The International Brotherhood Of Burger Flippers Will Not Take It Any More

Tyler Durden's picture

Having unsuccessfully lobbied its slave-driving masters with one-day strikes and angry tongue-lashings, Thursday sees the fast food workers’ movement wants to broaden its reach as it pushes for a $15-an-hour wage (that restaurant companies say is unrealistic). In addition to 150 strikes across the US, NY Times reports, support protests will take place in 80 cities in more than 30 countries, from Dublin to Venice to Casablanca to Seoul to Panama City. "Fast food workers in many other parts of the world face the same corporate policies — low pay, no guaranteed hours and no benefits," warned one union leader but judging by the response from the restaurants association, "These are made-for-TV media moments - that’s pretty much it." Workers generally have the same message - "I don’t make enough money to take care of my kids," but as we have noted before (and as Motoman Robot below indicates) raising the minimum wage will have unintended consequences few strikers consider, "it would have consequences on hiring patterns for Main Street businesses across the country."

 

The push for a minimum-wage hike to $15 per hour continues...

The reason I’m going on strike is I don’t make enough money to take care of my kids,” he said. “We need to go on strike and protest — that’s the only way we’ll get them to improve things.”

 

...

 

“Fast food workers in many other parts of the world face the same corporate policies — low pay, no guaranteed hours and no benefits,” said Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union.

As the unions go international... (as Reuters notes)

On Thursday, fast-food workers in more than 30 countries across six continents will take coordinated action on an unprecedented scale. In the United States, they will walk off their jobs in 150 cities — the largest strike ever. Workers around the world will join these protests in 80 cities.

 

The protestors are set to take over a McDonald’s during lunchtime rush hour in Belgium; hold flash-mobs at McDonald’s restaurants across the Philippines, and conduct a teach-in at McDonald’s headquarters in New Zealand.

 

The spread of the fast-food movement to the global stage is notable for the speed at which it has happened. What began as a single strike in New York City in November 2012, with roughly 200 workers participating, has in 18 months spread across the country and now across national borders.

But...

The vast majority of these protesters are not actually restaurant workers, and if they are, they’ve taken the day off in advance,” he said, adding that the efforts did not fit the description of a strike.

And, as the NY Times notes, the strikes appear to be having no impact...

Businesses have generally opposed the $15-an-hour proposal, saying it would cut into their profits, reduce hiring and force them to raise prices. Mr. DeFife warned of harmful repercussions if wages climbed to $15 an hour. “It would have consequences on hiring patterns for Main Street businesses across the country,” he said.

 

...

 

Even with the new overseas protests, Jake Rosenfeld, a labor relations expert at the University of Washington, doubted the movement would achieve its $15 goal unless the employees were unionized. “I don’t think they’re any way close to getting there,” he said of the effort.

Of course - what workers should really worry about is...

Motoman...

 

The Japanese have done it again with the Motoman robot, a pancake-flipping wonder of circuits and electricity. This awesome machine recently debuted at a three-day exhibition of robots in Osaka.

and Momentum Machines...
 

 

Momentum Machines is revolutionizing the $70bn burger and fries industry. Our robot allows restaurants to sell gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. We have created a robot that makes customized hamburgers from raw ingredients to packaging, with zero human intervention. The machine can receive orders from any POS system, as well as a customizable mobile app. A Momentum Machine robot streamlines operations, saving the average fast food location $135k/year in labor.

 

So be careful what you ask for on that minium wage?

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ShrNfr's picture

Not only that, the robot does not pick its nose or its ass before they hand you the, err, ahh, what ever they hand you. No going to the bathroom and not washing either.

Pool Shark's picture

 

 

"Would you like an unemployment check with that?"

 

Timmay's picture

Robots flip burgers and they flip stocks. Oh, and they don't ask questions either, perfect for flipping hellfire missles into wedding parties.

Everyone see where this is going??

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

a prequel to the Terminator franchise.

Anusocracy's picture

“The reason I’m going on strike is I don’t make enough money to take care of my kids,” he said. “We need to go on strike and protest — that’s the only way we’ll get them to improve things.”

Dear Useless Idiot,

The existence of government drives up the price of things by 100%. Please kill yourself before you induce government to be even more destructive to the economy.

James_Cole's picture

The existence of government drives up the price of things by 100%. Please kill yourself before you induce government to be even more destructive to the economy.

Striking has.......to do with .gov? Anyone out there realize America has a long history of labour movements being violently suppressed by the government?

Anyone on here know off hand the reason workers have an 8hr (as opposed to a 16hr) day? How anti-child labour laws got on the books?

Hello? Are there sentient beings of any stripe out here?

Though, I suppose everyone would be better off working 16hr days (with the kids right beside of course, fuck education what good is that shit anyway?).

On the topic at hand, somehow lots of countries much less rich than the US have higher minimum wage and still don't have a fully automated workforce. And if you think your job is protected from software / hardware evolution * spoiler * it's not. 

Spastica Rex's picture

Being an angry (yet "Objective") white male means never having to give a shit about anything but yourself.

Indians? Fuck 'em.

Black people? Fuck 'em.

Mexicans? Fuck 'em.

Queers? Fuck 'em.

Fast food workers? Fuck 'em.

The list is LONG.

 

Keyser's picture

The irony is that these burger flippers want $30,000 a year in wages while newly minted college graduates are moving back into the parent's basement because they can't find work... It wouldn't bother me if every fast-food franchise in the US closed down... They are the primary contributor to obesity and diabetes today...

 

Spastica Rex's picture

It wouldn't bother me if every fast-food franchise in the US closed down.

Amen.

The real irony is that 80% of the population could be gassed and ground up for natural fertilizer and everybody left would be far better off.

Might have to keep a few to mow lawns, pick fruit,  and clean hotels, I guess.

IronShield's picture

Are you part of that 80%?  You know, the Pareto thing.

Bindar Dundat's picture

It is not about wages oh dumb ones -- it's about saving seconds in the drive through. If it saves them a second in the drive through line it's worth the investment.  Here is how it works:   10,000 stores times saving one second for each customer  results in 160 hours more serving time across the chain every customer.  Robotics will result in time savings of 10 to 15 seconds a customer and that will make minimum wage calculations meaningless. 

Bindar Dundat's picture

In Canada  2% of all cash transactions occur at Tim Hortons.....Thats a lot of donuts and coffee.  

mark mchugh's picture

Do you hear yourself?  I think what you mean is college grads don't want the jobs that are out there.  So here's an idea.  Let the college grads take the minimum wage burger-flipping jobs when these guys walk.  

So you're outraged that people who actually work want a living wage, AND you'd like high-paying jobs to magically appear for lazy kids who have a sheepskin.

Right?

TheReplacement's picture

She doesn't understand the problem and is protesting the wrong thing.  To understand what the problem is you have to ask the right questions.  Why is she working at McD's when that is a job typically meant for the least skilled (kids with no experience) - where did the decent jobs go?  Why is $7.50/hr worth so much less today than it was when the minimum was raised?  Why is she not looking for a better paying opportunity rather than "striking"?

Past points about work safety and abuse are all well and good but you are simply reacting emotionally on this issue. 

Anusocracy's picture

"Striking has.......to do with .gov?"

Are you really that stupid? They are striking so .gov will raise the minimum wage.

"Anyone on here know off hand the reason workers have an 8hr (as opposed to a 16hr) day? How anti-child labour laws got on the books?"

So the government can take half the wages of the husband and wife each working 8 hrs. instead the more odious taking of half the wages of one person working 16 hrs. As for child labor, I worked as a 'child' paperboy and it was one of the hardest jobs I ever had. Every kid should have a job and never an allowance.

"Though, I suppose everyone would be better off working 16hr days (with the kids right beside of course, fuck education what good is that shit anyway?"

Cost of government day in 2013 was July 12th - that means 53% of the working year goes to support the destructive actions of government. And a government education is a fucked-up education anyway.

"On the topic at hand, somehow lots of countries much less rich than the US have higher minimum wage and still don't have a fully automated workforce."

How many of those are resource rich or banking centers, and not manufacturing countries? All of them?

James_Cole's picture

Are you really that stupid? They are striking so .gov will raise the minimum wage.

No. 

 As for child labor, I worked as a 'child' paperboy and it was one of the hardest jobs I ever had. Every kid should have a job and never an allowance.

lol wooooowwww. Paperboy????? Anus you've said plenty of stupid shit but this takes the cake (and explains a lot). Take a look at what child labour entailed in the early 1900s / usa. Or look at child labour today on american farms (or do them mexican kidz not count?). Ain't no fucking paper route!

How many of those are resource rich or banking centers, and not manufacturing countries? All of them?

Um Germany? USA 30 yrs ago (inflation is a bitch)? 

http://blogs.lclark.edu/hart-landsberg/files/2011/12/real.png

A Nanny Moose's picture

I don't mean to be rude, but you aren't the sharpest tool in the shed. Please review price in the most and the least regulated industries. Get back to me when you have figured out the pattern. Please play more Chess, so that you might learn how to better understand the disposition of all pieces on the board.

Gov is not labor and labor is not gov, but that does not diminish the impacts that .gov currency destruction has on labor. This is THE most important aspectnto understanding the disposition of labor

Anyone on here know off hand the reason workers have an 8hr...day?

Competition...for labor. At least whatever competiton had not been regulated out of existence by .gov.

How anti-child labour laws got on the books?

Old people (voters) who did not want to compete with cheaper, and more physically capable young (non-voters) labor. Why should children not be allowed to work?

Would you like me to continue? How about min wage? Well, that was an effort to prevent cheaper black workers from being hired.

Weekends? Factory workers who were too drunk to work 7 days a week. Why are you even compelled to even work 5 days a week?

Look Ma! No collectivization needed.

War_is_Peace's picture

“We need to go on strike and protest — that’s the only way we’ll get them to improve things.”

 

Really?  The ONLY WAY?  Whatever happened to personal responsibility for one's condition?  Don't like minimum wage?  Figure out a way to provide greater value to your employer.

 

I don't care much about what this increase might do to the large, multi-national fast "food" corporations, but I do care about the small business owners that provide quality food and service; not to mention the countless other small businesses that empoy people with little value-added labor.  These mislead yokels are barking up the wrong tree.  They should be asking "why the fuck is everything so expensive"...not, "why don't i get paid more for a job that a trained monkey can do?"

James_Cole's picture

Really?  The ONLY WAY?  Whatever happened to personal responsibility for one's condition?  Don't like minimum wage?  Figure out a way to provide greater value to your employer.

Tell that to these guys (history repeating.....):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westmoreland_County_coal_strike_of_1910%E2%...

They should be asking "why the fuck is everything so expensive"...not, "why don't i get paid more for a job that a trained monkey can do?"

We're all trained monkeys, get over yourself. 

StychoKiller's picture

at the start of the 20th Century, over 40% of the US population were self-employed.  When did the drone-training, AKA public education take over?

Govt rulez/regulations make it almost impossible to start your own business these days.  Visit the back office room(s), employee's lounge, etc, and check out just how many permits/licenses, etc., are required to run a business!

Postal's picture

Whatever happened to personal responsibility for one's condition?

As one of my professors used to say, "That's just crazy talk!"

Spumoni's picture

Well, you must be the fucking president of the aunusocracy to make a comment like that. Spoken like someone who never did a hard day's labor in their pointless little entitled lives. Government drives up prices? Bud, without government, people who actually work would have shot your sorry ass long ago. You ought to be kissing the tax collecotr's ass for paying for cops to keep people from fucking you up.

Anusocracy's picture

Well Spew, you're an idiot.

Cost of Government Day 2012: July 15th

Cost of Government Day 2013: July 12th.

That doesn't cost a thing, right?

And are you even capable of understanding that the individual and the private sector can provide security? In the early 2000s the number of private security workers surpassed .gov cops - then came 9/11 and the US Police State.

666's picture

$15/hr could be a good thing because the newly unemployed workers will enjoy better health by not being able to afford to eat the toxic junk food they make; the same goes for the former customers who can no longer afford to frequent such places.

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

You forgot the /sarc

BUT

just in case you were being sincere,

that's the only utilitarian argument in favor of raisng min to $15/hr, to get burger-flippers to eat more of their own toxic cooking, thus raising GDP (ugh)... 

a la Henry Ford's classic gambit raising his workers wages to $5/day so they could buy the autos they themselves were making.

UNFORTUNATELY, there was a method to his madness at a time when consumer demand was robust. Same .gov policy won't work in these times of retrenchment and debt overhangs. It will just kill jobs and [seriously] increase automation in fast-food service sector. No fooling, the machines are coming.

ElvisDog's picture

You should read a little history. The primary reason Ford raised the wages of his assembly line workers was because he was having worker retention problems. The assembly line work was mind-numbing. He had to raise wages to the level where the mind-numbing work was worth it to his employees. The "so people can afford my cars" thing was more of a PR move.

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

-- The "so people can afford my cars" thing was more of a PR move.

Yep. And at the same time it actually DID make his cars more affordable for his workers. At the margins.

You state that he was having worker retention problems. Well guess what, when employers have worker retention problems, what's that a sign of?

a BOOMING economy, just as I said above:

 ... there was a method to his madness at a time when consumer demand was robust.

So what is your point? That he wasn't being 'sincere' (ie, that it wasn't his real motives)?

WELL, WHO THE HELL CARES WHAT HIS 'REAL MOTIVES' WERE?

OR, are you suggesting that there wasn't a marginal effect of greater affordability among his workers? Respectfully, I simply disagree with that (if that's what you're also implying). He kept his prices steady and everyone was happy. His sales volume expanded. (A so-called 'virtuous circle' was created.)

But the same conditions don't apply today as I went on to state:

Same .gov policy won't work in these times of retrenchment and debt overhangs. It will just kill jobs and [seriously] increase automation in fast-food service sector... [AT THE MARGINS].

See how that works? And also, I actually have read a little history.

 


swass's picture

There is still a number of people behind flipping hellfire missiles into wedding parties.  At least you could excuse the autonomous robot for not valuing human life.

narnia's picture

pretty much the same place the asshole megalomaniacs ordered the conscripted people to go before them

PT's picture

Oh yes, if only there was no minimum wage, I could pay people two dollars per week to stand around in shopping malls, factories and on the side of the road and they could sell fizzy drinks and chocolate bars AND THEY WOULD HAVE JOBS AND VENDING MACHINES WOULD NEVER EXIST!!!  Win-nar!

 

StychoKiller's picture

Ask yerself, "why are some people so worthless?"  (J'accuse public education!)

PT's picture

Ask yerself why someone can operate a machine that lets one man do the job of ten and yet they only earn half of what their ancestor, who didn't have the machine, earnt.

While you're at it, ask yerself why so many "worthless" people have jobs when so many "worthful" people are unemployed.

NotApplicable's picture

And not a single fuck was given that day.

PT's picture

Fucking alcoholics always get special treatment!  Fucking alcoholics always win!

:P

I'm in two minds about that idea.

"I'mmmm NoT DRuNK oshifer - I'm WoRKiNG ..."

Zirpedge's picture

With nanotechnology in the meat, the burger will know it's cooked to perfection and tell the robot to apply cheese and condiments per the human resource's specifications.

RmcAZ's picture

"It's the only job I have," said Tammy Castellanos, 35, a single mother with five children ranging in age from 21 months to 18 years old. "I have done so much for Burger King and I don't make enough to pay the rent."

No, this quote did not come from The Onion.

rbg81's picture

I can't help but wonder if the Burger King himself is her baby daddy.  Or....at least someone dressed up like the Burger King.  It could be worse though...it could be Ronald McDonald.

PT's picture

Don't worry.  There are still plenty of responsible people out there who won't have kids if they can't afford to look after them.  Chill out!  Watch a DVD.  I recommend Idiocracy.

SF beatnik's picture

Yeah, thanks a lot, Tammy.  We sorely need five more Castellanos.

drendebe10's picture

Uh, then could it be, maybe, when the unions kept demanding more n more then the US jobs moved outta here?  Nah!

PT's picture

Inflation adjusted minimum wage = half what it was half a century ago.  Tell me again about those "powerful unions".

In my country:
20 years ago:  mortgage on good house = half the minimum wage.
Now:  mortgage on cheapest house in cheapest suburb = 100% of the minimum wage.

Tell me again, what is sending all the jobs overseas????????????????????????????

"Oh, but that is just the fweeeeeeeee markit at work.  Nuffing to see here!  Get back to work peasant.  You could solve all yor problems, if only you worked harder for less munny!

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Given a choose between a human burger flipper verse robot, I would go with robot since you really can't piss off a preprogrammed robot unless it's out of order, but consider that human burger flipper can be out of order any minute of the day without warning they might just spit in your burger to make their day.

PT's picture

If you try and kick the fuck out of a metal burger flipper, you get a sore foot.
When you complain to a biological manager, you don't get put on hold.
Just a couple of things to think about.

Personally, I'm all for having robots do all the work.  That was the whole point.  We need production, not jobs.  Now where is that 4 hour working week we were all promised? 

SilverIsKing's picture

I hope these workers get $15/hour or more.  They should get what they 'deserve'.