Where’s My Beef?- Fast Food Workers Strike

Where’s My Beef?- Fast Food Workers Strike

First of all, if your schedule is anything like mine, some days you need to make that quick trip through that fast food drive-thru.

I remember when my kids were little. I worked the evening shift in a casino and didn’t get off until 2:00 in the morning. By the time I would unwind, drive home and slip into bed, it was usually around 3:30 am before I was able to actually sleep. My kids needed a ride to school as a bus was not provided because of proximity. However, we lived in that in between sort of area that was too far for them to walk, yet too close for the county to provide transportation. So what that meant was, that no matter how little sleep I got, I would have to drag myself out of my comfy warm bed and drive them to school. I took pride in being a good mother and I didn’t mind getting up, getting them dressed and fed and off to school. However, some days were better than others and yes, I would occasionally take them to McDonald’s  for their fast food breakfast. It was a treat for them and a treat for me as I didn’t have to cook on those tired mornings. Sometimes I just needed some coffee and since I looked like Medusa on some mornings, a drive thru was a necessity as getting out of the car would have the potential of being quite the embarrassment if I were to accidentally run into someone I knew.  Not only were fast food restaurants mandatory for those quick meals, but they were also a necessity when my kids,  their friends and several of my nieces and nephews became teenagers.

Where better for a teen to start their work experience? Fast foods are a great place for a very first job. My son was able to get a summer job at the age of 15. He was given 12 hours a week for minimum wage. He learned to cashier and to take orders. He had to interact with people. He was not even out of high school so the summer job was perfect. He made little money, but the skills he learned and the experience alone was something that he could always take with him.

Fast food workers and labor organizers protesting today, just don’t seem to get it.  Fast food chains hire many low skilled workers at minimum wage in order to keep their costs of their food at a minimum. The typical fast food customer wants a fast and inexpensive meal and most likely will not pay a premium price for burgers and fries. If fast food workers get their way, they will be paid $15 an hour for taking your order. Experts have warned that a $15 / hr minimum wage could not only pass higher food costs to the consumer, but has the potential of costing our teenagers, those summer jobs as well.  There has also been some talk of replacing that friendly cashier who takes your order, with touch screen style machines like the ones that McDonald’s tested in  Europe in 2011. In fact, the burger flipper could also be in danger as a new robot that has been designed is able to produce up to 400 burgers an hour.



So if you are one of the fast food workers who is participating in today’s protest, I have a little warning for you. Be careful what you wish for. If you manage to claim victory and get that $15 minimum wage raise, you may just find yourself out of a job. Robots and touchscreens are not required to have Obamacare either. Just a thought.

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  • GWB says:

    Let’s specify that most of these workers are not actually going on strike. Actually, most of the protesters will be paid shills, funded by the unions.

    Really, this is just another leftist temper tantrum. We want more! Gimme, gimme, gimme! I want it now! Give it to me or I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue! [Sadly, so few parents today will look at their kid and say “Fine, let’s see how long you can hold your breath.” (Hey, they get quiet when they try.)]

    And, I love the little kiosks at WaWa for ordering sandwiches. No one can scew my order up but me. I tell it exactly what I want, it gives me a number and a receipt. They call my number when it’s ready, and I go up front and pay.

    • Ruthie Thompson says:

      You are correct. The big bad unions want their fingers in the pie. That is why all the attacks on Walmart. However, those fast food workers that actually do participate in this, need to know what they are getting in to. Thanks for the feedback my friend. <3

  • Pacific Patriot says:

    For the last couple of years, I have suffered sticker shock while looking at the drive-thru menu and see the outrageous jump in price for my regular orders. I have definitely cut back on what I order, and definitely how frequently I visit, so they get less revenue from me to pay their ever increasing financial burdens. Some of those burdens include inflation on the cost of food and supplies, increased cost of benefits, and now the mandates of Obamacare (for which many of them have received waivers from their Crony President, or have cut hours to abide by the new part time vs. full time regulations). So as is stated above, be careful what you wish for when you slap them with an additional mandate of higher wages.

    • Ruthie Thompson says:

      I agree. The costs have gone up. My kids are all grown up so no longer need the Happy Meals. LOL! But McDonalds has great coffee and it’s much cheaper than Starbucks.

      • wfjag says:

        At Sam’s Club, I can buy 8 Angus Beef Cheese Burgers for $12. Get some bacon, tomato, lettuce, more cheese (including a variety of imported, to change from dull cheddar all the time), and condiments (including imported, spicy mustard and real mayo), and the price works out to less than $2.25/quarter pounder w/ cheese. I make better coffee than McD’s or Starbucks, but may want tea (or a beer, something you can’t get at a FF joint). Figure that at about 25 cents a cup (but, more for beer — I don’t have a good handle on the price yet, as I’m just learning to brew my own). Since McD’s switched to “heart healthy” oil to cook fries, I wouldn’t feed them to my dog, and my dog won’t eat them. But, I have a Fry Daddy and can fry any kind of potato I want, including sweet potato fries; or, I can slice veggies thin and make chips. Further, I not only don’t have to get dressed up enough to go thru a drive thru, I can eat in robe and comfy slippers, and listen to whatever music I want, read a book or watch the tube. I eat much better at home, and when summer comes around, I do real burgers on the grill; not just those wimpy, dry burgers FF joints serves, and I serve them on whatever buns or bread I decide to buy at the bakery (which is local owned and well known its great baked goods).

        If Fast Food workers think they are worth $15/hr (which will add $1 to $2 to the cost of a burger), all I can say is “Hope you like the unemployment office.”

        Oh, — while you’re dreaming of the extended vacation call unemployment — Congress is going to let the unemployment benefits extension lapse, so it will be back to 26 weeks, and not 99. And, while we’re on the subject of employment, my friend who builds underground utilities always is looking for people skilled with a pick and shovel to square the trenches. The backhoe operator gets $15/hr or more, but the stoop labor starts at min wage w/o benefits. You’ll wish you were back in that Air Conditioned FF joint. However, if you want to become a contractor, or a heavy equipment operator, you start at the bottom, and get promoted as you demonstrate that you’ll work for your pay.

  • Jodi says:

    Anyone up for a McDonalds run? They have THEE best french fries! 🙂

  • ALman says:

    You really like their coffee? their fries? In addition to losing your taste buds, when was it you lost your sense of smell? See. I’m being kind. I could have simply asked when was it that you lost your sense? (I don’t know how to post them on your site, those smilely things. Just imagine a big, big grin!)

    All kidding aside, there does seem to be a loss of mid-level jobs. It seems more and more corporations are trying to get more and more work out of fewer and fewer people for as little pay as possible. Now, I say it seems that way. What I would like to see is some analysis of the labor market that gives an accurate view of what is taking place. But, then, who you going to call? Ghostbusters! Not! Is there a federal agency that can be trusted for a decent study? Well, maybe I’ll hit a lottery and commission the VictoryGirls to do a study that can be trusted. Think of it VictoryGirls you’re ever friendly, trusted Myth-busters!

  • Donna Leigh Scott says:

    What the public doesn’t quite compute when they demonize McDonalds is that these are franchises, bought by ordinary folks, sometimes with their life’s savings. Corporate McDonalds (and many fast food franchisers) make their money on the real estate the restaurant sits on. So the business owner who would be paying the $15 per hour per employee — how many, would you say — let’s just say 10. So he has to pay $150 per hour, plus payroll taxes, plus maybe health care…So how much traffic would,have to come through the door or drive thru to pay that plus the overhead, including rent, supplies, utilities, workers comp insurance, ordinary insurance, taxes, PLUS a cut to corporate McDonalds. I don’t know about you but I don’t see long lines and over crowded fast food places. It’s simple math. Everyone needs a living wage but we usually start low and work our way up to management.

    • Merle says:

      Do you really think many people at the FF joints are heads of households? Most I see are teens or low motivated people. These types of jobs are only supposed to be entry level/training jobs – not to support a family.


    • GWB says:

      “Everyone needs a living wage….”
      No. I know the rest of the sentence addresses this somewhat, but let’s get rid of this trope. First, there is no such thing as “a living wage”. Second, when you say “needs” it comes across in today’s parlance as “deserves” or “should receive regardless of peformance”, and that just isn’t so. If someone wants what they consider a “living wage” then they can darn well figure out what it takes and then make it happen.

      Your analysis is correct, however I needed to rant on that vile phrase.

  • Dejah Thoris says:

    All I can think of is what it is going to be like for the unions when all of the illegal aliens that they are protesting for get laid off forever from their fast food jobs and replaced by machines.

    I am going to giggle enough of my ass off to look good in my bikini this summer.

    Keep it up liberals… And you can experience unemployment too…

  • Nina says:

    There were similar discussion threads on FB for the last couple of days. Good discussions all – with a common theme. This strike is idiotic!!

    One point I and another friend made at nearly the same time is this: For those who strike at the fast food places because they want their minimum wage to be higher – they are forgetting several key points. Two of which are … when did everyone forget that minimum wage was never intended to be YOUR SALARY. It was/is, in many employers view a Starting Point. If you work hard, work well, are on time, its highly likely you will get a RAISE. Second – obviously those who go on strike aren’t looking at the bigger picture. In my hometown (pop about 3500) we have 3 fast food places – 5 if you count the Pizza Hut. If the strikers succeed in pushing the minimum wage to $15 an hour what will it do to the bottom line at those places?? Will they be able to keep hiring HS students part-time after school and during holidays/summer months? If so – exactly how many? Instead of 18 students getting hired – will it only be 12 or 10 or 8?

    Yeah – the strikers and particularly those who are pushing them have zero understanding of the true economics of a move like this. And, as a friend of mine said more eloquently than I, its one more rail car added onto the craptastic entitlement train. Here’s hoping this particular part of the train derails!

    • GWB says:

      Whoah! You have TWO Pizza Huts? You’re moving up in the world!

      • Nina says:

        LOL!! Oops – proofreading didn’t work that early in the am! 5 fast food joints including 1 Pizza Hut. LOL

        And – in response to Merle above, all those FF joints are local franchises owned and operated (as in they all work there) by people I grew up with. All of whom continue the practice of hiring HS students and college students who come home on break. Plus they hire a few adults who live in town as well.

        Basically that means that for some the jobs at Taco Johns, Arby’s, Burger King, Subway, and Pizza Hut are their part-time jobs. For others – given the demographics of my hometown – that job IS their livelihood. 😉

        In regards to low motivation people – I would submit that many low motivation people want the $$ but don’t want to do the work. I would be willing to bet its a good portion of that group who want a $15 per hour wage handed to them for little or zero effort.

        • Merle says:

          I don’t dispute the locally owned shops hire kids – that’s part of the entry level thing to stairstep your way up the ladder.

          What does irk me is those low motivated people who think they deserve $15 for just showing up to work – they don’t make much of an effort to improve themselves, and you can see it in customer service.

          That’s why I avoid those places!


  • Dana says:

    As usual, the advocates of increasing the minimum wage have the economic acumen of a six year old.

    Let’s say that we did increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour, a $7.75 per hour increase, or a 106.7% raise. Now, what about the guy who is already making $10.00 per hour? Would he get a $7.75 per hour raise, to $17.75, or the minimum $5.00 raise to $15.00? If it’s the latter, you’ve just made a guy who was above the minimum wage a minimum wage worker! And even if he got the $7.75 raise, to $17.75, he’d be making just 18.33% over minimum, rather than the 37.93% over minimum he was making previously. We would be moving millions of people who were earning above the minimum wage level closer to the minimum wage!

    That $10.00 worker would need a raise to $20.67 per hour, just to stay even; the $20.00 worker would need a raise to $41.34 per hour, just to stay even.

    Of course, throwing such a substantial raise, not just to people currently making the minimum, but everybody making less than $15.00, has to trigger inflation. Businesses have to charge enough for their products to pay for the labor, materials and overhead which goes into production; when you increase labor costs by such a large amount, the prices charged have to increase by a significant amount as well, or the businesses go out of business, and instead of making $15.00 an hour, the employees wind up making $0.00 per hour, unemployed, fired, laid off, gone.

    That isn’t PhD stuff; that’s Economics 101, basic enough that even a liberal could understand it . . . if only he tried.

    • GWB says:

      Exactly, Dana. These folks aren’t even smart enough to tie the wage to the product or to a labor market in general. To them, it is totally in isolation from anything else. “Reality-based”, indeed.

    • Observer says:

      Let me give a contrarian view to those expressed so far on this topic of the minimum wage:

      What Dana and others here do not understand is that $15 per hour is a starting point for bargaining.

      Let us also not forget that $10.10 per hour, corrected for inflation, is equivalent to $7.25 at the time it was initiated.

      $10.10 per hour ($21,000 per year) is at the poverty level for a family of four, though depending on the regional context . Thus, in DC for example, a minimum wage of $13.33 (23,300 pre year) per hour would be required for a family at four living at the poverty level threshold.

      I have seen it stated that a $10.10 minimum wage would raise the price of a Big Mac only about $.50; that’s not so bad.

      What Dana and those who think like him do not understand, is that raising the minimum wage is a stimulant for job creation, because more money would then be spent thus fueling business activity and growing the economy, a benefit to us all.

      While I will grant that a $15 dollar minimum wage may be too high, thus counterproductive to job growth, the ideal would be to adjust the minimum wage to be exactly at the poverty level, in the context of a particular region or state, like DC or Alaska or Hawaii, these being where the cost of living is very high thus requiring a higher minimum wage.

      It should also be noted that the income of the higher income folks is increasing much, much faster than those at or near the bottom, resulting in greater and greater wealth disparity. In the long run, this is a debilitating trend for the stability of our country, therefore requiring our attention now!

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