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Gibson writes: "Pete, Giovanni, and roughly 1,000 other fast-food and low wage workers recently staged one-day strike in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, protesting poverty wages while working for companies raking in billions in profits."

A protester holds up a sign at a demonstration outside McDonald's in Times Square in support of employees on strike at various fast-food chains in New York, 11/29/12. (photo: Reuters/Andrew Kelly)
A protester holds up a sign at a demonstration outside McDonald's in Times Square in support of employees on strike at various fast-food chains in New York, 11/29/12. (photo: Reuters/Andrew Kelly)


The Case for $15 and a Union for Low Wage Workers

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

14 August 13

 

ete is a Domino's driver in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who makes $4 an hour. Even with tips, he still averages about minimum wage at the end of the day. Giovanni, a Pizza Hut worker in Milwaukee, makes minimum wage while living with his mother to help pay rent. He says a roughly $300 paycheck per week is not even enough for a month's rent on top of all the other costs of living. Pete, Giovanni, and roughly 1,000 other fast-food and low wage workers recently staged a one-day strike in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, protesting poverty wages while working for companies raking in billions in profits.

"I'm not just doing this for myself, I'm doing it for my mom, too," Giovanni says. "It's impossible to make it just on $7.25."

McDonald's makes $27 billion in annual revenue, which makes them the 90th largest economy in the world. Their CEO, who made $8.75 million last year and pays their US employees right around the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, recently made a budgeting guide showing McDonald's hourly employees how they can survive on the poverty wages their company pays them. The sample budget included income from a second job (because there are so many out there) and budgeted just $600 for rent, $20 for healthcare, $250 for car payments and insurance combined, and $0 for heating costs. Even McDonald's, one of the most profitable food service companies in the history of the world, acknowledges that the workers who make their skyrocketing profits possible can't survive solely on the income McDonald's pays them. The gap between salaries of McDonald's workers and the CEO is fairly typical. The incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans grew by roughly $59 in the last 40 years, while the incomes of the top 10% rose by an average of $116,071.

These fast-food joints like to argue that if they were to pay everyone a living wage and give them the right to collectively bargain with their bosses on an even playing field, they would go out of business. However, Australia's minimum wage is twice as high as ours, yet a Big Mac costs roughly the same. Australia's economy, unlike ours, weathered the last financial crisis and survived a meltdown due to their strong, well-paid consumer base, which has enough pocket money to spend and keep businesses open.

Minimum wage workers in Canada also make $3 to $4 more an hour compared to their American counterparts. And McDonald's is still far from going out of business. Unlike what detractors say about the movement of one-day strikes from Seattle to Milwaukee to New York, paying low wage and fast-food workers more money doesn't kill jobs. Rather, more people with more money in their pocket greatly boosts the economy over the long term.

This story by CNN Money demonstrated how even just a $9 minimum wage would affect consumer demand and job growth. Without demand, businesses can't make enough to pay employees, and layoffs are inevitable. A lack of demand is the natural result of austerity economics, which are aimed at firing public workers and privatizing public assets to further enrich those who are already far wealthier than a vast majority of the population. The workers aren't endangering the economy by asking for a fair wage and a union – their employers are, by denying it to them.

Some critics of the Fight for 15 campaign are the same ones who see employees as a cost, rather than an investment. McDonald's franchises, which have to pay royalties to the corporate parent for use of the golden arches and Ronald McDonald, say "labor costs" are roughly one-third of current revenue intake, even at the present poverty wages those employees are paid.

These arguments entirely miss the point and purpose of having a labor force to make sure the company's profits are stable. If all the workers choose to strike because of poverty wages, the restaurant has to shut down, and that franchisee's earnings are affected as well as the corporate parent's profits. Also, the corporate profits of McDonald's would only be mildly affected by doubling workers' wages. A Big Mac would only cost $0.68 more, or McD's corporate HQ could allow franchisees to keep more of the royalties they have to pay to the corporate parent.

Also, a union for employees is as "free market" as any ideal espoused by executives. Ensuring there's an even playing field for the employees and bosses to freely negotiate as equals is the definition of a free market, in which no one entity has an inherent advantage over any other party. A boss who says he believes in "free markets" but not unions doesn't know the definition of a free market. A workplace where one boss has more of a say than all of the workers combined is a monopoly on workers' rights. But in a truly free market setting, employees could voice their concerns about their pay to their boss without fear of retaliation, and without the restaurant losing out on valuable revenue due to a worker strike, since the restaurant's profits aren't possible without the effort from workers. A union works out better for both the employees and the company. A free market is simply an agreement that all involved parties freely enter.

Some detractors argue that fast-food and low wage workers are all young, or lack the appropriate education level for other jobs, which is patently false. This NBC story cites numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing not only that fast-food workers older than normal, but that 42% of employees over age 25 have some college education. One McDonald's in Massachusetts even required a college degree for a cashier job. The job market is very unstable for recent college grads, many of whom end up moving back home with their parents and working fast-food jobs despite having a 4-year or even a post-graduate degree. Besides, even if they are of a certain age bracket or educational level, that doesn't mean they should be denied a share in the profits they make possible for their employer. It's immoral for an executive to make more in an hour than an hourly employee makes in a month. Workers deserve a living wage, and their work is valuable. Without these fast-food workers, who would provide Americans with their morning coffee or bagel, or their midday snack, or serve you food when you have a car full of hungry kids and no time to cook them a homemade meal?

Yet another argument is that $15 an hour is too high a demand. But the costs of food, healthcare, housing, and other basic living expenses are going up while wages are stagnating. If the minimum wage had the same buying power today as it did when it was first enacted, it would be roughly $11 an hour. Senator Elizabeth Warren has pointed out that if the minimum wage had kept up with worker productivity, it would now be $22 an hour. CEOs aren't working 380 times harder than their hourly employees; they're just taking in way more pay than they should for the work they do. $15 an hour is a great starting point. If their employer agrees to unionize employees but raise wages from $7.25 an hour to $12.50 an hour, that's still a vast improvement from the status quo. And a union ensures that employees will be able to negotiate for more in the future, and do so on an even playing field.

In fact, it would even be a good business decision for McDonald's and all the other leading fast-food chains to announce that they're doubling workers' pay, because those workers make it possible for such restaurants to remain profitable and successful. If McDonald's poured some of their millions dedicated to advertising to make this point clear, I think most Americans would pay another dollar or two for a Big Mac, knowing the person making it was being paid enough to feed her children and keep her lights on. Workers would regain their dignity and be proud of their job, and be more productive at work as a result. And those fast-food employees would have more money to cycle back into their local economies, keeping demand up and other businesses open. $15 an hour and a union isn't just best for these hard workers who deserve it, but best for all of us.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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0 # Dorcas Black 2013-08-14 09:13
I absolutely support workers rights to unionize, but I think the $15/hr. should be negotiated and attained through union representation. The Republican assault on unions is an assault on workers' rights.

But the federal government needs to set the minimum wage in the context of the entire economy, not just in the context of fast food workers and McDonald's profits. The federal minimum wage is the floor that every business must pay every worker for unskilled labor. It has broad economic implications. The minimum wage may need to rise, but I doubt the $15 level could be immediately reached without unintended consequences.
 
 
+3 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-08-16 00:34
Hmmmm? "America. The greatest country in the world." Isn't that enough for you? The Capitalists have told us that for decades-especia lly since we bankrupted Russia, a competing culture, no longer a threat to Capitalism. And now you also want more money? No gratitude for living in the greatest countrey in the world. A little satire.
 
 
+12 # turtleislander 2013-08-14 09:54
How do those of us who are progressives and believe devoutly in bettering life for everyone, fight the huge media machinery of division and misdirection? I live in a part of Massachusetts that routinely votes "pink". Republican by small margins. Most of these towns are poor. I asked a cashier at a typical supermarket around here which follow the Wal-Mart model about higher wages and affordable wages and why not work towards it, and this perfectly nice woman said it was because of "Obama and illegal immigrants". Obviously there is no logic at all there. People are being drowned in propaganda. They even believe minimum wage is all they "deserve". The owner of this chain I speak of is an heir, has $4 billion dollars and obviously knows nothing of life outside his world of enormous privilege. Doesn't care either. He couldn't: It's not hard to find out what things cost, is it?
 
 
-20 # edge 2013-08-14 13:41
Since YOU felt she deserved more you gave her a nice big tip on your order...RIGHT?
 
 
+14 # JSRaleigh 2013-08-14 20:15
Quoting edge:
Since YOU felt she deserved more you gave her a nice big tip on your order...RIGHT?


Last time I tried, the "bag boy" who loaded my groceries refused. Told me he'd get fired if management saw him accepting tips.
 
 
+16 # dkonstruction 2013-08-15 08:09
Quoting edge:
Since YOU felt she deserved more you gave her a nice big tip on your order...RIGHT?


The point is to understand that the reason that not all workers are covered by minimum wage laws goes back to the deal that was struck to get the New Deal legislation through in the first place. FDR needed the southern democrats to support it and they would be damned if they were going to extend these benefits to African Americans which is why agricultural workers, domestic labor (maids, child care workers etc), and other service workers (e.g., restaurant workers) were excluded from the minimum wage laws in the first place.

Long past time to do away with this racist (and classist) holdovers from the days of Jim Crow and include all workers under minimum wage laws (as well as increase the minimum wage and make it a "living wage") for al workers.
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:39
And since you feel that the people on minimum wage are making out like bandits, you stiff the waitress on her tip. Right?

Right. There is a reason that people living on tips don't get excited when repub conventions come to town. Palin has a big reputation for stiffing the guys carrying her suitcases, the people serving her in restaurants, and the like. She isn't much different from the rest of the right wing that parasitizes those who don't have the power to retaliate.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2013-08-17 00:01
It's up to the employer to pay a living wag.It's not up to the customer to tip to make up for low wages although that is an accepted practice in restaurants.
 
 
+16 # tinkertoodle 2013-08-14 10:09
So very true with these corporations and big institutions have totally forgotten when they give slave's pay to their workers is that unless you're making enough money to buy the goods and products their profits are going to go down the tubes this is beneficial to everyone get a grip and start paying people a decent livable wage in this country it's obscene the profits of these corporations are making and the pittance they are paying these workers
 
 
+19 # Barbara K 2013-08-14 10:12
These are extremely high profit companies, and they can certainly afford to pay a living wage and supply insurance for the people who are making them so wealthy. It is the workers who are doing all the work and they should not be making so little that they also require government help. Shame on these shameless, greedy, companies. Let's see them live on $7.25 or less an hour. They live in their ivory towers while their workers scramble for a living and to raise their families. They also deserve union representation and I hope they get it all.

..
 
 
+23 # engelbach 2013-08-14 10:14
It shouldn't be necessary to "justify" a higher minimum wage and a union.

These are basic needs for working people, and should be accepted without question.

Why anyone should need convincing that workers have to be paid enough to live on is beyond me.

What a sorry state of selfishness the rich have managed to indoctrinate into so many people.
 
 
-22 # MidwesTom 2013-08-14 10:34
With 11 million illegal workers competing for low skill jobs in this country there is little chance that supply and demand will cause wages to rise. legalizing the illegals will increase the supply on available workers, and allow them to start going after the midrange semi-skilled jobs at companies that will not hire illegals now. What they have done to the minimum wage workers will suddenly hit the job market paying $15 to $35 per hour (like hourly workers at auto plants).

Remember that in the Senate bill, an employer is fined if he hires an existing American citizen over a newly legalized person. I do not think that this is right, but it is in the bill from the Democratic Senate, the House will undoubtedly remove the fine.
 
 
-15 # MidwesTom 2013-08-14 14:54
After WWII Truman ordered 12 million Mexicans to leave, so there would be jobs for the returning GI's and those being laid off at defense plants. I worked, we had near full employment for years. If Obama did that today wages would rise at all low skill positions. Farmers would have to pay more than $4/hour for pickers, and McDonalds would have to pay everywhere like they do in North Dakota, where they pay $14/hour, plus retention bonuses. Supply and demand have not been outlawed.
 
 
+7 # JSRaleigh 2013-08-14 20:22
Quoting MidwesTom:
After WWII Truman ordered 12 million Mexicans to leave, so there would be jobs for the returning GI's and those being laid off at defense plants.


The 12 million Mexicans Truman sent home had been brought here LEGALLY to fill farm labor jobs that Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen serving overseas couldn't perform.

But, you might have a point. Let's send home everyone who's here on an H1B visa.
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2013-08-15 08:02
In addition to JSRaleigh's correction to your comment about the Mexican workers having been brought here legally you completely ignore all of the women that were effectively laid off when the male soldiers came home and took the jobs these women had been doing in the war industries.

The other reason we had near full employment and relatively high wages(remember, "full employment" under capitalism accepts anywhere from 3%-5% as being "normal" and thus not counted when they talk about full employment) was that the post-world war II boom period was also the height of America's manufacturing power (since hollowed out by US corporation's outsourcing this work abroad or not modernizing to keep up with foreign competition) as well as the height of the American labor movement (at least in terms of the % of US workers that were unionized if not actually in labor activism/milita ncy).

As for farmers having to pay pickers more...part of the deal with the New Deal legislation was that it would virtually exclude African Americans from reaping any of its benefits which is why agricultural workers (along with other service workers such as domestics and restaurant workers) were excluded from minimum wage laws. Time to include all workers under minimum wage laws and do away with these restrictions that were put in place largely to discriminate against African Americans (and minority workers).
 
 
+7 # JSRaleigh 2013-08-14 20:19
Quoting MidwesTom:
With 11 million illegal workers competing for low skill jobs in this country there is little chance that supply and demand will cause wages to rise.


It ain't the competition from illegals for low wage jobs you gotta' worry about, it's the H1B visa workers the corporations import to undercut wages of American born Engineers, Programmers & other tech workers.
 
 
+13 # crispy 2013-08-14 10:38
The incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans grew by roughly $59 in the last 40 years, while the incomes of the top 10% rose by an average of $116,071."
Well, accounting for inflation I never saw the +$40 figure but aloss.
With TRUE inflation people on min wage should be making about $23/h to get the same buying power as rhey had 40 Y ago.
Finally, at 12.50/h (9,50E) in France nan employee has 5 weeks of vacation, 12-14 paid holidays and full health benefits from day 1 the total cost to an employer is about $27/hour worked.
Mc Donald is very profitable their...
a $23/h would make sense and would NOT put Mc D in bankruptcy.
Obama shouls be ashamed w all other democrats in Congress not to push for $20 now and $25 in 2015.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2013-08-14 17:29
It seems when we were putting our max into 401K, we did not count on inflation. Bankers did. How stupid we were in retrospect.
 
 
+5 # JSRaleigh 2013-08-14 20:31
I'd rather have a defined benefit pension like the CEOs got, but that ain't gonna happen. When your only choice is 401K and/or IRA accounts you do what you can.

Even though you know the game is rigged, how much more stupid do you got to be to not to save anything at all?
 
 
+4 # Activista 2013-08-15 12:44
I was paying each month into my pensions in 1982 - for like 8 years ...what was significant saving at that year dollar value ...
Now I am getting $58/month annuity.. almost worthless in 2013, NOT adjusted for inflation. We trusted the system.
 
 
+2 # Hey There 2013-08-17 00:20
only if you make enough to have discretionary money after paying bills.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2013-08-17 00:18
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBoP3bIMjCI
 
 
-17 # rockieball 2013-08-14 10:43
I say to these fast food places CEO'S go visit you places unannounced at odd hours. The service you get is on the average rotten. The last time I was at a Burger King was 4 years ago for a takeout order. The girls gave my order to the wrong person without checking the number. At Jack in the Box it is now over 10 years. I got a girl with pink hair a nose ring and an attitude. I wanted it to go she put it on a try and even got the order wrong. She then threw (literately) the correct order in a bag and just dropped it on the counter in front of me. As for Mickey D's it's been over 30 years.
Most of the workers don't care what you get, they don't care about service or making the food properly and if robbed will even give the guy a take out order along with the money. When asked the common reply is; "Why should I care? They don't pay me enough for that. Besides their is always another burger or taco place to work at."
 
 
+8 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:46
You may not realize it, but you just made the argument for paying decent wages. When you compare CostCo with WalMart, the difference is considerable. The same thing happens when fast food joints pay decently.

And as an answer to the question about "why should I care?" why should anyone care? As the saying goes, they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.
 
 
-20 # edge 2013-08-14 10:46
Grow up!

The MINIMUM wage is not a job you strive for, it is a BEGINNER job, a salary that an experienced worker would not work for.

It should NEVER be your permanent job.
 
 
+10 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-08-15 10:54
Those middle-aged ladies I see serving at Mac's are therefore only now beginning to work?
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:48
The repub trolls don't do Fast Food places. They consider The Outback to be slumming.
 
 
+17 # Cailleach 2013-08-14 10:46
The ultra-rich call them selves "makers" and the poor "takers." Catchy, but a complete reversal of the truth. In fact, the rich are parasites, living off the sweat of the poor and draining them dry. They are bloodsuckers. Bring on the tumbrils and the guillotines! (Sorry, I know I just violated your guidelines, but I'm hugely pissed off.) The rich are willing to kill off most of the people on this beautiful planet just for money. If we destroy our water and food crops for money, what will they live on? When you get right down to it, Earth is a closed system and very vulnerable to destruction from imbalance and careless over-use. WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND WHEN THE SYSTEM COLLAPSES WE WILL ALL DIE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY WE HAVE!
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2013-08-14 11:20
"These fast-food joints like to argue that if they were to pay everyone a living wage and give them the right to collectively bargain with their bosses on an even playing field, they would go out of business."(quote).
Be fine with me; I wouldn't miss them a bit!
I've been in a Mickey-D's exactly twice in my life; once on a long hitch-hiking trip through Colorado when I just thought I'd give them a try (My comment after one bite "You call THIS a fucking Hamburger"???!) and once when I was too drunkenly-hungr y to care and there was nothing else open late.
No matter what they did, this bod wouldn't insult my taste bud, nor my stomach with their mass-produced hormone-jacked artificial crap They once sued Johnny Carson when he turned to his sidekick and said when M's were trumpeting nation wide "over 50 billion served" with the hilarious like "Gee Ed -that's almost 50 pounds of meat"!
I know the quality and quantity is straying from the point a bit but it's all related to profit in the end.
In Oregon there's a regional chain called "Burgerville" which a few years ago, completely restructured and began using Oregon-grown organic meat, seasonal salad fixin's and paying their crews a bit better and they have gone from a pretty dismal and failing company to a successful prime example of the sustainable approach to "QSR" (Quick Serve Restaurants). They cater to special dietary needs and their burgers actually arrive looking like their pictures, not shrunken facsimilies thereof.
 
 
+17 # Mrcead 2013-08-14 11:35
The problem is that you are appealing to these companies' sense of decency. Unfortunately, they've sold that ages ago.
 
 
-15 # MidwesTom 2013-08-14 15:01
If there were not enough people willing to work at what a companies pays, they have to raise what they pay. The people may not like what they earn, but they took the job. If they want more they should apply for a better paying job somewhere else. McDonald's prices have risen quite a bit in the last several years. The WSJ reported several months ago that the average income of people who eat at McDonalds is $60,000 per year. The employees cannot afford to eat there, which is not uncommon in the restaurant business.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2013-08-14 17:40
Quoting MidwesTom:
If there were not enough people willing to work at what a companies pays, they have to raise what they pay. The people may not like what they earn, but they took the job. If they want more they should apply for a better paying job somewhere else. McDonald's prices have risen quite a bit in the last several years. The WSJ reported several months ago that the average income of people who eat at McDonalds is $60,000 per year. The employees cannot afford to eat there, which is not uncommon in the restaurant business.

Christ!
Making $60,000/year and eating at Mickey D's is like starving yourself so you can save money for whatever luxury goods blows yer kilt up.
Pretty sad comment on the taste of "middle-income" Americans.
I'll take the old-fashioned all-American greasy spoon diner any day. There are still quite a few left across the country and I seek them out when I hit a new place (after finding the best pub with TV if possible of course, where decent food is often available too). And the people usually seem to enjoy working in them too.
One real stinkin' fact of working life in the hospitality business we can thank old Ronnie Reagan for is that he made a law that requires tips to be reported and taxable.
Of course fast-food workers don't even get tips, so it's really stacked against them
And it's amazing how many former professionals, now members of the "New poor", are working in these not-so-cheap clip-joint purveyors of garbage!
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2013-08-15 18:54
---(after finding the best pub with TV if possible of course, where decent food is often available too) -quoting myself.
I meant "WITHOUT" TV of course!
Dicky-digits once more.
 
 
+15 # rockieball 2013-08-14 18:18
It's not willing to work at what the companies pay. It's having no option but to work at what they pay just in order to survive. I have worked in a convenience store after getting laid off from a job that paid good money after 25 years. It's a big come down to see that little amount in a pay check and depressing. Then seeing the bills that are to be paid like the house payment, auto insurance, utility bills. All of these companies assume you still have that high paying job. It also effects your health.
 
 
+6 # Mrcead 2013-08-15 10:30
You've got some flawed logic there. It completely ignores the prevailing social dynamics in place, the very thing that keeps people from finding better jobs. You are part of the problem. You know very well the job market is anemic but you say people should find better jobs despite that. So what's a low wage earner to do? Appeal to the sensibilities of a company that has the fortune of a small nation to which I say is fruitless since they share your outlook on people and the economy. The people should respond by supporting a company dedicated to the very people who make it possible and ignoring the one way valved companies but society has a laundry list of other issues that need sorting out that keep such unity from developing.
 
 
+5 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:51
You've got some flawed logic there.

Just "some"??? Every post he's made today is chock full of the stuff. It is more like an exuberant abundance than "some."
 
 
+1 # Arden 2013-08-25 08:48
"If they want more they should apply for a better paying job somewhere else."

Oh, sure, Midwest Tom. When I worked a job once, where I was given more work without being paid for it, I went to see a lawyer about it. The lawyer said "This is a right-to-work state. (NC) That means you have the right to quit, and go work somewhere else."

Well, gee, thanks a lot. Easier said than done.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2013-08-14 12:38
I agree completely with the call for a $15 minimum wage and unionization of low wage workers. but this also needs to be part of a more comprehensive program that speaks to the needs of working Americans as well as the need to restructure our economy as a whole to serve people and not just the profits of corporations.

First, though, I think it's important to point out that Australia did not just whether the recession due to strong consumer demand (I reject the idea that our current economic crisis was brought on by a lack of demand and believe in order to really understood what happened it needs to be seen as a crisis of profitability for the system as a whole as authors/economi sts such as Andrew Kliman have persuasively argued -- see his most recent book on the crisis The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession) but also due in large part to much better regulation of their financial system which did not create "too big to fail" banks and prevented their banks from engaging in the same kind of uber risky (and more often than not fraudulent) investment strategies and practices.

http://www.nsi-ins.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2012-How-to-prevent-the-next-crisis-Australia.pdf

As for the more comprehensive program....

(continued)
 
 
0 # Hey There 2013-08-17 00:39
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeEMSht_E30
 
 
+9 # Capn Canard 2013-08-14 12:43
It is here... America is turning into the economic mirror image of Mexico, but with an increasing cost of living and steadily decreasing wages. Well you can thank Corporate America.
 
 
+3 # Mrcead 2013-08-15 11:25
Exactly. Conservatives want the ultra stratified social division of Mexico with the wage ceiling and obedience of China.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2013-08-14 12:45
There also needs to be a strategy to develop a lot more worker-owned and democratically governed businesses. The best person I have seen in the US on this is Gar Alperovitz and the "Cleveland Model" that he has helped to implement based in part on the idea of using the tremendous buying power of "anchor institutions" such as hospitals and universities (that tend not to just pick up and move) to support local worker-owned cooperative businesses e.g., the Evergreen Cooperatives (in some ways based on the model of the Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain that now employee over 80,000 people, have assest of nearly 36 billion euro and their own bank).

http://community-wealth.org/content/cleveland-model-how-evergreen-cooperatives-are-building-community-wealth/






Finally, one of the ways to deal with the productivity increase (without the concurrent increase in wages which means that virtually all of these benefits go to the owners and not the workers) is to renew the historic demand of the working class to cut the work week (with no corresponding cut in pay). Cutting hours without cutting wages is in effect an increase in wages. It is also a strategy to increase hiring of new workers.

As part of this we should also be looking at the creation of genuinely publicly-owned financial institutions along the lines of the State Bank of North Dakota and demand that no public monies (i.e., tax dollars and public employee pension funds) be deposited in privately owned banks.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2013-08-14 12:48
Finally, another way to deal with the increase in productivity (without the concurrent increase in wages which means that virtually all of these gains have gone to the owners and not the workers) is to renew the historic demand of the working class for a cut in the work week with no cut in pay (that's how we first got the 10 hour day and then the 8 hour day but since then there has been no organized demand to cut the work week further). A cut in the work week with no cut in pay is essentially an increase in wages and is one of the best ways to ensure that productivity gains also go to workers. It is also a way to push lowering unemployment since the reduction in hours will also mean that many employers need to hire more workers to make up for these lost hours.
 
 
+10 # keenon the truth 2013-08-14 13:34
I truly hope that the minimum wage be set at at least $15,although that is not enough even then to lead a decent life. The right to unionize of course, too. However my personal experience as a unionized employee has shown me that it is not enough just to have the right to unionize. If the employer doesn't want to negotiate in good faith,it can be of little use, and puts union leaders in personal difficulties often. Don't get me wrong - I am 100% for the right for unionization, but just want to point out a sea change is necessary for employers for it to work.
 
 
+6 # jwb110 2013-08-14 17:18
I think it should be mentioned over and over again until the GOP/TP voters get it. These people are working and still having to get Food Stamps and Medical Care from either state or federal programs.
That means that the American People are subsidizing MacD or Walmart or pick one, so that those business can pay lower wages. Picket those businesses with that sort of info and the, "I am not so sure that the minimum wage should $15p/h because of the strain on businesses. Buy an MacD ruin your arteries and pay higher taxes. Maybe then some of these GOP/TP radicals will wise up.
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:53
From your mouth to God's ear.
 
 
0 # robcarter.vn 2013-08-14 21:38
After yesterday announcement in SRV I wonder will they want USA Wages also?

IT SOUNDS like a familiar American fable of hardship and redemption. Start with a teenaged immigrant, sweating for two summers over the deep fryers at a McDonald's. After years of toil the former burger-flipper, now fully grown, opens his native land's inaugural McDonald's franchise.

So the story goes for Henry Nguyen, now a Vietnamese-Amer ican, will unveil Vietnam’s first “golden arches”next year. Henry's wife is a daughter SRV PM Nguyen Tan Dung.

McDonald's has released a statement regarding Mr Nguyen’s life before he married up. “His dream was to someday open a McDonald's in the country of his birth,” it begins.

He stayed in touch with the company and asked to be considered to open one of their franchises even before Mr Dung’s daughter entered his life. His office adds that "McDonald's has been his most favorite and passionate brand since he was little".

When at last he was chosen, it was because McDonald’s found in him, as they say, “the ideal mix of business acumen, proven record, passion, and ability.” 

To be clear, they add, "the process used in the selection of our partner in Vietnam was the same process we have used, and continue to use, worldwide.”
 
 
+8 # Tdavis5246 2013-08-15 00:33
Quite irritated that waitstaff was left out of this. In New Jersey waitstaff minimum is $2.13 an hour. Yes, we make tips but with the economy the way it is, there are a good many customer who do not tip the industry standard, or do not realize how little we actually get in a paycheck. Waitstaff in all restaurants need to be recognized here. Our tip money fluctuates each shift. And you can believe no restaurant owner cares if each server's tips divide out to minimum wage per hour. To everyone who feels so strongly about livable wages, I hope you tip at least 20% when you dine out, because the man or woman waiting on you has NO guarantees on making ends meet.
 
 
+4 # Texas Aggie 2013-08-15 15:57
According to the news reports I've read prior to conventions in different cities, the people working on tips do NOT get excited when the repub party rolls into town. There is a long history of getting stiffed by right wingers.

It began before the Middle Ages when the higher strata expected the serfs to sacrifice themselves for their master's benefit. The same social ethic prevails to this day.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-08-15 19:04
Quoting Tdavis5246:
Quite irritated that waitstaff was left out of this. In New Jersey waitstaff minimum is $2.13 an hour. Yes, we make tips but with the economy the way it is, there are a good many customer who do not tip the industry standard, or do not realize how little we actually get in a paycheck. Waitstaff in all restaurants need to be recognized here. Our tip money fluctuates each shift. And you can believe no restaurant owner cares if each server's tips divide out to minimum wage per hour. To everyone who feels so strongly about livable wages, I hope you tip at least 20% when you dine out, because the man or woman waiting on you has NO guarantees on making ends meet.

As I mentioned in my second post, you can thank ol' mean-spirited Ronnie "Aw-shucks" Reagan for making it even harder for wait staff by reporting tips.
I tip according to service but if it's even decent I give between 15-25% and if outstanding even more.
I've cooked professionally and know how tough it is out there in REAL restaurants; of course I don't include Mickey D's and most other QSR's in that category, and they don't have wait staff; just kitchen scullions and bussers.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2013-08-17 00:42
I do and 10% for take out
 
 
+2 # bingers 2013-08-16 18:05
One sad thing about all this is how stupid we are as a nation. The places with the highest minimum wages are also the healthiest economically.

The economy also rises and falls in neat exact thrall with the health of the unions. A strong union presence guarantees a strong economy.

And we need an honest SCOTUS to overturn Citizen's United and to make the obvious ruling that "right to work" laws are blatantly unconstitutional.

Strong corporations have nothing to do with a strong economy, a strong workforce does.
 

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