More fast food wage strikes planned
It certainly is a unique situation; workers going on strike to advocate for the elimination their jobs.
The union-backed movement to more than double the pay of some fast food workers to $15 an hour is beginning to take off as outfits like the SEIU pour money and resources into the organizing effort.
The poor, deluded fools working at fast food restaurants are blithely being led to the slaughter by those who know full well the consequences of being successful in their quest, as industry spokesmen try to explain to them.
The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers - including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors - that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.
The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.
Officials with the National Restaurant Association have said the one-day strikes are publicity stunts. They warn that increasing pay to $15 an hour when the federal minimum wage is $7.25 would cause restaurants to rely more on automation and hire fewer workers.
Industry officials say that only a small percentage of fast-food jobs pay the minimum wage and that those are largely entry-level jobs for workers under 25.
Backers of the movement for higher pay point to studies saying that the average age of fast-food workers is 29 and that more than one-fourth are parents raising children.
Simon Rojas, who earns $8.07 an hour working at a McDonald's in South Central Los Angeles, said he would join Thursday's one-day strike.
"It's very difficult to live off $8.07 an hour," said Mr. Rojas, 23, noting that he is often assigned just 20 or 25 hours of work a week. "I have to live with my parents. I would like to be able to afford a car and an apartment."
Mr. Rojas said he had studied for a pharmacy technician's certificate, but he had been unable to save the $100 needed to apply for a license.
On Aug. 29, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week's expanded protests will be joined by numerous community, faith and student groups, including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops.
No doubt working at McDonald's or Burger King is a cruddy job, and the economy has been so bad that oftentimes the only work available is as a burger flipper. But it's clear that the entire concept of an "entry level wage" has escaped these geniuses. Unless you want to manage a fast food restaurant some day, your prospects for advancement are nil. These are jobs should be going to young, inexperienced workers to give them basic skills that they can eventually use to get better paying jobs with better prospects for growth.
A successful $15 an hour wage crusade will make fast food workers obsolete. No one is going to pay $9 for a Big Mac or Whopper. Franchise owners will turn to automation in order to cut staff to the bone in an attempt to keep prices down. If this future comes about, the highest paid workers at a McDonalds will be robot technicians.
The hard fact is that fast food workers aren't worth $15 an hour to any company. Until that fact sinks in, fast food workers will be striking to eliminate their jobs.