5 Effects of the Fast-Food Workers Strike

Image credit LaborNotes
Be warned America; it may not be as easy to get your fast-food fix today as it normally is. Employees of fast-food establishments in several cities, including New York, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Kansas City are staging a walkout today as part of a unified attempt to gain what they call a “living wage” of $15 an hour.

The single-day strike was organized in the face of startlingly low pay, in New York for example, where the statewide average for fast-food workers is a measly $8.25 an hour. No wonder these kids are stomping on our lettuce and licking our taco shells…

5 Decrease in Emergency Room Traffic

Sure, it’s only a one-day strike, but this one day could lead to a significant drop in trips to the emergency room. Just take a moment to consider the amount of people in these strike cities that normally rely on fast-food for a quick, midday lunch or a late night dinner after a long, stressful day at work. The purpose of the strike may be to gain better pay, but one of the most positive side effects will be the sharp and sudden decrease in large, sweaty guys that keel over on a Monday in America.

4 Brighter Futures

The fact that these workers have organized and banded together to work for a common goal is an encouraging sign in and of itself. The paltry paychecks that fast-food workers have come to accept are completely absurd, especially when considering the unbelievable amount of money these companies rake in. Low pay has unfortunately been an accepted evil of the industry (kind of like that pink slime stuff), but the fact that these workers have proactively gotten behind a legitimate cause has shown that they realize they don’t HAVE to work for peanuts, and their lives will be better for it.

3 Scabs?

As with any strike, there is always the threat of simply being replaced by the companies that have wronged you. Luckily in this case, the jobs aren’t exactly as lucrative as say, stepping into the shoes of a Major League Baseball player. However, there is still the chance that some scabs might cross the picket lines and accept the meager wages. Namely, all of the rotund American kids who suddenly can’t get their hands on a Whopper today. Their severe cases of withdrawal could convince them that the quickest way to get the treats that they so love, is to just join the team.

2 Increase in Workplace Productivity

Bosses, at the end of the workday today, don’t be surprised if things in the office seemed to run a little smoother than usual. And if you can’t quite put your finger on the reason why, look no further than the lack of fast food. Thanks to the fact your employees aren’t feeding their faces with these low-nutrition lunches, you may likely see a marked decrease in meat-sweat induced desk-naps, and far fewer strained, mid-afternoon, half-hour trips to the restroom.

1 Higher Quality Service

In the long run, this could be exactly what the fast food industry needs. One of the biggest complaints of the average customer at these establishments is the often-horrendous customer service the employees serve up. But think about it, if you were taking home an average of $11,000 a year, how differently would you be acting at work? Admit it, if you were in their shoes, you’d likely be slapping that burger down on the counter with all the enthusiasm of a death row inmate, too.
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  • swift69

    I fully and unequivocally support the right of workers to band together to try to improve their position through collective action–that is as much an integral part and right in a healthy capitalist system as is that of a business owner to try to keep wages low and to maximize his profits. However, ultimately one doesnt need much more than high school economics to understand that an increase in the minimum wage as requested would lead to not much more than inflation and unemployment and that the best strategy for any individual who feels that he or she is undercompensated or underemployed is to invest in developing a skillset that the market values more highly than one that can be learned on a two-day course.

  • Doogamus

    Considering that every minimum wage raise in our history has had exactly none of those things you describe, Id say let them have their strike.

  • swift69

    except that weve never had a near doubling of minimum wage, which is what these people are asking for – $7 something to $15.

  • Doogamus

    Theres still no evidence that it will impact the economy negatively.

  • The Irreverend

    Its self-evident. If you havent noticed that inflation has gone up right alongside each minimum-wage increase, then youre ignoring the obvious. A 100% increase in pay would necessarily lead to a 50% drop in employment; unless the corporate greed, which Im sure you blame for their current pay-rates, suddenly turns on its head overnight and agrees to keep on a full staff of workers at double the pay.. its probably a good thing if youre boycotting the fast-food industry already because guess who the cost is going to be passed onto?

  • SpeedRacer

    Amen, hallelujah

  • danielle head

    8.25 is not that bad, when i worked at fast food 5 i was only making 8

  • Doogamus

    You should raise your standards. Almost everyone is worth more than that.

  • Jucko

    Actually, fast food workers are not worth any MORE than that. It takes about 5 brain cells to do their job and the pay reflects it accurately.Most college graduates dont get more than $25 an hour, youre telling me someone with 1/4 the skill set is a mere $10 less? You also forget fast food places offer a lot of opportunities to get out of the business — such as college scholarships and tuition assistance.These fast food workers are the greedy ones, always thinking someone owes them something.

  • Doogamus

    Its not greedy to demand a decent living wage, and the scholarships are few and far between. The skill set doesnt matter. If you are a business and cant afford to pay decent living wages to your employees, you shouldnt be in business.

  • Jucko

    The scholarships all depend on what people put into it, and since it varies job by job no one says they have to stay there. Fast food is meant for 16-21 year olds in school to get experience, not 35 year olds and up (who were likely in a union). The skill set does matter, should a brain surgeon make almost equal pay as a burger flipper? Thats idiotic and an insult to intelligent people who have contributed to society. If you want more money, you work for it. Welcome to the American Dream.

  • russel rahman

    8.25 is not bad???? for real

  • scatterbear

    Guy, lets be real here. Theyd have to raise the cost of a Big Mac 68 cents and all dollar items raised 17 cents to compensate for this type of “livable wage.” I refuse to pay anything over $1 for a pink-slimewich. Source: http://www.businessinsider….

  • pro272727 .

    Down with the slave thoughts that one should be “happy or lucky just to have a job”, what a horrible and sick way to look at your employment. They should be happy and feel lucky to have you! A life of fear is not a life at all.

  • Steve jacob

    Really? People are striking to get a better wage at Mcdonalds? Probably the most idiotic thing I have ever heard of. JUST QUIT AND GET A DIFFERENT JOB!!! No one is forcing you to work there. This is why you work there, you are idiots and dont deserve more money.

  • John Dix

    Steve…you are an idiot if you think that people want to work there. For some that is the only job they can get. You are one of those people that only see a small side of something but have no idea what is going on in the real world.

  • Jucko

    They can only get any other job because they didnt care about their education or theyre still in the process. This country rewards hard work, fast food places are temporary jobs. They also provide numerous education benefits, something that most employees obviously dont take advantage of — which is their own fault.

  • John Dix

    Jucko I assume based on your grammar you are still in process. There is very little in your statement that is true so do some research and/or gain some life experience and get back to me.

  • Jucko

    John, why dont you come at me with hard facts that disprove me, or are you going to go off at grammar since you really have nothing else of value to say to support your position? You also forgot the comma after my name. Once you have real life experience and an understanding of how the real world works, then you may provide an opinion.

  • John Dix

    You are assuming facts not in evidence counselor. You have no idea what life experience I have. Just like you are assuming to know the situation of everyone that works in fast food. I have worked in fast food while trying to go to school. It is very hard to pay for school and cost of living for less then $18,000 a year, assuming you get 40 hours a week. McDonalds never offered to help pay for school.You are quiet correct about the comma after your name in my statement. I am sure if you paid that much attention to your own statement I wouldnt have made my comment about your grammer.

  • Jucko

    Assuming facts? Until you can pull numbers out of your own ass, Ill stick with what the experts say on Bloomberg and on Business websites. You think your situation merits concern or attention? You flipped burgers, Im surprised you could activate that many brain cells in the amount of time it took to cook a Happy Meal.Tell me, whatd you major in…Womens Studies? Art? Film? That would make sense considering your mediocre thought process in this.”Quiet” correct? Now whos being a silly miss speller? My original statement has nothing to do with it, but apparently it did put your panties in a knot.

  • John Dix

    You caught me. I typed Quiet when I meant to put quite When I am typing I sometimes reverse letters. many times I have put “ahve” by mistake. Misspeller is not a word.Unlike you I do not pull numbers out of my ass. I would love to know what experts have said that fast food workers get paid education from their employers. I have looked on many of your expert websites and I can not find one. I have seen that most fast food workers make around $8/hour, except In-and-Out who pays just over $10.You ask for hard facts but you may not know that it is very hard to prove a negative.Quick question, why is Womens Studies considered mediocre? Are you a sexist as well?

  • Jucko

    You forgot a period, capitalize the M, insert a comma.You have not pulled any numbers out of your ass, but you are very well mentioning you have numbers to throw (but have yet to do so).From McDonalds, employees get: Competitive wagesFree uniformsFree or discounted mealsFlexible hoursMedical insurancePrescription drug coverage24-hour nurse line accessVision discountAvailable dentalAdditional BenefitsShort-term disabilityTerm life insurance401(k)Paid holidaysVacationEducational assistanceThere are the hard facts. Where are yours and your numbers to show that these people, doing an utterly simplistic job, deserve to get paid near new-college graduate pay?Of course Im not sexist, I just know a worthless degree when I see one as it has absolutely no value in the workforce. I take it thats what you majored in, or something similar, since thats the one youre bringing up as a means of desperate accusation?

  • John Dix

    I can cut and paste too. From the McDonalds website no less. A few of the ones you mentioned count as heath insurance, which is something that all employers have to give that now, but only if they are full time. Most employees are just part time. Also, of course McDonalds wages are competitive with other fast food chains, excerpt for In-n-out, as I said before.Also one page from a fast food website marketing employment to the general public is hardly proof of the ability for a person to live working at said fast food restaurant Sad indeed.I am done with you. You have no idea what you are talking about and I am bored with you.

  • Jucko

    So you can cut and paste, but can you do your own research before sounding like an idiot? It took 5 seconds for me to find that data after you said no fast food place offers those benefits, and it comes straight from the company. You also dont realize that not all employers have to offer insurance, there are exceptions and these were likely offered before Obama even got into office — what kind of employer would offer these if you arent full time? Not, many…that is why fast food is a temporary endeavor. Go ahead and look at the other fast food websites, Im not your slave and you are fully capable of doing your own research (though I assume you always have to have someone hold your hand).Youre done with me? You didnt even start, you have nothing to offer to the discussion except ignorance and no weight in your sad excuse of an argument. Its quite obvious I do know what Im talking about, run along now and stay in your moms basement.You forgot a period and didnt spell “except” correctly.

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