Fast food worker strikes spread to Chicago
The workers are seeking $15 an hour plus they want to form a union. Good for them. But why won't they face the reality of how many customers will want to buy a McDonald's Quarter Pounder if it costs twice as much?
The Fight for $15 campaign, named for its goal of securing $15 an hour for workers, said it expects McDonald's, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Macy's, Sears and Victoria's Secret store in the Loop and Magnificent Mile to be affected.
The rolling srikes began at 5:30 a.m. as workers walked off the job at some McDonald's restaurants and Dunkin' Donuts. Strikes are expected later this morning at some retailers. A rally is planned for 4 p.m. at the St. James Cathedral near Huron and Rush streets.
"Fight for 15, seeks to put money back in the pockets of the 275,000 men and women who work hard in the city's fast food and retail outlets, but still can't afford basic necessities," the group said in a release. "If workers were paid more, they'd spend more, helping to get Chicago's economy moving again."
Wednesday's action follows a nationwide Black Friday strike by Walmart workers and comes just weeks after 400 fast-food workers walked off their jobs in New York City.
"Fast food and retail workers bring more than $4 billion a year into the cash registers of the Magnificent Mile and the Loop, yet most of these workers earn Illinois' minimum wage of $8.25, or just above it," the group said.
Why should it matter how much the workers spend in a particular area? What does that have to do with how much they are paid?
One must conclude that they believe fast food companies exist only to employ workers and that selling product is a sidelight. Or perhaps they see the companies as charities, in existence to make a comfortable life for their workers.
The reason fast food workers make minimum wage is because the skill set an employee must possess to work at Burger King warrants it. It is not rocket science to take an order and ring it up - especially since most fast food outlets have abandoned numeric keypads and instead display a pictograph of the product being purchased. This is because many workers at fast food restaurants or either functionally illiterate or uncomfortable with the English language.
Functionally illiterate people cannot make $15 an hour in any economy, much less one as competitive as the US. When you divorce skills and aptitude from the economics of running a business, a company will fail. The profit margins for fast food franchises is very small and even small increases in wages for employees will impact the cost of products.
This doesn't matter to the community organizers. They are not interested in keeping companies in business. In fact, their hatred of capitalism is driving them to force companies out of business. Of course, if they are successful, the companies will cut hours and hire fewer workers - unless the workers successfully organize a union, in which case, fast food restaurants would soon become extinct.