are adults that are trying to make a living, often work two jobs, and continue to struggle. There is something much bigger going on here - Michael referred to it in his column this morning - and the debate about wage equity needs to take place.