A movement is spreading across the United States against fast food employers that pay wages far below any reasonable living standards. According to multiple news sources, at least 50 cities in the nation are reportedly seeing strikes outside popular fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's and KFC.
Bloomberg News stated that the protests began last year in New York City, when employees at a McDonald's attempted to unionize in order to request higher wages. The global fast food giant has long resisted efforts by its franchised employees to unionize, fearing that investors will balk at the idea of increased costs. McDonald's already pays minimum wages and offers limited healthcare to employees.
There issue lies in the corporate vs. mainstream view of employment. In the eyes of investors, McDonald's is a hot ticket because it keeps operating costs – namely, healthcare and compensation – in check. By putting a lid on efforts to unionize, the company can continue rewarding its shareholders with tidy profits and dividends.
On the other side of the table are workers who struggle to survive in the cities where the protests are taking place. Someone making $9 an hour can't save up virtually any money, and many of those participating in the protests have families that they support. McDonald's suffered from a public image backlash earlier this year when a copy of internal financial advice aimed at its service staff made it seem callous and ill-informed about the economic realities of many of its employers.
It remains to be seen where the protests will go. As a franchise-structure corporation, McDonald's could easily ignore pressure and instead shift blame and responsibility to the restaurant owners themselves. Either way, the strikes are a reflection of the continued economic decay endemic in the United States. Those who want to declare financial independence in the form of investment strategies like cash flow real estate and personally directed IRAs should continue exploring our website today.