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Fast Food Workers Launch Strikes Across New York City

manhattan and brooklyn right to unionize national employment law project high company profits

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#1 Hum

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 15:27

Thursday, hundreds of fast food restaurant workers are striking in high-traffic commercial centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The strikes, which began at 6 am this morning and will continue throughout the day, will hit some of the world’s biggest fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dominos, Burger King, Kentucky Friend Chicken and Taco Bell, and carry an industry-shaking demand: the right to unionize and wage increases to $15 an hour.

Fast food workers in New York City earn just below $9.00 an hour on average, and rarely receive health care, paid sick days or other benefits that make it possible to live in an expensive urban center like New York City. These workers are also often given only 20 or 30 hours of work a week, which keeps their annual income far below the poverty line. According to organizers on the campaign, many workers have to resort to collecting public assistance, eating at their restaurants to save money and sometimes even living in homeless shelters--necessities that not only make their lives incredibly challenging but also put intense strain on the city’s social safety net.

The top companies, meanwhile, have been netting considerable profits; according to The Atlantic’s Sarah Jaffe , Taco Bell and KFC’s profits have risen nearly 50 percent over the last four years, and McDonald’s have jumped a staggering 130 percent. Most troubling, these types of low-wage, low-protection jobs are the majority of positions being created as the economy slowly recovers from the 2008 recession. According to a report by the National Employment Law Project, nearly 60 percent of the jobs added since the recession have been these types of low-wage jobs, particularly in retail sales and food preparation.

The strikes began at six am Thursday morning when 14 of 17 workers walked off the job at a McDonald’s near Grand Central. (The company was forced to call in replacement workers to keep the store open.)

By seven and eight o’clock, workers refused to assume their shifts at fast food restaurants across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Major strikes are scheduled for noon at Penn Station and Downtown Brooklyn, and a 5 pm rally at Times Square outside the McDonald’s is expected to attract hundreds of workers.

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#2 jkenn99

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 15:37

I wonder whether Jonathan Westins and the rest are bothering to mention to all these people he's herding that if they are successful, one in every three of them won't have a job any longer...

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 00:18

Oh noes -- first Twinkies, now McDonald's -- how will fat people eat ... :p

#4 Growled

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:39

I wish them well but these corporations will never agree to $15 an hour. For business, it's all about making money now. None of them cares two flicks about their employees. The way it should work is businesses should realize they are part of the community and whatever they do to help their employees helps the company, the employees, and the community. What good is record profits stuck in some bank?

#5 OP Hum

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:44

^ $15 an hour would radically boost payroll costs, which would get passed on to the customers, many of which would then avoid fast food.

Businesses would suffer and might go under altogether.

Unions often shoot themselves in the foot.

#6 RottGutt

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:51

They get paid almost $9 per hour to serve fast food?!?!?! Sign me up!

Tim

#7 SupportGeek

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:51

Businesses like those simply cannot survive paying $15/hr, the costs of the product would go up over 50%, It already costs about $20 to feed a Family of 3 at McDonalds, business will take a drastic nose dive when the same thing costs $30+

If your "Plan A" was to work at McDonalds to support yourself for the rest of your life as non-management, you REALLY need a "Plan B"
These kinds of jobs are not meant as careers, they were meant to utilize unskilled high school level labor, thats why they have internal training for all the basic jobs. Honestly, unskilled labor simply isnt worth $15/hr

#8 Growled

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:54

^ $15 an hour would radically boost payroll costs, which would get passed on to the customers, many of which would then avoid fast food.

Businesses would suffer and might go under altogether.

Unions often shoot themselves in the foot.


I would agree with you other than the fact that these corporations are making record profits. They pay upper staff millions. Why would they have a need to pass anything on to the customers? The employees helped you make that profit, so share some of it with them.

#9 OP Hum

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:54

These kinds of jobs are not meant as careers, they were meant to utilize unskilled high school level labor, thats why they have internal training for all the basic jobs. Honestly, unskilled labor simply isn't worth $15/hr


^ What if your job is to put the pins in hand grenades ? :shifty:

#10 Guest_xiphi_*

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:56

I don't think these people striking realize just how disposable they are. If they wanted more money, they should do like everyone else and move up to a higher paying position or find a better job. Something people with half a brain would do.

#11 OP Hum

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:56

I would agree with you other than the fact that these corporations are making record profits. They pay upper staff millions. Why would they have a need to pass anything on to the customers? The employees helped you make that profit, so share some of it with them.


I agree to some extent, but Unions tend to get more and more greedy.

What if I think $10 an hour is just peachy, but a handful of Union members push for $15, then we all lose our jobs ?

#12 Growled

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:58

I agree to some extent, but Unions tend to get more and more greedy.


And I agree with that too. Unions are their own worst enemy.

#13 Sandor

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:01

^ $15 an hour would radically boost payroll costs, which would get passed on to the customers, many of which would then avoid fast food.

Businesses would suffer and might go under altogether.

Unions often shoot themselves in the foot.


Just taking one of my former employees as an example. McDonald's.

Cursory glance at wikipedia says net income was 5.5 billion. The wikipedia page states 420,000 employees. Doing a rough example of a 2000 hour work year and doing that for all the employees - $5 an hour raise comes to 4.2 billion.

Not really sure where the "going under" part comes in.

#14 Xilo

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:04

All this means is higher prices for everyone. If you want higher pay, go find a better job.

#15 SupportGeek

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:04

Just taking one of my former employees as an example. McDonald's.

Cursory glance at wikipedia says net income was 5.5 billion. The wikipedia page states 420,000 employees. Doing a rough example of a 2000 hour work year and doing that for all the employees - $5 an hour raise comes to 4.2 billion.

Not really sure where the "going under" part comes in.


Stockholders dont tend to like when you gut 4/5ths of your income by giving it away for no return, it means a loss in stock price, and that means stockholders lose money, they sell their shares, and suddenly the comany no longer has enough money to pay back everyone that has money invested in the business.
Hence, they go under.
Its not all about eking out a razor thin margin when you are a publicly traded company.