Back To Career News

4 Things to Know About the McDonald’s Protest for a Higher Minimum Wage

April 15 was the day McDonald's Corp. first opened their doors to the public in Illinois – back in 1955. So, it's fitting that workers launched international protests for higher wages and the right to unionize exactly 60 years later on McDonald's birthday. Make no mistake: this is not about individual employees raving about isolated mistreatment. This is a global movement. It's gaining momentum and publicity, and it doesn't show any signs of dissipating.

April 15 was the day McDonald’s Corp. first opened their doors to the public in Illinois – back in 1955. So, it’s fitting that workers launched international protests for higher wages and the right to unionize exactly 60 years later on McDonald’s birthday. Make no mistake: this is not about individual employees raving about isolated mistreatment. This is a global movement. It’s gaining momentum and publicity, and it doesn’t show any signs of dissipating.

mcdonalds

(Photo Credit: TheNoxoid/Flickr)

So, here’s what you need to know about the protests, even if you don’t work in the food service industry.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. Large-scale

The protests took place in more than 200 cities and 40 countries worldwide. Organizers called it “the largest-ever mobilization of underpaid workers.”

2. Results

While McDonald’s announced pay raises for company-owned restaurants (about 90,000 workers), the $1 hourly increase was not offered to workers at more than 3,100 franchise-owned restaurants. The discrepancy annoyed franchise owners and employees alike, fueling protests.

3. Living Wage

You probably remember the budgeting plan that McDonald’s released to their employees a few years ago. While supposedly proposed as a well-intentioned plan to help employees cope with the realities of a low income, that budget inspired many of us to once again examine what it takes for an employee to survive on minimum wage. Low-wage workers rely on public assistance to feed their families and it’s costing taxpayers more than $150 billion every year.

4. A Major Movement

The protests are gaining momentum and showing results, and they’re also not just an annoyance anymore. Workers managed to shut down a McDonald’s restaurant in Denver.

Plus, recent legal decisions against Wal-Mart have shown that protesting is still a protected activity. Low-earning workers are free to make their displeasure known, without fear of retaliation from their employers. The latest worldwide protest shows that many fast food workers are doing just that.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your take on the protests about the minimum wage? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Esther Lombardi
Read more from Esther

7
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
JulianAnonRonWilliam Owenandrew Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Priscilla
Guest
Priscilla

Big Mac combo has increased in price due to fewer customers (reduced revenues). Those of you who can still afford a fast food dinner will pay more for it. When wages are increased, customer counts and revenues will increase. God, I miss the 80s.

andrew
Guest
andrew

working class and middle class workers spend almost all the money they earn. most are in debt and living pay check to pay check The more money they make the more goes into the economy the healthier the economy is and the more opportunities people have to attend higher education invent new technologies and build businesses around those technologies. the US domestic economy is mostly service based now and as important as those services are the economy needs to be more diverse and have a domestic component that isn’t the end of a global chain but design manufacture and assembly… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

I completely agree with EC_Tune. It’s basic economics. If they want to see a higher minimum wage, then they’ll see either higher prices or higher unemployment among low skilled workers. Nationwide ignorance about these basic economic principles is just embarrassing for the U.S. These minimum wages are not designed to be living wages! That’s why you specialize your self and work your way up the corporate ladder! There are few families in the U.S. that are truly earning a minimum wage. Not everyone is given an equal opportunity in life and that’s just how it is. Not everyone can be… Read more »

EC_Tune
Guest
EC_Tune

As William Owen said: It is a minimum SKILL and minimum wage job. McDonalds or any other minimum wage job should be a stepping stone on the way to a higher paying job, not a career choice. Does anyone notice that in the last 5 years the “Big Mac” combo has gone from an average of ~$3.50 to about $6.50? By raising the minimum wage you raise prices on EVERYTHING or people simply get fired because the business is losing profits. The minimum wage is an intrusion by government into the free-market economy. And by the way, when I had… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

Any job should provide at least the federal poverty level.

Ron
Guest
Ron

No one force you to work in McDonald forever. Once you acquired enough experience, you are free to look for another job you like better. Do we want more government intervention into our free market? Not for me.

William Owen
Guest
William Owen

No! On $15.00 an hour for fast food workers there not chefs there short order cook that can’t even get the orders right . Fast food is an entry level food and beverage job. If you want to make $15.00 learn your tread better your knolge clime the corporate ladder earn $15.00 an hour nothing is just handed to you iv been I the business over 26 years and I earned it . McDonald’s is not heard been there done that put your big boy or girls pull-up on if you want $15.00 an hour F in earn it!!!!

What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.