"I Can't Pay My Bills" - McDonald's Employees Furious As Company Renegs On Wage Hikes

When the initiative was first announced, McDonald's decision to raise its employees' wages to $1 above minimum wage (albeit only at corporate-owned stores, a minority of the company's total count) was hailed as a radical example of corporate accountability - a direct repudiation of the far-left notion that "quarterly capitalism" and employers accepting responsibility for their employees were mutually exclusive.

As any steely eyed realist might've expected, McDonald's widely lauded "wage hike" was little more than a publicity stunt. In the three years since McDonald's announced the wage hike in 2015, the firm has essentially frozen employee wages, often leaving them just a few cents above minimum wage, as Bloomberg has discovered.


But the company doesn't expect to experience any blowback from this decision: After all, McDonald's never said it was pegging employees' wages to $1 above minimum wage. The company, it appears, deliberately equivocated during its initial announced - and what's worse, nobody in the media has called the company out.

Until now, that is.

In Milpitas, California, north of San Jose, where the local minimum wage rose to $12 an hour on Jan. 1, several workers’ February paychecks show they received $12.35 or $12.45. In Los Angeles, where the minimum wage for large employers has been $12 since July, some checks show hourly pay of $12.69 or less.

Employees and members of the "Fight for $15" coalition - which had successfully pressured McDonald's to assent to the wage hike (or so we had thought) - are understandably angry at the company, possibly having planned to receive higher wages in the near future, and based some major financial decisions on that.

"They need to give us the dollar that they promised us," said one of those employees, Fanny Velazquez, who’s worked for the corporation for a decade. "I can’t pay my rent or my bills."

The Service Employees International Union - most likely the initial anonymous source who brought the story to Bloomberg - blasted the company in an on-the-record statement. It's also organizing workers to organize and exert whatever pressure they can.

The Fight For $15, a 6-year-old effort by the Service Employees International Union to organize fast food workers and secure more stringent wage laws, seized on the paychecks as evidence that the McDonald’s 2015 announcement was a “publicity stunt.”

"If McDonald’s wants to play semantics with its workers and continue to drive a race to the bottom instead of giving us real raises, it is going to continue losing workers to the growing number of employers who are leading the way to a better economy for all," said Betty Douglas, a McDonald’s worker in St. Louis, in a statement on behalf of the Fight for $15.

Fight For $15 criticized McDonald’s pay announcement from the start, because it didn’t apply to the majority of the chain’s stores, which are owned by franchisees, and didn’t meet the group’s signature demand of $15 hourly pay.

The group plans to launch a hotline Monday that workers can call to report their wages, and will hold rallies in three cities on Tuesday to press its case that workers need a union in order to hold the company accountable.

What's worse than McDonald's not following through with the wage hike, employees say, is that recent changes to McDonald's menu - primarily the "Experience the Future" suite of customizable menu options - have made the job harder.

Burger chains like McDonald’s are facing record-high turnover as workers depart for better jobs options in a tightening labor market. Last year, McDonald’s lagged behind peers like Wendy’s and Burger King in average drive-through times. Some employees complain that the chain’s "Experience of the Future," a suite of changes to menus, technology and food delivery, has meant performing more tasks without commensurate staffing expansions or pay increases.

"It’s going to get increasingly challenging to attract the talent you want into your business," Easterbrook said earlier this year, "and then you’ve got to work really hard through training and development to retain them."

Of course, that McDonald's did this shouldn't come as a surprise to any long-time Zero Hedge readers. The company has been rapidly adopting kiosks in its dining rooms that allow customers to order without interacting with a cashier. Analysts believe these machines will eventually lead to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of fast-food service jobs.

As we've said before, McDonald's employees, while you're agitating for a $15 minimum wage, don't forget to thank your corporate overlords when they fire you and your comrades and replace you with this guy...




MATA HAIRY Mon, 04/02/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

mcdonalds is learning from trump how to say one thing to appease the people and then do the exact opposite to please the rich and the establishment

edit--oh, look, the MAGAtards are voting me down! Hey, tards, I VOTED for trump, but I wised up...howcum you have not done the same?

overbet DillyDilly Mon, 04/02/2018 - 12:21 Permalink

Minimum wage shouldnt exist. Improve yourself and bring some value to the marketplace and you will get above zero.


These people think a business exist to employ them. A business exist to make profits and that includes off their labor. Why else take the risk and burden? Their philosophy is wrong. Like the liberfools that believe .gov exist to be a nanny parent to the people instead of an employee of the people. Just changing some of those wrong mindsets is enough to get you above minimum wage. Youre welcome. 

In reply to by DillyDilly

Ophiuchus The_Juggernaut Mon, 04/02/2018 - 12:35 Permalink

May I suggest going Galt?

Real men are choosing to reject the cacophony (Emphasis added) that's being forced upon them which tells them to be anything but MEN. What the Satanists want is for you to accept your slavery, to throw away your soul and toil away.  

When the boys quit whining like little girls and take a stand against the destruction that's being fostered upon them, then men will return to being men, but not until. 

It's not going to happen so prepare.............

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

mkkby toady Mon, 04/02/2018 - 14:46 Permalink

Seriously, I thought only high school kids did these jobs.  Burger flippers make enough if living with mom.

Higher min wage means robots are coming round the corner.  The jobs are already so dumbed down even a libtard wouldn't fuck it up.  Use the kiosks/app and run these whiners out of a job.

In reply to by toady

slightlyskeptical mkkby Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:23 Permalink

When these places are staffed only by high school kids they generally operate very poorly and i don't trust eating there. Just saying. These operators have pretty much guaranteed themselves they only get to serve the dregs of society. If they really had  along term vision they would staff with higher quality employees and raise prices a bit to cover it i order to obtain a higher level clientele. I personally could care less if a burger is $2 or $2.50 or $4.00 instead of $4.50. At either price it is service and trust that will get me coming back. The teens just don't do it. 

In reply to by mkkby

Conscious Reviver slightlyskeptical Tue, 04/03/2018 - 01:30 Permalink

"These operators have pretty much guaranteed themselves they only get to serve the dregs of society."

Dude we're talking about flipping burgers here. Wiping tables and stuff. 

And upthread, minimum wage is not part of Capitalism. But neither is guaranteed profits for to big to fail banks and getting paid 6% interest on printed up paper.

There are so many distortions a collapse and reset is inevitable. 


In reply to by slightlyskeptical

Big Whoop mkkby Mon, 04/02/2018 - 20:54 Permalink

$15 an hour is an absurd wage. Compare that to what someone who trains for years in a technical area gets for working much more than full time (private sector and not government contractor). Cashiers are just plain asking for too much. But they think they deserve it because do-nothing low-skill government workers can get it. Government workers and welfare leeches are corrupting the system.

In reply to by mkkby

roddy6667 mkkby Mon, 04/02/2018 - 21:12 Permalink

Two years ago I stayed at a very nice hotel at Hong Kong Airport. They had a breakfast buffet featuring food from all over the world. I was fascinated by a machine that made fresh pancakes from batter by just pushing a button. I imagine that frozen hamburger patties can be cooked easier. I immediately thought of fast food workers in America being replaced by sanitary, non-complaining machines.

In reply to by mkkby

Cash Is King toady Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:10 Permalink

Probably because anyone with half a brain knows “voters” can’t vote (legaly defended) to force business to spend money. Why not force them all to 100% matching 401K’s? Only markets (labor & competitor) can get the screws out of their wallets.

Was driving through Montana a few years back and (while filling up & enquiring about the local economy) I was talking to a guy at the gas station who said the Burger King down the road was paying over $20 an hour with medical benifits & still couldn’t find enough employees to stay open. That’s a tight fliping mkt!

In reply to by toady

Ophiuchus Ophiuchus Mon, 04/02/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

May the many millions of boys posing as men in Amerika, get what they subconsciously deserve, “female empowerment”!




edit: For those who did not get the opportunity to watch the "State of the Union" address on January 30, you really missed a doozy at the end of the brainless massage. It quickly brought to mind the movie, Idiocracy. The chamber of the united states house of representatives erupted into a Jerry Springeresk chant, USA USA USA USA that carried on nonstop for at least three minutes.  Just like those pulling the strings of the planetary puppet puss oozing so called world leaders, all I could do was laugh out loud, with them............. 

To all those people across the planet expecting the brainless twits in this country to stand up and force change, it's not going to happen.

Imagine watching this ludicrous folly from afar,,,,like Saturn.  

The Guidestones make sense. I'll take Indiana. 

In reply to by Ophiuchus

DRTexas Ophiuchus Mon, 04/02/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

I think about Idiocracy often nowadays.  Especially when The Rock said he was thinking of running for president and the media went wild.

You know you lost a lot of folks here when you referred to the Guidestones.  They do make a lot of sense.  I just want about 100-200 acres with a spring fed creek in Texas.

In reply to by Ophiuchus