McDonald’s: Low-Paid Workers, High-Flying Execs

by Jim Hightower, Nation of Change, 11/21/13

In this season of generosity, I’m sure that you get as much joy and deep internal satisfaction as I do just by knowing that we – all of us taxpayers together – contribute day-in and day-out to a very big global cause: Supersizing McDonald’s.

The world’s largest hamburger chain is a needy charity case, because without your and my generous tax support, the Big MacBosses in charge would have to pay a living wage to their 800,000-plus American workers. But, thanks to us, the $27 billion-a-year hamburger-flipping flim flammers can get away with paying poverty wages – then send their workforce to get food stamps, Medicaid, child welfare payments, public housing, and other tax-funded poverty benefits. This public subsidy of the Golden Arches adds up to a very golden $1.2 billion a year. What a creative business plan! Who says giant corporations aren’t enterprising?…

continue reading at Nation of Change

See also, at the Hightower Lowdown for November 2013:

A rebellion of restaurant workers is challenging the deplorable low-wage ethic of the fast-food behemoths

By gollies, McDonald’s cares.
Despite being a corporate behemoth (more than 14,000 stores in the US, $27 billion a year in sales, $5.5 billion in profits and 860,000 employees), the world’s biggest burger chain has shown that it has a heart.

Earlier this year, the McChieftains high atop the hierarchy declared that they feel the pain of front-line and fry-line workers at the bottom who’re struggling to make ends meet on the $8.25 an hour they’re typically paid. That’s about $17,500 a year–gross–for full-time work (though most who toil under the golden arches are held well short of 40 hours a week, further shrinking their paychecks).

You could almost see tears welling in the eyes of top executives as they conceded that this is poverty pay, leaving those who prep and serve “Happy Meals” for millions of children unable to cover the cost of their own meals and other basics.

So, imagine the joy of crew members (McDonald’s congenial moniker for “workers”) when word spread down the ranks that the bosses were going to give a financial boost to each of them. At last, a raise!

Ha! A raise for mere workers? Get real. Instead of money, they were given a website. It was like getting socks for Christmas, but not as warm and fuzzy. Actually it was more like getting socked, for the website blames employees themselves for not making ends meet on their meager wages, implying that they’re ignoramuses and wastrels who just don’t manage their paychecks properly. …

continue reading at Hightower Lowdown


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