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Post Reply Would you support $15 an hour wages at fast food restaurants?
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M / USA
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 6/30/15
So there are fast food workers striking in order to be able to get $15 an hour wages and be able to unionize.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Would you as a customer, be willing to pay more for your meal in order for the workers there to be able to have a higher standard of living? Why or why not? What do you think the pros and cons are for them earning a higher wage?

Here are a few articles to get you familiar with this topic in case you have no idea what's going on.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-28/news/sns-rt-us-usa-restaurants-strike-20130828_1_minimum-fast-food-companies-jobs

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-29/fast-food-strikes-expand-across-u-s-to-50-cities.html

http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/29/news/fast-food-strikes/
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25 / M / Missouri
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 6/30/15
No I would not support it. It's completely idiotic. In my state at least. That is quite a bit of money in Missouri. 2 or 3 people can easily live off 20k a year in this state if you spend your money wisely. And still have room for luxury. And I honestly don't think people working in a fast food restaurant deserve 15 an hour. I worked in one when I was younger. It was easy and required very little skill. Work worth around 8-10 dollars max. That's in Missouri though. States where things are more expensive.. Sure.. I guess.
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30 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 6/30/15
Not a chance. Fast food takes borderline no actual outside of maybe basic math if you work a register (and even then they have buttons for 5$, 10$, etc. to do the math for you).

There's no way they deserve double minimum wage.

The solution is to make yourself better and get out of the fast food cycle, as mean and cruel as it sounds. And I know the response is probably going to be "what about the single mother of 3 kids" or some other form of an extreme example, but it's the life choices you make that you have to own up to and live with yourself.

A con to all of this is that fast food is typically considered a teenage entry level job to get experience, that sort of thing. The inflation that would cause (because consider the other jobs that would require a specialization of some sort that get 12$ or 11$ an hour that would demand more because they have specialization in that field) would be catastrophic.

Besides, these people are asking like 50% over the poverty threshold. Not that they should make barely enough to live in poverty, but asking for double minimum wage is absurd.
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Posted 8/30/13
$15 is a little much. I would support a more realistic view like $10, honestly if you raise it by $7 to $15 thats just a bit crazy. (FYI right now in florida it is $7.79 minimum)
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51 / M / Hawai'i
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 6/30/15
They are probably asking for that much so there's money to give to their union.
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 6/30/15
Not for fast food
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28 / M / NY
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Posted 8/30/13
I said other because I think it's up to the restaurant owner to reward his/her employees with a wage matching their efforts, or lack their of. Some employees are very diligent and should be making $15/hr while others are barely worth the minimum wage they get. Also, I think the whole union idea is ludicrous in regards to fast food. Unionized workers would have to pay the union a due off their paycheck inflating prices unnecessarily for consumers. Less diligent workers would also have an easier time milking the employer by not working as hard because the union has their back.

Businesses exist to make profit and if we regulate them to pay more money to ALL employees, regardless of individual efforts, we ensure their profit margins will dissipate, and thus the cost of goods and services will rise to compensate. Shareholders want to see their investment make a return and will jump ship if profits suddenly fall due to new regulations. This means less investment capital for the business to expand and experiment in the marketplace and therefore stagnation followed by decline. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, a give and a take. In this scenario workers win at first but consumers lose in the long run as prices go up. Additionally workers may lose their job if the company has to downsize due to the added cost of their wages hurting profits enough.

tl;dr: $15/hr is fine if the worker deserves it, but it's the responsibility of the employer to reward diligent employees with a wage that matches their effort. Unions will complicate things greatly and probably will have a negative effect on the business.
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30 / M / usa
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Posted 8/30/13 , edited 8/30/13
15 an hour for high school kids to serve fries???? anyone ever hear of college and hard work to land a job that pays good............ but on another note I do support unions in fast food ive been union for 7 years and seen many jobs saved when the company deems you cheaper to replace than keep fast foods deserve more than minimum wage with crappy raises but double seams a little high, if they win maybe I should try to double my wage
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22 / M / Florida
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Posted 8/30/13
That's too much. I think $9 is more reasonable.
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M / USA
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Posted 8/31/13
I voted no as well. The reason being is that while I think their cause is noble, I don't think they're planning or even looking at long term effects of what they're demanding.

Sure, they might get more money at first. But eventually profits from the restaurants are going to start shrinking, either because they have to raise the cost of goods, which will turn some people away (I'm sure you wouldn't want to spend $10-15 on a combo meal, or $5 for a small burger). Or if by chance the business is still the same (people are still eating there a lot), the cost of employees is going to eat into profits, which for most places are probably already kind of small as it is.

The workers probably just see the headline "Parent corporation makes $10 billion in profits", and automatically think they should get that money. Of course they probably don't realize that the number was from every restaurant, not just theirs.

In reality, their restaurant probably only made $20,000 in profit. Or worse, their restaurant lost money again for the fourth year in a row. It doesn't take a genius to see that if you run a business and are constantly losing money year after year, eventually you're going to become bankrupt and have to close it down.

What this means is that many of those employees are going to be laid off because the owner/manager simply can't afford to keep that many people on staff. Or if they compromise, those employees will probably get 10-15 hours a week, tops. Which means they either don't make any money at all, or they're going to end up making the same amount, albeit working less hours. And if they do lay people off, the remaining workers are going to have to pick up the slack, which probably means they're going to mess up a lot of orders and not care, which will hurt business even more if it happens too much.

Some of the articles online about this topic mention that many of the workers are single, young women in their 20's with 2-3 kids trying to making a living working there. You can probably already see some of the problems with that statement already.

Like others have mentioned, these types of jobs are meant for teenagers to get their feet wet in how businesses work. If you plan to make a career there, and aren't a manager, then don't expect to get much. Go back to school, learn at a trade school and pick up valuable skills, and then go work somewhere else that pays better. If you feel you're stuck, so why bother, then your first problem is that you already gave up trying.

Or at the very least, be more realistic about your demand. Asking for maybe a $1-2 wage increase is more realistic, and probably achievable, but I seriously hope they also start planning to get an education so they can get a better job too.
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52 / M / In
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Posted 8/31/13
yes but I bet they will still get my order wrong
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25 / M / Yamaku Academy
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Posted 8/31/13
yes
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19 / M / California
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Posted 8/31/13
Good Luck if u think that if u strike and start a union you'll earn $15 an hour
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22 / F / New York
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Posted 8/31/13
I support whatever the market would dictate. Labor unions and minimum wage laws prevent the actual value of labor from being reflected in paid wages. Nobody is entitled to a specific dollar amount for their work, particularly if that work is unskilled. $15 dollar wages are unsustainable for a market with such narrow profit margins, and these unions would end up killing the corporations they're seeking to exploit. Hostess was an excellent example of how striking indigent workers could destroy a company through a lack of understanding of micro and macro economics. If fast food restaurants are foolish enough to allow this kind of striking to occur, which I doubt they will be, you'll be seeing plenty of franchises closing.
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X / Rochester, NY
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Posted 8/31/13 , edited 2/14/15
HELL no.

EMT's here SAVE LIVES, They make between 10$ and 14 dollars an hour!!!
If you're telling me that in this country, fast food is valued more than life saving, I'm moving to Canada. -.-

(PS, yes, I know what I am talking about with EMT salaries since I'm with a fire department in my city.)
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