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Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    We are transforming into a nation of beggars.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    “her employers want to avoid making her a full-time worker. Under the new health care law, workers who average 30 hours a week would be eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage starting in 2015.”

    Obamacare is hurting these people more than their wage levels.

    Want a better job with better pay? Improve your skillset.

    It’s been a while since I checked, and I don’t have the time right now, but if I remember correctly, only 1 or 2 of the top ten states with the lowest unemployment have minimum wage laws above the federal level, while 8 or 9 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment have minimum wage laws higher than the federal rate.

    minimum wage laws hurt employment (along with Obamacare)

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    I didn't bring lunch today.
    and I would rather go hungry that support Fast-Food today in support of the "workers".

    Boycott.

    ---------

    FYI worf,

    These are NOT beggers,
    but the WORKING poor.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Hard to see how protesting fast food workers contribute to a "country of beggars". Our country's middle class was formed by laborers protesting better wages and working conditions. The biggest fear of fast food, corporate America is this movement becoming super sized and gaining traction.

  • Wolverines Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    The response to this movement and increased costs due to obamacare, i.e. Increasing labor costs, will be the same as it ever was--for all industries for all time: automation.

    If you labor costs go over the cost to automate then the wise man automates.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Dear Lost:
    How does a single mom with two kids whose husband left her and is living on $9/hour working at McDonald's for the last 10 years improve her skillset? And if she works extra hard and is promoted to manager she makes $10 per hour. That's $20K per year. I wouldn't want to live on that. I read that the increase to $15/hour would ad 5 cents to the cost of a Big Mac. It seems to me that corporations should start treating employees like people, and not just commodities like hamburger or buns the country would be better off. Not to mention that people in that income bracket have a 100% propensity to spend, so they would be buying TV's and new cars spurring real economic growth rather than wealthy people dumping profits into the stock market which creates no real growth but only stock price inflation.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    To "FT" actually you are wrong. This nation was made great because poor people came here in hopes of a better life, worked hard, and risked to produce something that people wanted.

    Middle-class workers did not rise up by demanding more money. They were able to rise because they had skills to sell, and employers desperate for those skills.

    Fast Food workers, unfortunately for them, are easy to come by and do not have any specialized skills that are in demand.

    Why should I pay a person $15/hr who is trying to support their kids more than the Highschool kid who just wants money to buy the latest electronics? They both perform the same job, and are both just as easily replacable.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    If someone doesn't like how much money they make, go make yourself more valuable. If you truly are worth more than you're getting paid, someone else will pay you for it.

    Its not McDonalds responsibility to ensure a person makes enough money to support a family. McDonalds responsibility is to pay for the work you do.

    Its YOUR responsibility to ensure you can support a family.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    The fundamental problem I have with this is... WHO should be allowed to decide what the employees work is worth (and what they should be paid)? The employer... or the Government and these protesters?

    I think it should be a negotiation between the employee and the employer.

    The employer needs to determine what the labor is worth to him. The employee needs to determine what their time and their effort is worth. IF the employer doesn't pay what the employees time and effort is worth... they walk and replace their current employer with a new employer who WILL pay them what their work is worth. IF the employee isn't doing work that's worth what his employer is paying him... the employer is free to send them walking and replace them with a better worker.

    But nowhere does the government enter into this and mandate that the employee must keep the employer regardless of pay, or mandate the the employer must keep the employee regardless of performance...

    The Government should NOT mandate what the employer must pay (regardless of worth of the work). That is between the employer and the employee (not the government).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    It wasn't long ago when $10.00 was a pretty good wage for entry level unskilled work.

    That's $80.00/day or $400.00/week (nothing to sneeze at).

    Not long ago I saw an add for new TSA agents (and they were offering around $12.00/hour). Wouldn't it be funny if the kid taking your burger order was making more than the TSA agent in charge of your security while on the plane?

    ---

    I think it would be GREAT if fast-food workers earned more than $10.00/hour. As long as the employer agrees that the work they do is WORTH $10.00/hour.

    I think the more we ALL make the better. But it has to fit the business and the work required. Meaning it must be worth it to the employer... not just mandated by the Government.

    ---

    One problem I foresee from making our minimum wage %15.00/hour... if we have a problem with illegal immigration now... would it not get worse if America promised by law that every worker would get $15.00 hour? Seems like a HUGE incentive for people to come here and do those "Jobs Americans just won't do" (which I understand includes fast-food jobs now).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    You're swearing off fast-food (just for today)? What about every other day? It's OK then?

    Seems like IF it's such a travesty... you would not go there... EVER. Not just today.

    Just think. IF enough people do like you suggest and you get this boycott organized... all these people will be UN-Employed. Wouldn't THAT be great? Wouldn't THAT be a blessing to these people who evidently want these jobs?

    You go ahead and boycott McDonalds if you like. But don't pretend you are doing the people who work there favors by boycotting the business that employs them and pays them. It's better than unemployment (I think).

    I suspect if you succeed in squashing McDonalds... some other business will popup in their place. Are you going to boycott them and put THEM out of business too?

    How is that HELPING the people who lose their jobs from your boycott?

    ---

    I suspect if we raise the minimum wage to $15.00... places like McDonalds, farms, etc, will have to lay a lot of people off. Is that what you want?

  • Zac Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Why stop at $15 per hour? How about $30 or $50? Surely (don't call me shirley) that would be even better.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Dear viejogeezer;
    A single mom with two kids whose husband left her and is living on $9/ hour didn't plan very well while she was still in school. Better to work "extra hard" before having children and getting married before having children than trying to do that after they are brought into the world. Besides, any young woman who is prepared to raise children and run a household should at least be qualified as an accountant, a chef, or a recreational specialist. Those things should appear on every resume.
    Here's my advice for anyone who wishes to avoid living on minimal wages:
    - stay in school; college or trades
    - stay out of bed before starting a career and marriage
    - stay out of debt except possibly for school
    Don't whine if you can't follow those sensible solutions.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal,& FT:

    The middle class was formed during the industrial revolution, when people took responsibility for their lives. There was no government stealing from the working man, than redistributing to the non-working.

    It's not McDonalds, or my fault, that a woman marries a bad man. It was her decision. It was her decision to not build the skills needed for her life.

    @viejogeezer--you build your skill set before having babies.

    People are accountable for their decision making, and not McDonalds.

    Half our country, are not feeding themselves, and rely on political leaders to take from the others for their substance.

    That is a nation of beggars.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    viejogeezer,
    poor planning on her part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

    there is more value provided in performing carpentry than flipping burgers. More in performing banking than flipping burgers. More in managing a 40,000 SF retail outlet than flipping burgers. more in fighting fires than flipping burgers. Why should they be compensated even closely the same?

    The beauty of our system is it rewards based on the value you provide (generally), not on your needs. If your needs are not being met, increase the value of the services you provide. If you expect your needs will not be met, plan to provide better value.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    LDS Liberal,
    You're swearing off fast-food (just for today)? What about every other day? It's OK then?

    =========

    I work on Hill AF Base,
    so I go out once, maybe twice a month for lunch.

    I said -- I did NOT bring my lunch today,
    and would rather for hungry in support of the walk out than selfishly feed myself and snub the workers asking for better compensation.

    Just like like Fasting.
    And my heart goes out in the same bleeding way with those who need it more than I do.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    @ viejogeezer:

    You may've read someplace that adding 5 cents to the price of a Big Mac would cover these workers wants, but that's not even close to being true. Labor costs are one of the largest variable costs that a fast food outlet has to pay. And if that cost suddenly doubled, the prices of all items on the menu would have to increase substantially to cover for that.

    If there are 20 people working at a typical fast food joint open 16 hours a day, and each worker suddenly received a $7.50 per hour raise, the cost of doing business will increase by $1200 per day. And with an increase of only 5 cents a burger, that place would have to sell 24,000 burgers each day or 1,200 per hour, which equates to 25 per minute. Your math doesn't add up. Do your homework and get better info before choosing a side.

    Based on past results of forced wage increases in the free-market, there would undoubtedly be significant lay-offs. In addition, fewer workers would be forced to do the same amount of work. This would not work as expected.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 5, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    As an immigrant that paid my college grad degree with minimum wage and supported 2 kids and wife, worked 3 jobs, spoke broken English --- what's our excuse?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    Historically, bad people have demonized the good, and the foolish believe.
    They use words like these to get control:

    * equality
    * discrimination
    * racist
    * greedy
    * stop the terrorist activities
    * environment
    * uncaring
    * fairness
    * stop poverty
    * destroying
    * safety-roads & bridges
    * etc

    Will any civilization wise up to this? Having caused the most suffering through history, why allow a political take over, of the job producing fast food industry?

    If not wages, than it's the lack of nutrition in the food.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    If the market is left to its own devices - meaning no regulation from government OR from unionized workers - then workers will be paid even less than they currently are. All jobs should pay at a minimum $15 dollars and link it to the CPI.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    Fast food should not be a career. Working fast food should be an incentive to get skilled to do something better. A lot of smart mouthed teens need this incentive. Don't take it away from them.

    There is a democrat bonus in this strike, less people eating fast food. The pro-choice, (as in they choose and everyone must do as they choose) democrat party loves to control people from eating things that are fattening.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    Hmmmm. There's something about this that reminds me a lot of the strikes that eventually cause the demise of Hostess Bakery. Or, GM. Or, a bunch of places where fools who have no idea about what makes a business (or a city, such as Detroit) workable do all they can to make it UNworkable. Sadly, they often succeed.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    This is pretty funny stuff. So fast food employees - burger flippers - are going to strike unless they get $15 an hour. So lets' see here - just replace all of them with High School sophomores at $8.25 an hour. Problem solved. Let these career burger flippers go and sweep out gutters or something and see how they like the out of doors in Winter. Plenty of young folks wanting to get some work experience out there. I guess you could pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour but the consequences will be the local McDonalds will just fire half their work force AND raise the price of burgers from $4 to $12. That really helped didn't it. If this lazy bunch of rif raf wants a decent wage then go to college and get a degree. Yes I know that means work and sacrifice which is contrary to the Obama message but there are millions of dirt poor folks who worked their way through college and are now making good money. Get off your lazy buns and work!!!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2013 10:23 p.m.

    Political leaders bargained for free trade agreements with other countries.

    Other countries pay much less than our fast food industry does,--while resembling slavery.

    Do our leaders really care how much people are paid, or are we pawns in a political game?

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 5:52 a.m.

    Okay then all fast food workers get a raise, but do they all go to the same dollar amount? At a fast food restaurant you have cooks, cashiers, clean up people, food prep people and others and they all get the same right? What about the shift supervisor, more money or the same?
    Surely if fast food people need more money, then hotel workers, garbage men, park workers and others also deserve raises. And then what about construction workers, policemen, nurses, school teachers, bank workers, etc more money also?
    So when all is said and done, everybody gets raises, all prices go up and soon everybody has no more money except the government because all of our taxes also went up. So who really gains here, the government in higher taxes and the unions in higher and more dues, the employee? No they lose all the way around.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    LDS Liberal: Minimum wage laws hurt the poor! The well off liberals sit back in their cushy jobs or lifetime of ease, having forgotten about the poor most of their lives, and then decide its time to give back, except it is not them giving back, its somebody else. Either way, it is painfully patronizing to the poor, and outright hypocrisy to the well off man/women who wants to give the poor a few crumbs to assauge his/her conscience, as if increasing the poor's income by $2.00 dollars an hour is really going to change his/her situation. If you want to help the poor, open up the floodgates of liberty and give people the power of choice. Then you won't find yourself being at odds with your own spirit and conscience. Socialism is absolute hypocrisy at best and destructive of life at worst. Give the poor the best weapon the world has ever given for prosperity, a free market!!!!!!!! Don't carpet your conscience by giving the poor $2.00 an hour and putting it into law, thus keeping them forever in chains. But, that's how the Republicans and Democrats like it; It keeps them in power.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I don't understand why Obama thinks he can have amnesty and a higher minimum wage at the same time.

    IF Obama would just enforce immigration law, that alone would go a long way to help raise the minimum wage.

    Adding 20-30 million low-wage workers to the labor pool certainly WON'T help raise wages. Especially those in the lower wage brackets.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 6, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Taters:
    You're absolutely right, I apologize. The 5 cents is wrong. It's 68 cents, and labor costs constitute 17% of McDonald's costs (Business Insider 7/30/13). BTW food and other subsidies to fast food workers resulting from the low pay cost the taxpayers 7 billion per year( Time Magazine 10/15/13), that's 50 cents per burger that you are subsidizing without even getting the burger.
    Lost:
    Am I to understand therefore that because she made a bad decision when she was a teenager she deserves to live in poverty the rest of her life and that her two children deserve to go hungry, Or that the rest of us should make up for the wage shortfall in subsidies for the rest of her life, or in the alternative, just let them starve. In the late nineteenth century Carnegie Steel had a plant in Homestead, PA. Since there was high unemployment Carnegie mad the employees work 16 hours per day under unsafe conditions and for poverty wages. When the workers struck Carnegie hired Pinkerton gunmen to break the strike. Workers were killed. I presume you are on Carnegie's side.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 6, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    It's true you can't survive on $7.25. You will need a diploma, a degree or vocational skill to make it.

    Put down the ninetendo, stop the partying and get some goals written down for your life. And stop pretending their is income inequality. The Constitution only provides the equality to PURSUE not to have.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    Dec. 6, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    What is happening to our country? Fast food jobs are not meant to support families. They are for teenagers to earn spending money while finishing high school. If you are an adult and you work there then you should be ashamed for not taking more responsibility for yourself and gaining skills that would have made you more valuable to an employer. Yes, these places do need adult managers. And those managers work those jobs because that is all they are qualified to do. And that's their fault.

    With that being said, it should be noted that much of the fast food protesting is being organized by unions. Why? Because union wage contracts are tied to minimum wage laws. When minimum wages go up union wages go up at the same time and even more because of the multipliers involved. So this is primarily driven by unions who see it as a back door way to get more for themselves. If they can create an atmosphere where the government raises the minimum wage then all union workers make a lot more money.

    Union workers, another group that demands to be paid more than they are worth!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    when I grew up only young kids worked in fast food. Today you see loads of minority adults working it. What's changed in 30 years? First the welfare state of America has killed ambition and with so many millions on Obama-Food-Stamps now people actually think working fast food + food stamps is a reasonable living. Fast food was NEVER intended to be a career ..only a stepping stone for young kids to get some work experience as they worked their way through college. America is fast becoming the laughing stock of the world with an illiterate work force living off the government. That is an embarrassment to say the least. American used to be a majority of exceptional , ambitious people but the Democrat party is fast destroying that notion. Give the Democrats a few more years and America will be viewed on the bottom of the heap of civilized countries. The other fall out from all this is now young kids can't find jobs because these illiterate food stamp adults are soaking em all up. America is fast becoming Pottersville. America needs to return to Baily Park.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Fast food places were the training grounds for teenagers to learn the skill sets needed for a future work environment. It wasn't meant to support a family. What the problem is that people like this are frustrated that they aren't able to make as much as their neighbor and have all the comforts and commodities that they have - smart phones, satellite TV, flat panel TV, a newer car, multiple cars, boats, planes, trips to the exotic locations, and fancy attire.

    Isn't that called coveting?