Originally published April 3 2015
McDonald's wage protestors claim they will "stop selling drugs, stop murdering, robbing, raping and killing" when they get $15/hour
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Does the guarantee of a civil society come with a price? Apparently so, at least in restive Detroit -- and that "price" is 15 bucks an hour.
According to CBS Detroit, recent protests at a local McDonald's brought this guarantee by the organizer, Rev. W. J. Rideout III: "If we want people to stop selling drugs, stop murdering, robbing, raping and killing... then we have to pay them something to keep them vitalized and civilized."
The protest came on the heels of actions by McDonald's to raise wages by $1 an hour, boost vacation time and offer additional education benefits for employees in non-franchise stores.
It wasn't enough; local cashiers and cooks marched to a restaurant to protest anyway as part of the "Fight for $15" movement that has been initiated and sustained largely by organized labor in recent months.
"Their slogan is 'I'm Loving It,'" Rideout said, referring to McDonald's current advertising campaign. "We're not loving $9 an hour. We're not loving $8 an hour. We're loving $15 and a union."
Recent increases still not enough
Some of the protesters who went to the W. McNichols and Livernois location in Detroit said the current wage isn't enough to take care of their basic responsibilities.
"It's either rent or a light bill. It's one or the other with $8.15. I can't do that," Lawanda Williamson of Detroit told the local CBS affiliate, which further reported:
Beginning on July 1, McDonald's says starting wages will be a dollar more than the local minimum wage where company-owned restaurants are located. By the end of 2016, it said the average hourly wage for McDonald's workers at those stores will be more than $10 an hour, up from $9 an hour.
The boost comes after more than 12 states and a number of U.S. cities passed legislation forcing businesses to pay employees higher minimum wages, according to the National Employment Law Project.
At its company-owned locations, McDonald's says workers who have been on the job for at least a year with an average of 20 hours per week will be able to accrue about 20 hours of paid time off each year.
"We are acting with a renewed sense of energy and purpose to turn our business around," said McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook in a press release. "We know that a motivated workforce leads to better customer service so we believe this initial step not only benefits our employees, it will improve the McDonald's restaurant experience. We'll continue to evaluate opportunities that will make a difference for our people."
But apparently those wages and benefits still won't be enough to curb crime and murder in the Motor City; only $15 an hour, and a union card, will do that -- right?
Unions making deals that actually hurt workers
There are several factors at play here that the leaders of this $15-an-hour movement are either unaware of or are purposefully ignoring. They include:
-- Forcing businesses to pay a high minimum wage costs jobs. As noted by the Congressional Budget Office in 2014, raising the federal minimum wage might help some workers but will cost many their jobs.
As reported by USA Today:
President Obama's call to raise the federal minimum wage could help lift 900,000 workers out of poverty, but at a cost of as many as 500,000 jobs, according to an analysis released today by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
The Left argues that lower pay results in higher costs to taxpayers in the form of additional government benefits like food stamps and rent assistance. But as the CBO figures note, more losers than winners are created by forcing companies to pay more in wages than they can afford.
And, there is the rising trend of automation, which will further reduce employment.
-- Labor unions are in favor of higher minimum wage laws because many of them include waivers with states and cities that allow businesses to bargain with labor unions to pay their members below minimum wage.
Here's how it works, according to the Washington Examiner:
The waivers are a good deal for the business, which gets lower labor costs, and the union, which gets more members. It's not such a good deal for the workers, though, since they would be paid less than the minimum wage and would be obligated to join the union and pay it membership dues or, if they decline to join, at least pay it a representation fee.
Can you say "selfish interests"?
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