Wage Strikes Planned at Fast-Food Outlets

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/02/business/economy/wage-strikes-planned-at- fast-food-outlets-in-100-cities.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
"Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald?s, Wendy?s and other fast-foo d restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fa st-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thur sday and protest activities in 100 additional cities.
As the movement struggles to find pressure points in its quest for substant ially higher wages for workers, organizers said strikes were planned for th e first time in cities like Charleston, S.C.; Providence, R.I.; and Pittsbu rgh.
The protests have expanded greatly since November 2012, when 200 fast-food workers engaged in a one-day strike at more than 20 restaurants in New York City, the first such walkout in the history of the nation?s fast-food in dustry.
?There?s been pretty huge growth in one year,? said Kendall Fells, on e of the movement?s main organizers. ?People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to c ontinue to grow.?
The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers ? including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors ? that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.
The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without t he threat of retaliation.
Officials with the National Restaurant Association have said the one-day st rikes are publicity stunts. They warn that increasing pay to $15 an hour wh en the federal minimum wage is $7.25 would cause restaurants to rely more o n automation and hire fewer workers.
Industry officials say that only a small percentage of fast-food jobs pay t he minimum wage and that those are largely entry-level jobs for workers und er 25.
Backers of the movement for higher pay point to studies saying that the ave rage age of fast-food workers is 29 and that more than one-fourth are paren ts raising children.
Simon Rojas, who earns $8.07 an hour working at a McDonald?s in South Cen tral Los Angeles, said he would join Thursday?s one-day strike.
?It?s very difficult to live off $8.07 an hour,? said Mr. Rojas, 23, noting that he is often assigned just 20 or 25 hours of work a week. ?I h ave to live with my parents. I would like to be able to afford a car and an apartment.?
Mr. Rojas said he had studied for a pharmacy technician?s certificate, bu t he had been unable to save the $100 needed to apply for a license.
On Aug. 29, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week ?s expanded protests will be joined by numerous community, faith and stud ent groups, including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops."
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On Mon, 2 Dec 2013 23:27:57 -0800 (PST), jon_banquer

======================This bourgeoisie B/S goes back to at least the gilded age* of Hanna/McKinley and the robber barons when the workers at last began to unionize and push back. The only thing missing is blaming "outside agitators" for stirring up trouble among the contented masses on the plantation.
It is highly dangerous delusion and rationalization, and an insult to anyone who has studied history**.
From the gilded age: “The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for—not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to who God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of this country. . .” George F. Baker of Philadelphia and Reading Coal & Iron July 1 1902 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Fisher_Baker http://archive.org/stream/yearsofplunderfi00hansrich/yearsofplunderfi00hansrich_djvu.txt
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Age
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_history_of_the_United_States
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My prediction: in 15 years, the average number of employees at a McDonalds fast food restaurant will be between 1 and 2. Everything else will be automated. There is no reason to have so many people there working.
i
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On Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:54:01 -0600, Ignoramus19407

Absolutely. My buddy in LoCal is automating factories all around Sandy Eggo county now. He's done hard candy factories, chocolate factories, digital embroidery factories, and is now working (for the past 6 months) on a soap factory automation scheme. He says the average loss of employees is over 50%, with some at 90%. One guy receives shipping and loads the hoppers, and presses the GO button while the other guy stacks boxed product, ships stuff out, and answers the phone.
Fast food will come entirely premade with none of this silly "Have It Your Way" crap to interfere with the profits. It's not like the fast food addicts will have any say, just as smokers don't have any say as to the 140 different chemicals, pesticides, and known carcinogens used on their tobacco. Viva Monsanto! <cringe>
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Premade fast food has been around for a while, as White Castle and AdvancePierre frozen burgers in the grocery store. http://www.advancepierre.com/Divisions/Foodservice.aspx
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On Tue, 3 Dec 2013 11:10:13 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Yabbut, at which _drive-thru_ can you buy one?
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 10:49:56 AM UTC-5, Larry Jaques wrote:

I think you are wrong. I think you will be able to place your order via yo ur phone and have it made exactly how you like it as well as have it timed so it is ready about 30 seconds after you arrive. Should be no problem to have a program that will custom cook burgers and have them hot off the gril l at any specified time.
Dan
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I agree up to here.

Not true. With an automated burger line, you can order your food the way you like, with extra ketchup, cheese or whatever, and the machine will not forget and mess up the order like people do.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Not at all. Automation is quite capable of assembling your burger without pickles if that's what you order. The food will not come pre-made from some far away factory, the components will arrive the same as they do now and will simply be prepared and assembled by machines instead of the current low skill workers who usually screw up the order anyway.
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Exactly. At our McDonalds, they screw up 40-50% of my orders, in various ways.
i
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wrote:

I still feel that costs are too high to accommodate choice and that fast food will continue to reduce labor while automating the end store with trucked, complete foods. Time will tell which of us is correct.
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On Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:54:01 -0600, Ignoramus19407

In Singapore McDonalds hires retired people and has variable shifts so that they can pretty much work when they want to. I talked to one elderly woman working on the counter and she told me that she was retired and really liked McDonalds as they let her work 4 hours a day, 3 days a week.
Singapore has no minimum wage law and I suppose that these old people were paid less than someone supporting a family but the point is that they liked to work there and appeared to be happy with the pay.
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Ignoramus19407 wrote:

Absolutely true. They already automate much of the drink dispensing, much like starsucks uses super auto espresso machines that require no skill to operate. All of these fast food / fast beverage places can readily be automated to a much higher degree.
Beyond that, the minimum wage is nothing but a vote buying scam. Raising the minimum wage simply triggers a cascade effect of economic rebalancing such that the minimum wage worker is back to exactly the same hours worked to buying power ratio as where they started after six months to a year. The numbers on the pay check are larger, but it still takes the same number of work hours to buy the same products as before.
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"Pete C." wrote:

A lot of long time restaurants and fast food places have closed around here. Some were due to the downturn in new home construction, but some just could no longer stay competitive and closed down. I saw another one a few days ago. The property owner locked them out because they were $26,000 behind on their lease payments. The prior tenant was a Blockbuster store that went out of business.
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Restaurants are constantly going out of business, this has been true forever.
i
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:36:12 AM UTC-5, F. George McDuffee wrote:

I think your statement is an insult to anyone who has taken Economics in college. One of the basic tenants is that if you raise the price of something there is less demand for it. ie If you raise the cost of labor, there will be less demand for labor.
If raising the minimum wage to $15 / hour is good, why is raising it to $100 an hour bad? The answer is that the effects of raising the minimum wage are obvious if you raise it to $100 / hour.
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Follow-up
Earth calling McDonalds -- Earth calling McDonalds
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/06/newser-mcdonalds-fast-food-protest/3890393/ <snip> As fast food workers walked off the job in 100 cities Thursday amid demands for higher pay, the fast food giant thought it was a good idea to dish out some holiday tip suggestions to its employees — like how much to tip your massage therapist or pool cleaner. Posted on its employee resource website, the now-deleted suggestions, including one week's pay for your au pair, add up to hundreds of dollars or more — pretty steep for employees who largely earn just above minimum wage, NBC News reports, though it notes the guide also said to tip based on "your budget." <snip> Other helpful budget tips from McDonald's included its suggestions that McDonald's employees get a second job and sell their stuff to raise extra cash. <snip>
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that's just silly. Wages are determined by supply and demand. Businesses raise wages until they get all the jobs filled. As long as immigrants, legal or illegal, feel that they're better off at McDonalds than their previous job, the wages wont' rise. Artificially forcing wages to rise just attracts more people from lower wage jobs. And it raises prices so the people whose jobs have been taken can't afford 'em.
People come here for a better life, take American jobs, then bitch that it's not better enough. Send 'em back to their own country so we can recover this one. Supply and demand will fix it.
If you can't live on McDonalds wages, you have the wrong job. I'm unwilling to pay $20 for a burger so you can have a car. And I'm really annoyed that I have to learn Spanish so I can have it my way.
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On Tue, 03 Dec 2013 11:22:47 -0800, mike

<snip>
Thanks for the explication/demonstration of how unrestricted/illegal immigration "short-circuits" the tacit assumptions required for the "free market" and law of supply and demand to benignly / productively operate, as envisioned by the neo-cons and "Washington Consensus" fanatics, but which operationally results in a Kamikaze race to the bottom. FWIW -- this also applies for the higher paying jobs such as programmers and engineers, e.g. H1b.
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I do not think that a McDonalds franchisee can hire an illegal immigrant.
Additionally, illegal immigrants are people too and they need to eat.
i
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