Iulus Cofield wrote:$15/hr is an unrealistic demand, but I figure the real goal is the formation of (a) union(s) and I think that would be a very good thing for service employees in this country.
Unions are a reasonable goal indeed, but striking should not be required in order to form a union. In addition, a union for the purpose of wage increases is unlikely to be a net win for the workers. The fast food industry typically runs fairly thin profit margins, and right now, they're in kind of a budget crunch as disposable income still hasn't really recovered from the recession. The dollar menu is seeing focus for a reason, and there just isn't latitude in most fast food place's budget for huge increases.
Given that unions also need dues to operate, it would take a healthy raise to compensate for their dues and provide additional benefit, and that just doesn't seem possible in the economic environment.
Angua wrote:You think minimum wage is being overpaid?
The US attitude to unions has always puzzled me somewhat - I get that they can go down the wrong road with being over political, but they are more likely to care about the workers than the company. Differences in culture history though.
In some cases yes, in some cases no. Not all fast food jobs are minimum wage....for instance, I live on the east coast, where minimum wage jobs are not particularly common because economic pressures drive a higher cost of living. In the more rural areas(like much of the midwest), though, where cost of living is lower, minimum wage jobs are pretty common...but the worse threat is unemployment. You've got stores and other businesses that just can't afford to stay open, even while paying minimum wage. Obviously, that's a problem.
Unions have been important in the past, but they are not always an obvious win for the employee. They have overhead costs to maintain, and thus, there's a range of possible employer/employee relationships that are more beneficial to both parties than one that also includes a union. Now, when a situation gets really out of control, then yeah, employees are greatly benefitted by forming a union. The problem with this case is that while fast food jobs do tend to suck, it's kind of innate due to many factors, and isn't as easily solved by simply introducing a union.
yurell wrote:$15/hr doesn't seem particularly unrealistic to me; I certainly wouldn't work for any less than that.
That's your decision, but not everyone has the skills to command a decent salary. They may not have a lot of options. If you're a high school dropout and lack job experience in much of anything, well...you still need an income, even if it's not a great one.
$15/hr is simply not reasonable for most food service jobs because at that price, the businesses would not be competitive. It's one thing to talk about doubling the price on the value menu, but honestly, McDonalds is not the pinnacle of burgers. If things cost twice as much there, I'm probably just not going to eat at McDonalds. Hell, fast food is very commonly patronized by the poor. So, if you double a guy's salary, but double his expenses, you really don't do him any favors. At best, nothing really changes, and at worst, the guy might find himself unemployed as the resteraunt appears less attractive compared to other options.
Fire Brns wrote:I really don't have sympathy. What Derek said. The dollar menu becomes the 2 dollar menu when they pull this crap and if the fast food workers where I live tried to strike I would picket them for inconveniencing me. Not everyone gets to be a Hollywood movie American success, some people have to mop the floors and flip the burgers.
I actually disagree with this. We don't necessarily need people to mop the floors and flip burgers. We only pay people to do it because, right now, it's cheapest to do so. Robots already exist for these things. We don't need floor moppers and burger flippers...but they DO need a paycheck. It is not in their interest to try to change this. If we DID need them, then yes, mass action might improve their negotiating position, but that's really not the case.
Fire Brns wrote:The 33 y/old quoted irked me the most. The blue shirt does mean they are better than you, especially since you are 33 and working an entry level job in McDonalds. They are payed to be better than you and you are payed to be worse than them, that's how management works. You don't deserve anything more than what you contractually agreed to and you agreed to minimum wage plus any raises they decide to give you based on work performance. The economy sucks I get it, but you are just being selfish because you want more money without demonstrating a unique or valuable skill. It isn't some social crusade to help future generations.
I have some sympathy for people dealing with jerk bosses. That said, jerk bosses exist in basically every segment of society. Lots of human law and effort is dedicated to try to make people not be assholes, but a union probably won't stop people from acting like they are god's gift to humanity.
company can have to drop 300 dollars into training an employee and then hope they don't quit a week later
It seems to me that if a company can't for the most part keep an employee from walking after a week, the problem here is not with the cost of training; it's with the company not offering an attractive job. McDonalds for example locks people down in Germany by offering them to finance a half-work half-study business degree if they qualify for university when they are hired, and are willing to commit to a long contract.
High turnover in crappy jobs is a good thing, actually. It tends to represent people finding better opportunities elsewhere. Unfortunately, the current US economy is still seeing workers reluctant to leave their jobs unless they get fired. Probably reflects uncertainty coming outta recession.
McDonalds actually does have some surprising educational opportunities and the like. Not every food service job does, though.
Princess Marzipan wrote:
I really don't have sympathy. What Derek said. The dollar menu becomes the 2 dollar menu when they pull this crap and if the fast food workers where I live tried to strike I would picket them for inconveniencing me. Not everyone gets to be a Hollywood movie American success, some people have to mop the floors and flip the burgers.
So...a dollar menu is more important to you than millions of people being able to support themselves with their job?
If we're honest about it, it's more important to most people. Look at the number of ads describing how good/cheap something is. Look at the number of ads describing how well their workers are paid. Which gets the people in the door buying? People aren't only selfish, but there is a significant amount of "what's in it for me" in most people's lives.
Princess Marzipan wrote: What about people stuck in a career of mopping floors and flipping burgers?
Frankly, those people probably don't have the skills and opportunities to do anything better. That's unfortunate, and a good reason to strive for skills early in life, but if that's the best you can do...being unemployed represents a downgrade. Striking for an unacheivable reason raises your risk without much in the way of return.
Now, if the economy improves, it'll help everyone indirectly in that underemployed workers stop competing for crappy jobs, but this is out of the control of the average worker, so it's not very satisfying in that it provides no course of action to pursue.
Obviously, getting more skills is good, and should be pursued by those who can, but this may vary depending on situation.
Red Hal wrote:Y'see there's the nub of the issue. Raising the minimum wage won't make the barrier to entry higher; someone will still be needed to flip those burgers (nascent boom in automated burger-flipping notwithstanding) and mop those floors. The company either does it or doesn't produce burgers. There is a demand for burger-flippers because without them the company cannot sell burgers.
Automation aside, increasing cost of production obviously affects the supply/demand curves. Higher price, lower demand. Less production overall, so less jobs overall.
KnightExemplar wrote:This isn't raising the minimum wage. This is a group of workers striking in an effort to get better wages / benefits from a company that they're working for. I don't think there's anything wrong in that in of itself: people should strike and take advantage of their power to pressure employers when they feel that they're treated unfairly. So as bad as "minimum wage" is for capitalist markets, what is going on here is very far away from that. These are two parties trying to settle a dispute, which is good for the market.
Sure, they are within their rights to strike. It is not an immoral act...it is merely a case of poor strategy in this case. Sometimes, striking can be excellent strategy. It's all relative to how much freedom each side has to bargain with. In this case, the resteraunts don't really have a lot to give up, and the workers don't have a ton of leverage even unified. So...not much to be gained.
Enokh wrote:I don't see unions being any different than corporations. They're a bunch of people who got together and are selling something (their time/labor/whatever). Corporations hating on unions are just them getting jealous of someone else playing their game too.
Correct. Unions can be good or bad, just like corporations. They are in the business of controlling the labor market(well, a given union will usually try to control a specific kind of labor). There is, inherently, a cartel-like nature in unions that does not exist in all other corporations, but it certainly does arise in the larger, more successful corporations, so comparisons can still be made. Labor is a product like anything else.