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For more fun, read about the 10-year McDonalds worker who got arrested for complaining about her $8.25 per hour wage.
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Cue the chorus of no one forces her to work there. I’m sure she shocked the audience with her comments.
Good comment, Debbie.
You must have been done horribly wrong by some big business when you were in your formative years. The rage you hold within is unhealthy, man.
Hmm. You know, I think I just figured it out! Hey Dan, please tell us about the time you applied to McDonalds for an entry-level job, and they didn’t hire you!
McDonalds needs to fire their Human Resources Dept and use the money to pay their workers more.They should also raise the prices on their food and cut the salaries of their corporate headquarters people.
My comment doesn’t reflect my feelings, Frank. I”m not in that choir.
Don’t get me started…….
Screw it…I’m started….
“Breaking up food into pieces” almost had me spewing beer. How about “Save money by making use of your generous employee half-price meal discount! Make sure to choose from our ‘healthier’ menu choices! Don’t let the amount of food we throw out because it’s past its hold time bother you. Our customers deserve 7-minute old fries or less, not 8 minutes! But please don’t eat the 8-minute fries yourself, because we don’t want you to get the idea to cook extra just to be ‘thrown away’. Besides, our customers’ time and money are much more important than yours, our employee. So grab a Big Mac meal and enjoy! For half-price!”
“Payday loan and car title loan businesses can be great help in times of unexpected expenses or emergencies! Pawn shops, too! With careful budgeting, you can pay back these loans and get your dead Grandma’s engagement diamond out of hock in no time….if we don’t cut your hours.”
“If you don’t already, start attending a church or two, even if you don’t believe in God. Most places of worship have food and clothing pantries for the underprivileged you can take advantage of.”
“Pick up a second or third job at Walmart. We hear they have food drives for their own employees!”
McDonald’s not only doesn’t give a rat’s rear end about their employees, but they also do not give the same about their “customers,” the suckers who come through the door to buy their slop! They advertise “specials” to get the suckers through the door, then REFUSE to honor advertised prices or feign ignorance about the specials! I experienced this in THREE different locations in widely parts of the country over a distance of over 3000 miles, so I know it is a planned and SOP! This sucker has quit going the doors of this pathetic bunch of lying company execs, and I will NEVER go to McDonalds again!
This is such a sad commentary on the inequality in this nation and those who willingly perpetuate it .
Because we should all have the same things right? Same salaries for all jobs, all houses cost the same prices, cars too, and everyone gets to start where they’ll finish. Awesome!!
No stress because you don’t have to try hard as there’s no working your way up, because you’re already there.
Everybody gets to be stockholders and sit on the Board, agreeing on all decisions as long as there’s no inequality.
I miss the point. Are McDonalds employees forced to work there? Why not work somewhere else? If McDonalds cannot find employees then they will be forced to raise their wages.
Are the libs on this blog totally clueless about how wages are set? It is supply and demand. The more skills you acquire, the greater the demand for your services. This results in higher wages. Please tell me you libs understand this.
Yes terps, you miss the point, an international company, Fortune 500, making BILLIONS in profit is helping their employees use safety nets, both taxpayer funded and private charity as well as offering cheerful privation tips, instead of paying them a wage they can pay their own way on.
What sets wages is whatever the business can legally get away with; and who funds who makes that legal determination? The inequality you are allowed to palm off on no-skill or low-skill is still inequality that leads to that BILLIONS in profit.
Interesting exchange between Ashton Kutcher(who actually has a brain, IMO) and Walmart via Twitter: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/ashton-kutcher-vs-walmart-173543025.html
“What sets wages is whatever the business can legally get away with”
You need to go back to school.
No terps, you need to get honest.
“I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boos was trying to say? “Hey if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.”
― Chris Rock
Ok Sandi, I’ll be honest. If you think wages should be dictated by the government, then you believe in communism.
terps, if you think the minimum wage is communism, it’s back to school for YOU.
No terps, that is not honest and communism is about far more than dictating wages.
Our government does not dictate wages but it has seen fit to set a minimum because to do less would be to increase the safety nets you so despise paying for.
If a job is worth doing, the amount of skill involved is not the sole criterion for wages. The compensation packages of many CEO’s should tell you that. If it is solely based on skills then the inequality in this nation means we are truly doomed. We are turning into a service economy on many levels but if that will not pay the bills it is not much better than an indenture. If a job needs doing and someone is willing to dedicate the time and effort to do it, they should be compensated such that they can be self-sufficient. If that means the profit pie is shared more equitably, then that is what a good business should do. Taking advantage of people is not something to be proud of.
In the liberal, zero sum world the minimum wage is the savior of the worker. In the real world, education and training is the savior of the worker. For those who completely lack any motivation to develop skills, then you can expect $7.25 an hour.
the rhetoric of “fair wages” is what Chavez used to gain power in Venezuela. Care to venture what a fast food employee makes down there?
Tell us, Terps.
#15 Why is it when people ask for a living wage you folks from the right seem to always pull that Communism thing out of your hat? My guess you have never met a real life Communist.
If only you had to try to live on that wage would you find out how near impossible it is to live day by day. And no one is forcing them to work there. But what does one have to choose from when you are stuck in a spot from a host of problems. It is long time to give people a living wage not a staving wage because that it the way it is now.
Now to mention the crap they put in the food and allowed to sell it to the consumer. Garbage in garbage out, it’s a drive by world.
terps, are you saying that the difference in compensation between a Fortune top 50 CEO and his COO is a precise measure of the difference in the level of their skills? That the week before Jack Welch retired, his skill set was as much greater than Jeffery Immelt’s as was the difference in their compensation at that moment?
terps, it is not us that does not seem to be living in “the real world”. Regardless of anyone’s level of education or skill, those jobs will still need doing and claiming that they are not worthy of a wage that can support them without constant dependence on safety nets is selfish, self-defeating and IMO embarrassing.
All of you people who believe McDonalds should pay more, raise prices and cut serving sizes; go open your own restaurant chain and see how far you get with those ideas.
As for raising minimum wage; the businesses will have to raise their prices to cover the wage increases, The most effected businesses would be the very same businesses the minimum wage people shop at. Therefore their new higher minimum wage won’t go any furthere than the old one. The only thing that will happpen is inflation,
Minimum wage is something to carry you until you get an education and a real job.
Warren, that takes the cake for the dumbest post ever on this blog. Companies have a board of directors and they set CEO pay. What motivation does the board have to pay salaries that the CEO does not earn? Companies pay those salaries so they don’t lose a good CEO to another company and that makes the CEO….. WORTH IT!
Warren, you seek a world where everyone is paid a “fair” wage. There is only one way to do that and that is to have the government dictate (with force) wages that must be paid for each job. As a quick review of 20th century history will teach you, such schemes make everyone miserable.
RM, you don’t think fast food is a real job? How about retail clerking or WalMart stocking? And if everyone was educated to a level you consider better than those jobs require, who’d do them? Would they just no longer need doing? Why can’t the billionaire Walton family see a slightly slower rate of growth in their already enormous fortunes so that Walmart employees can make a living wage; in that case the “pass along” argument you make would be less relevant.
“Conscience and good business sense join in demanding the enactment of (minimum wage laws…They) extend to the lowest paid workers…and their families—a fairer opportunity to share our high standard of living. To pass them by—to water down the help they need, or merely assume that prosperity at the top will someday reach them—shocks the conscience of those who care”.
“The increases in purchasing power resulting from a higher minimum wage will help to restore consumer demand required to put our idle industrial capacity back to work. The elimination of unfair competition based upon substandard wages will protect fairminded employers anxious to maintain fair labor standards”.
Sen. John F. Kennedy, 1960
Especially true is the reason he gives why ethical business would support minimum wages: “The elimination of unfair competition based upon substandard wages will protect fairminded employers anxious to maintain fair labor standards”. That’s exactly why Walmart is not fairminded.
Terps–your comments about being worth it bring to mind US Airways CEO’s comments when they were bleeding money about his coterie—”We have to pay those salaries to get this caliber of executive.”
I guess that it takes a lot of talent to lose lots of money?
To answer your question about motivation: Since Boards generally consists of other CEO’s, then the answer should be self evident. A rising tide lifts all boats.
“Companies have a board of directors and they set CEO pay. What motivation does the board have to pay salaries that the CEO does not earn?”
terps, that takes the cake as the most naïve statement ever on this blog.
Many corporate boards are controlled by those allied with management, and the rubberstamp approval of CEO compensation has a long dishonorable history in American capitalism. You didn’t know that? Really? Not for nothing does the term “crony capitalism” exist. Wow. Pollyanna would be proud of your imagined world.
I’d love to continue this with you, terps, but with such a gulf in our knowledge of the many real world examples of CEO compensation that was untethered to results, unrelated to market demand for the executive, and abetted by either a crony or a negligent board, I can’t, at least until you replace your rose colored abstractions with a grasp of the real world, as is done in the case method used to teach MBA hopefuls who think as naïvely as yourself that CEO compensation is a pure exercise in market forces determined by purely independent boards who hold fiduciary obligation to all shareholders as their top priority.
That’s your stated perception, are you going to stick to it?
Naivete, thy blog name is terps:
Chesapeake Energy CEO, Aubrey McClendon, in 2010, spent $5.9 million dollars of his company’s money to purchase tickets to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s basketball games. McClendon coincidentally is part owner of the team. He’s not only a sports buff, he is a history buff too, selling his antique map collection to his company for $12.1 million. These expenditures were approved by the publicly traded company’s board.
(Former) Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, whose tenure drove Merrill Lynch to lose $15 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, spent $1,405 on a trash can. As his company was eliminating jobs, a newly acquired $87,000 rug graced the floor of his office. The tab for his designer office – $1.2 million. Yet it wasn’t board disapproval that cost Thain his job.
James Bernhard CEO of the Shaw Group, gets paid to keep his company’s secrets even after he is dead. That’s right, for two years after he relocates to the great hereafter, his heirs will receive $15 million plus interest to “not compete” after death. This part of his compensation was approved by the firm’s board.
The causes of such high compensation are well known. Among them: Steadily lower tax rates on the wealthy, lapdog boards of directors, perverse incentives, the unintended consequences of supposed reforms such as stock options, the power of institutional investors seeking short-term gains and the myth of the chief executive as super hero.
The country has changed since the mid-20th century, when chief executives made much less, not least in our morals, norms and sense of mutual obligation. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous statement about “defining deviancy down” applies to many a boardroom, not just to street corners.
Wow! How does anyone stay in business??
Terps and RM,
What you don’t “get” is that “successful” business people are inherently evil; forget the types like solyndra (who get taxpayer money) etc…
You also don’t get that any person they hire is not doing their job of their own free will (these evil business folk have placed them in a hypnotic trance where they believe working is more beneficial than taxpayer dole).
You also don’t get that many of these companies profits (if they are stock) are putting money in their investors portfolios (of which these “spellbound” employees are some).
It is sad, sad, sad, that you don’t understand that these unwitting slaves to their employer are so abused and have no option but to live their lives in this exploitation.
Anyone who thinks ‘flipping burgers’ is an unskilled job is an arrogant prick. There is a great amount of skill to cooking any fast food product continuously, according to health and food safety standards, within damn near impossible time constraints (gotta have that Big Mac in the customer’s hands within 90 seconds from the time they order to the time they pick it up!), while simultaneously staying in constant communication with co-workers regarding product needs/levels and special needs and requests from customers (because Li’l Johnny won’t eat his burger if a pickle even touches it so they can’t just remove the damn pickle), day in and day out, week after week.
Maybe it’s a skill you have no desire to develop, but it most definitely is a skill.
What Perry D doesn’t understand is that asking for a raise shouldn’t be an arrestable “offense.” That it was in the case of the article I linked to is a sad commentary on the state of American labor. But something tells me Perry D fully approves of that state.
No snark at all/
My family realized that it couldn’t survive in the dairy business given the changes taking place in the dairy industry. That’s business. We had to find a different business model. We did that by shifting to become a grain operation and finding other small farms in our area that were willing to lease their land to us so we could build a business model that worked. We were lucky because we owned our land and had no debt. We were able to leverage that to a successful grain operation. It hasn’t been without bumps in the road, but we remain debt free and financially in good shape.
A perfect example of American exceptionalism! I commend you.
I grow weary of the “business is evil” mantra and wonder how some think we ever got by. Most of us worked at Mickey-D’s in HS for minimum wage, knew all 7 steps to working the front counter, but never thought of it as a career path. I do have a friend from back in the day, who worked at the Civic Center McDonalds with me, who made a career out of fast food, ending up at Wendy’s corporate headquarters. Life is what o make it.
Contra: Anyone who thinks ‘flipping burgers’ is an unskilled job is an arrogant prick.
You are my hero.
Truth be told, there are two kinds of customers who complain about the staff at any customer service-related job: those who have been there, and those who never will be.
Oh sure, lets all pretend that it is evil to work for a living and be foolish enough to think you should then be paid enough to make a living. In that fairy tale land where “beginner jobs” are beginner jobs and profits are shared in proportion that might well be true. We just don’t live in that land. You people have the gall to complain when workers need more money AND when workers need the safety nets because they don’t get it.
Funny how you are so quick to claim what someone else is worth and what someone else deserves but never question a business model that is in effect a failure that you subsidize.
Spot on Contra!
“Life is what you make it.”
Life is an ongoing, cumulative total of circumstances both within and without of one’s control and the decisions one makes, good or bad, directly related to those circumstances.
Neither I, nor anyone else on this blog who is in favor of increasing the minimum wage to a living wage has said or believes that everyone should be paid the same wage no matter what the job is. Just stop with that general oversimplification of the debate.
Yes, a fast food restaurant manager should be paid more than a crew person. Yes, a CEO should be paid more than a restaurant manager. Yes, a brain surgeon should be paid more than a hospital janitor. There. I said it. Happy?
What part of just paying people enough money to exist on in a 40-50 hour workweek has you people so damn upset?
Pirengle @ 36:
Obviously, this subject hits very close to home for me. There are many facets to the minimum wage debate, a couple of which I’ve wanted to address in past threads, but I tend to get long-winded, so I’ve mostly refrained from commenting. But what the hell, here I go….
I would like to make a couple of points, one of which kinda adds to Pirengle’s comment on the two types of customers. Many people who say, “Any work is honorable work!” are oftentimes the same people who make fun of and insult certain types of work. “She’s so stupid, she couldn’t get a job flipping burgers.” “A trained monkey could run a fast food cash register.” I’ve read similar comments on this blog, one in the last couple of days. I gotta ask: Which is it? IS any work honorable or only certain jobs?
My next point is this: I’m here to tell some of you folks that there are a great many people whose intelligence level prohibits them from working anywhere but at an ‘unskilled’ job. (And for the record, let me just say that ‘unskilled’ doesn’t mean invaluable. McDonald’s has made billions of dollars off of ‘unskilled’ labor.) Yes folks, some of those people who flip your burger, pick up your trash, clean your kids’ school, or assemble your car parts and cosmetic kits have met their Peter principle and these jobs are IT for them. It’s not a pretty truth, but it is the truth.
The thing is, those people are still HUMAN BEINGS. They need to eat, they need shelter, they need their health. They need a living wage. So really, what it gets down to very often is that people who are against a living, minimum wage, actually believe, or at least subconsciously condone the idea that some of their fellow human beings are too stupid to live.
Contra, I’ve enjoyed your rant. You speak the raw truth with genuine passion. A living wage, in my mind, is about basic human dignity. Well said, Contra.
Jason Perdue @ 43:
I did say, ‘Don’t get me started….’
Thanks for your comment! You’re absolutely right. It’s about basic human dignity and the Golden Rule.
“McDonald’s crew jobs are not meant to be careers.”
A) There’s a difference between a long-time job and a career. Do you think every fast food restaurant manager aspired to that position? Do you really think most of them, when they were younger, thought ‘Hey! Fast food management is where the money’s at! That’s the career for me!’
B) Statistics show that the cutsie, smiling high school kid in the fast food commercials are a minority of the industry’s employees.
C) In management classes, McDonald’s teaches that one of the best potential hires is a single mother because she knows how to multi-task, is able to switch quickly from one job to another, and knows how to manage time. Doesn’t exactly fit the description of many high school kids, does it?
“No one’s forcing them to work there.”
Outside of how logistically difficult it is for someone living paycheck to almost the next paycheck to search and interview for another job, how about the greater picture? This country and all the progress it’s made socially and economically wasn’t because people just quit something they didn’t like. It was built and continues to grow because people stay and fight to make wrong things right. I get damn tired of the “don’t like it, then leave” mantra, no matter how it’s applied.
Contra, you are my hero too. Well done!
Contra, isn’t interesting the way some folks on here talk about “career” as if everyone should choose to get a college degree, pick a job, and stay in that job for 40 or 50 years. Today’s work world no longer fits that neat little 1950′s ideal. The past few generations have learned that today’s corporations have no real loyalty to the employee, and they’ve learned this because of the way corporations treat their employees – downsizing, shedding pension plans, hiring part-time or temp employees, etc. Our children will likely change job or careers at least 5-10 times or more. I am a Boomer, and I have heard my generation repeatedly opine that these kids have no work ethic, no dedication, no loyalty. That’s no it at all. The young folks coming into today’s work world are merely looking out for themselves, putting their interests first, because that is what they see the corporations doing. Reap what we sow!
Ok, I say “Life is what you make it.” And you call “Bullsh*t”, then follow up with “Life is an ongoing, cumulative total of circumstances both within and without of one’s control and the decisions one makes, good or bad, directly related to those circumstances.” ………..so what the heck is the difference?
I keep hearing “living wage”, “living wage” and while I know there are formula’s that address certain dollar amounts that qualify as a “living wage”, I also know even if you paid people that there is no guarantee they would be prudent with their “living wage” and buy all the things “we” think they should.
As some of you know I began my adult life working at McDonald’s in various capacities from grill cook to Assistant Manager. Looking back at my SSA Statement, I see my first year out of High School I made a whopping $3,398.00 for the year, the next year I was up $5,787.00, and the third year to $7,679.00! That of course it relative as prices, rent, etc. was much cheaper, but I was married (she didn’t work), had a car, an apartment and thought I was living the dream. I was on my own and as far as I know, no one was looking down their nose at me. Additionally, I never recall coworkers, either the HS kids or the single mom’s, complaining about what they were making, where they were living, or the things in life they couldn’t afford. Sure, we all had dreams and aspirations; but all our dreams were very different. Yes, some were to become the manager, but some were just for a different shift.
Searching for, and finding a different job is not that difficult either. You don’t work 24/7 and in fast food you work nights and weekends, giving you time in the week to search for, and interview for a new position. My motivation for leaving wasn’t money and I actually took a pay cut when I made my move dropping to $5,367.00 in year 4 out of High School. I wanted a Monday through Friday daytime job so I could have nights and weekends off and was willing to take the cut to get what I wanted.
The bottom line is business cannot base business decisions on “feel good” policies no matter how cruel or evil we think they are. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about their employees but there is only so much in the profit margin. Should the owner of the McDonalds on Lee Highway only aspire to pay his current employees the maximum possible and just keep the one McDonalds, or should he save some of his profits to build another McDonalds across from the Civic Center and give many more people a chance of employment? Hint, guess who gets hired for the management positions.
Contra wins the thread. Well done, Contra.
Contra, way to annihilate folks like Bill, Perry D, and terps,
Bill, were they paying you the minimum wage?
Should today’s McDonald’s workers be required to work for less that you got, relative to inflation?
How much less?
“In management classes, McDonald’s teaches that one of the best potential hires is a single mother because she knows how to multi-task, is able to switch quickly from one job to another, and knows how to manage time.”
All those are true, but there’s another reason McD’s likes’em single & with babies: they NEED those crappie wages more than some 17 year old high school kid who working for beer Saturday night beer money. That makes them more likely to show up and less likely to quit and easier to boss around.
No one is saying business is “evil” but you sure seem to think workers who want a living wage are.
No, this is not about more franchises and more crappy paying jobs, that model is the problem. Yes people will work for minimum wage and by God if there was not a minimum wage there are people who would work for even less.
The point is that a successful business in the Fortune 500 SHOULD be able to pay their workers a living wage and if they cannot, then they are a sham Fortune 500 making profit by taking advantage of desperate workers with no options. You model that all you want, the rest of us will still think it is crappy business.
Speaking of the Grinch. Walmart gets its own nomination.
The company does pay employees who work Thanksgiving extra for those hours, but they base that extra on how much employees work in the two weeks leading up to the holiday. By now you’ve probably already guessed what comes next. That’s right, Walmart REDUCES employee working hours during that two weeks, which means they end up paying less of a holiday bonus. And workers end up making no more for the time period than they would have without the extra holiday pay.
I’m sure Bill and others will be along to defend this one.
With all due respect, I don’t believe this blog is about annihilating other bloggers. We can disagree vigorously without annihilating someone else.
I want to make clear that I do not believe all business or businesspeople are evil. Some are, but, in my view, most are not.
Sorry, Ron, perhaps I should have spoken of their comments rather than them as people. And nowhere do I suggest that I think all business or businesspeople are evil. Because I don’t believe that.
If I recall I think Minimum wage was $1.65 then went to maybe $2.35.
Everyone who works there does not stay at the minimum though. Once you learn things you have value at other places, requiring less training. Management recognizes that and increase the top performers to keep them. Remember there are many different shifts too, so there is the after school crowd who work the nights and weekends with the dayshifters being the more permanent staff – who earn a higher wages. Yes, the lady who comes in at 5 AM to make the biscuits is worth more than the kid who runs the register at 5 PM. As a manager I also care much more about keeping her happy too.
The same applies for Walmart. Everyone there is not making minimum wage because they also have value at Target, KMart, Kohl’s, etc. You pay those who do more and try harder because it’s easier for them to leave and go to your competitors. They’re also much better at keeping your customers happy and coming back.
Since I have gained my living since 1976 from one business or another I agree Ron, they are not all or even most “evil”. All do not put profit ahead of employees for more than the briefest and most necessary times, and most in this country are the very essence of a successful business model that lets everyone enjoy enough of the pie and few if any employees make minimum wage.
In no way is this about making business seem “evil”, that is literally dishonest to claim, but it is most assuredly about calling out those businesses hauling in BILLIONS in profit and seeking international dominance and the Fortune 500 list while taxpayers have to subsidize their workers due to their low wages! Every day of the week we will do that.
Bill, you’re right that not all people will be prudent with their pay, but that doesn’t justify companies that are worth hundreds of millions or billions of dollars from not paying a wage that people who work full time can survive on. No one is saying they have to pay exorbitant wages, just enough so that their employees don’t have to depend on social safety nets to survive.
A lot of the people who are scorned for receiving SNAP benefits are not lazy people who don’t want to work. They do work, they just can’t make it on the wages they receive. Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King….. aren’t, struggling to survive Mom and Pop businesses. They are Fortune 500 companies who would not be in that list were it not for their employees.
I get that most of you on here don’t like Walmart, but this is the only job that some of these people can get, whether it is because of education or simply lack of jobs in the area, or maybe they need to work at something that is relatively stress free because of other issues in their life.
You’d be surprised how many people working at Walmart in hourly jobs have more than a high school education, my daughter being one of them. You don’t know her past work history, her health issues, how long she intends to work there, or anything else about her. You don’t know that she is treated much better at Walmart than she was at her last job that paid $2 more an hour.
She does NOT get ANY of the government entitlements, nor does she intend to apply for them.
I know, some of you will say I don’t have to read these comments. You’re right, of course. But it surprises me to no end that some bloggers on here, whom I consider highly intelligent, keep banging Walmart, when, while their wages are low, are NOT the worst employers in how they treat their employees in this area.
Has anyone heard that Walmart is having a holiday food drive for its own employees? Considering their wholesale cost on canned goods, they could well afford to GIFT their employees with a few cans of pumpkin and a few yams.
Your local McDonalds & Burger Kings ARE struggling “Mom & Pop” business that are owned by your friends and neighbors. They pay a royalty to McDonalds Corporation to put up the Golden Arches on the street and sell the products. They have to buy all of that “logo”, “TM” stuff from the Fortune 500 Corporation as part of their business model. Heck Mr Lewis in Vinton still stands out in the street and directs traffic at lunchtime; no pre-Madonna or millionaire, just a regular Joe trying to make a go of it.
I’m pretty sure McDonalds, the corporation, pays their employees quite well.
Kristen, yes, I read about that. I posted a link to that story on another thread. It was a Walmart in Ohio, I think. And we thought they didn’t care about their employees…….
Depending on the year, and assuming you were earning minimum wage, it’s easy to reckon your wage then with the minimum wage now. You simply go to one of many online inflation calculators (I favor the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and punch in the dates and the numbers.
If we’re talking 1970, and when the minimum wage was $1.60/hour, it would have to be $9.63 today to have the same buying power as the MW did in 1970.
And that’s an average. Some costs have increased MUCH more — for example, in-state college tuition.
When I went to college in Maryland and worked a MW job, one semester’s tuition cost me (in state) 151 hours of work.
Today, one semester’s in-state tuition at Virginia Tech costs 758 hours of work at the MW.
Nobody’s saying businesses are inherently evil. That’s a straw man stuffed by Perry D.
I wonder if Walmart will accept Kroger-brand canned yams as a donation for their employees? Or do you gotta buy it in-store?
I once took Kroger cans and dropped them in a food bank box at the Walmart here.
On that day Kroger had about 50 cans of a Kroger brand vegetable reduced on the clearance rack, and about the same number of instant potatoes in a pack by a name brand, so I got them all and took them over to Walmart food box and dropped them in it. The Kroger I shop at often reduces cans that they don’t have room to store in the back. These are not out of date, simply items someone ordered too much of for the shelf.
Walmart usually has a box for food bank items in front of the store just as you walk out all year round, Kroger does not. They want you to buy their already boxed donation items because it is much easier for them to store in a corner in the office.
People need to eat all year round, not just at holidays, so I do try to remember that when I’m doing my large weekly grocery shopping.
any reason my comments get held longer? no complaints, just curious
The in-state college tuition is a whole other discussion with me as the federal/state governments have encouraged colleges & universities to continually raise prices, propping them up with various grants and cheap student loans.
Bill, again, and with all due respect, no one is arguing that employees who are cross-trained in several jobs, or who have a wide open scheduling availability, or who come in early, stay late, come in on their days off shouldn’t be paid more than employees who don’t fit that criteria. What we’re saying is that if a company deems a job necessary to keep or increase profits, the company should pay enough for the employee doing said job to meet their own basic needs on a full-time schedule. And unless you, as a manager, were given carte blanche authority to hand out raises outside of the corporate/franchise guidelines, you know as well as I do that an employee is not given a raise every time they learn a new job. In general, fast food gives out raises about every 6 months to the tune of about 10-25¢ per hour, with cross-training, availability, tardiness and attendance, and attitude being determining factors to those raises.
“Yes, the lady who comes in at 5 AM to make the biscuits is worth more than the kid who runs the register at 5 PM. As a manager I also care much more about keeping her happy too.”
Oddly enough, I both agree and disagree with this statement. Biscuit-making at 5 am is not an easy job. The job itself is worth a bit more than the cash register job. However, if no one is there to take the customer’s order, the biscuit making job is unnecessary. If the biscuits aren’t available for sale, the cashier’s job is unnecessary. Also, you have a bigger pool of potential employees to replace the cashier than you do to replace the biscuit maker, so I completely understand your wanting to keep your biscuit-maker happy.
“They’re also much better at keeping your customers happy and coming back.”
Agreed. Repeat business is extremely important to any fast food business. So much so that one of the corporate mandated steps to order-taking at McDonald’s is to thank the customer and ask them to return. “Thank you! Please come back!” “Thank you! Hope we see you again soon!” (Do all cashiers always do this? No. Are those cashiers corrected when they don’t? Not always. But it is right there in black & white in the training material.) That being said, who do you think is going to give the best customer service? The employee who knows that when payday rolls around he’ll have enough money to pay rent, buy groceries, and pay his utility bills or the employee who, despite working every available hour, still won’t have enough to make ends meet and is in a constant state of worry?
“…as far as I know, no one was looking down their nose at me.”
Good for you for not noticing, because trust me, there are and have been for a long time, people who equate minimum wage jobs with being a loser. Even McDonald’s recognizes this and addresses it in management classes. They acknowledge that their reputation is one of being an ‘employer of last resort’—their own words. If you can’t get a job anywhere else, you can always work at McDonald’s. They recognize this and pay lip service to wanting to change that perception, but the obvious answer of paying a living wage seems to escape them.
“I also know even if you paid people that there is no guarantee they would be prudent with their “living wage” and buy all the things “we” think they should.”
But at least if they blow their rent and grocery money on beer, cigarettes, tattoos, fake nails, and smartphones, and then have the audacity to try to get foodstamps, their income level will disqualify them and we can say, “Hey man, you were paid a living wage. You blew it. Not my problem”, and it will be true.
Raising minimum wage to a level that allows people to make ends meet without using SNAP or other safety nets will not prohibit more motivated, more skilled, or brighter people from moving up and above those minimum wage jobs.
I know a kid who worked at one of the chain craft stores. He was “written up” for forgetting to remove his stocking cap (dead of winter) as soon as he was clocked in to unload trucks and stock shelves. Not so bad at the time, however the kicker came when they gave people a $50.00 bonus at Christmas. He did not get that $50 because of that “infraction” (it was the only infraction and it happened before the first customer ever entered the store). That is also the kind of things business does to those they know need their job desperately.
What effect will raising the minimum wage to say $9.63 have on the organization as a whole since now the folks who have been trying hard and getting their 25 cent raises every 6 months for the past 4 years are now paid the same as the high school kid who just started yesterday?
We must realize this move “won’t raise all boats” and can really expect business folks to raise everyone proportionally.
There are no easy answers, that’s for sure
“The in-state college tuition is a whole other discussion with me as the federal/state governments have encouraged colleges & universities to continually raise prices, propping them up with various grants and cheap student loans.”
They haven’t “encouraged” them to raise tuition as much as they’ve forced state colleges to do it, by slashing their budgets.
Your local McDonalds & Burger Kings ARE struggling “Mom & Pop” business that are owned by your friends and neighbors. They pay a royalty to McDonalds Corporation to put up the Golden Arches on the street and sell the products. They have to buy all of that “logo”, “TM” stuff from the Fortune 500 Corporation as part of their business model. Heck Mr Lewis in Vinton still stands out in the street and directs traffic at lunchtime; no pre-Madonna or millionaire, just a regular Joe trying to make a go of it. I’m pretty sure McDonalds, the corporation, pays their employees quite well. – See more at: http://blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey/2013/11/mcdonalds-enters-the-2013-grinch-sweepstakes/#comments
I have a relative, via marriage, who owns 4-5 McDonalds in Maryland. The few occasions I’ve chatted with him (weddings & funerals) have been eye-opening. And I don’t necessarily mean in a positive sense.
Actually Bill, there is a very easy answer. The right winger haters need to STHU about the safety net programs these workers need and deserve and admit they are the wage subsidies these businesses cause. That would do the trick until a better system comes along.
Well, how about that? It’s not only employees who are unsatisfied:
I’m going to borrow the standard “if you can’t afford kids, don’t have any” blanket statement and suggest that if you can’t afford the costs of running a business, don’t open one.
“Well, how about that? It’s not only employees who are unsatisfied:
I’m going to borrow the standard “if you can’t afford kids, don’t have any” blanket statement and suggest that if you can’t afford the costs of running a business, don’t open one.”
Oooooooh! So the McD’s franchisees are ORGANIZING, eh? That is delicious (unlike their food).
I believe they have every right to organize and mobilize, for the purpose of legally bringing pressure on the corporation, in defense of their profits.
Just like their employees have the right to do the same thing, in defense of their paychecks.
Dan, I agree. My second (sarcastic) statement was out of context to the link I posted. Those owners should put pressure on the corporation. Franchise owners cannot simply sell their businesses and walk away when they want to. The corporation is very involved in the sale.
In general, what I was trying to say is that it’s as ludicrous to say, “Nobody forced you to open a business. If you can’t afford the costs of doing business, don’t open a business, or just sell it and leave”, as it is to say, “Don’t like your job or pay? Go get another one. Nobody’s forcing you to stay.”
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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 14:06:31 +0000
Metro Columnist Dan Casey knows a little bit about a lot of things but not a heck of a lot about most things. That doesn't keep him from writing about them, however. So keep him honest!
He welcomes your rants, raves and considered opinions, so long as the language is civil (i.e. no four-letter words). He'll read all your posts and may or may not respond.