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Ex-CEO of McDonald's warns Obamacare forcing all employees into 25-hour work weeks

Friday, August 30, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: McDonald''s, Obamacare, work hours

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(NaturalNews) Driven by left-wing propagandists and anti-corporate advocates, there is a movement afoot to force companies to pay low-skill employees better than many college graduates.

The "service" industry - those who make the beds, serve the food, take the orders, sweep the floors - has been especially targeted by these social engineers and change artists, who have convinced these people that they should be paid double and, in some cases, triple the minimum wages they are currently earning.

Between that and Congress imposing stiff new health insurance requirements - a.k.a. Obamacare - onto the backs of beleaguered employers, it is little wonder there isn't as much hiring going on as there should be.

Double whammy of higher wages and Obamacare

The dilemmas facing companies - demands for unreasonable wages and government overregulation - was summed up recently by the former CEO of McDonald's, Ed Rensi, who is the founder and current owner of Tom & Eddies Gourmet Burgers and Shakes, during an interview on the barely-watched MSNBC.

Asked why companies as profitable as McDonald's don't pay workers more, Rensi replied that, while he believed minimum wages should probably be adjusted, there were limitations to doing so, as well as unintended consequences - such as the creation of additional unemployment.

"You might be surprised to know that I actually think the minimum wage needs to be adjusted," he told host Chris Heyes. "It should be adjusted over time for inflation, it should be state by state, the federal number needs to go up periodically."

But, Rensi added, "One thing we have to keep in mind, we are gonna go to an extreme, from $7.50, $8.00 an hour, to $15 to $16 to $25 an hour...it's going to be inflationary, there's going to be people who are going to lose their jobs, because all large corporations, I don't care who they are, have resources to overcome that."

"What scares me," he continued, "is all the small business people in the United States - restaurants, for example - the average restaurant only operates on 4.6 percent profit, with 30 percent wages. I don't begrudge anybody having an opportunity for success, but minimum wage-level jobs have always been entry-level positions. They are jobs, not careers."

Heyes tried to say that many of the people with the entry-level jobs are actually doing them as careers, and that, you know, they don't have any choice because there aren't any better paying jobs to get. So using that logic, he says they should be compensated much better for the service industry, bottom-level, unskilled positions they currently hold.

Not at all, Rensi said. If the minimum wage were increased from $7.50 to $15, "that will put 20 percent" of workers out of work, because most companies (which are small businesses, by the way) couldn't afford it.

What else is driving down employment, Rensi said, is Obamacare.

Not 'anecdotal'

"Let me tell you why [the low wage] jobs are increasing like crazy right now," he said. "The new Affordable Health Care Act is causing restaurants and small businesses to limit the number of hours their employees are working."

Continuing, he said, "I saw a memo...from a company that's got about a thousand restaurants [and they] just told all their people to not schedule anybody over 25 hours a week. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy."

Heyes tried to refute Rensi's claim, dismissing it as "anecdotal evidence," but the fact is, companies have been moving to limit workers to part time hours practically since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld much of the law.

Even local governments are cutting workers' hours because of Obamacare.

"Many cash-strapped cities and counties facing the prospect of shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars in new health-care costs under the Affordable Care Act are opting instead to reduce the number of hours their part-time employees work," the Washington Post reported.

"It's not something we prefer to do, but the cost of health insurance is significant and would really impact municipal budgets," said Anthony Mercantante, Middletown's township administrator. "It's not something we can take on, particularly when we don't know some of the other ramifications of the Affordable Care Act. There are far more questions than answers right now."

Doesn't sound "anecdotal" to me, Chris.





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