Can Minimum Wage Fight Succeed By Shaming McDonald’s?
Fast-food workers have been continuing the fight for an increased minimum wage with protests in Washington and outside the of McDonald’s headquarters — where 100 of the 2,000 protestors were arrested. Workers, 325 of which marched in their uniforms, according to Bloomberg, are demanding an increase to $15 an hour. The U.S. headquarters shut down and had its own employees work from home to avoid traffic from protestors. “The closing reflects McDonald’s refusal to address the growing concerns of workers and failure to take action to raise wages,” said Deivid Rojas, the communications director for Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, according to Bloomberg.
“For the last four years that I’ve worked for McDonald’s, I was expected to count my cash register before clocking in. I also have to count my cash register after clocking out. This took about 20-30 minutes everyday. McDonald’s has literally been stealing my wages and my time every day for the last four years,” said Adriana Alvarez, an employee at McDonald’s and mother, according to Fight For $15, of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago.
This isn’t the first scandal that McDonald’s has had to deal with in recent years; the company has been criticized for it’s targeting of young children in ads, as well as for its unhealthy food and health effects in the past. The CEO, Don Thompson, attempted to address both at a meeting held on Thursday, with protestors yelling outside the building. “We are people,” said Thompson, according to The Associated Press. “We do have values at McDonald’s. We are parents.” He also noted that his own children have eaten the food growing up and turned out fine, and added to the recent McDonald’s emphasis on quality ingredients used in making their food. “We believe we pay fair and competitive wages,” he said. He claimed that the company provides many jobs, and “real careers” for many. He also discussed the issue of children and health at the shareholder meeting where one mother said that Ronald McDonald is “the Joe Camel of fast-food.”