Various Wall Street-listed fast food and retail chains including McDonald’s are rocked by unique workforce and customer led protests over remuneration and conditions. According to the reliable source, Walmart faced the first synchronized strikes in its history over remuneration and conditions last year. It is evident that since then same type of protests are spreading across the country’s work force especially among the low wage workforce.
Numerous fast food workers of various cities including Chicago, New York, and Detroit came to the street in order to protest. It is notable that many people taking part in that protest, took place earlier this month, wore T-Shirts designed with “Fight for 15” that indicates their demand to increase the wage to $15 per hour that is almost the double of the minimum wage of the present time.
A 33-year-old worker at Wendy’s in Chicago stated that they were really angry and frustrated to get a payment of $8.25 per hour presently, as it is quite difficult to lead the life smoothly on this short amount. However, he is hopeful that their protest would offer fruitful result.
It is significant to mention over here that the protest movement besides striking Wendy’s, McDonald and KFC also affected some expensive retail stores including Victoria’ Secret, Nike and Macy’s. In a guide budget for employees living on the minimum wage, published by McDonald proved workers getting such wage required a second job in order to survive.
In the words of John Mason, a professor of politics at William Paterson University in New Jersey the wage of McDonald is actually a wage for starvation. He stated that in most of the cases, the five greatest employers of the US that include McDonalds and Walmart pay a minimum remuneration.
However, the owners of restaurant and retail industries informed that they run a business that has a very low margin. It is reported that usually a franchise of McDonald earn around six cents on the dollar. Moreover, the collective profit of major restaurant chains, retailer and supermarkets in Fortune 500 index is much lower than the profits Apple alone. They claimed that the wage demand by the workforce could close the business or decrease the number of employees.
The author of “Good Jobs, Bad Jobs”, professor Arne Kalleberg pointed that the protest movement is a socially oriented one instead of being union-sponsored. This is the outcome of frustration building for a long time.
Patricia Murray believed that in order to survive and lack of education lead people to accept the wage and conditions. However, she hoped that the scenario could be changing. Director of Fast Food Forward, Jonathan Westin stated that there is connection between the Occupy movement and the protest of fast food work force. He informed that Occupy enable to raise the issue of inequality and encourage a whole movement.
A recent survey revealed that eight out of ten Americans face poverty or a poverty like situations in their working lives. It is noteworthy that the protesters are successful to acquire incremental wage increases; however, they have to go a long way to increase their minimum wage.