Thoughts on the Fast Food Wage Protesters

I’ve had some thoughts on these strikers. There have been protesters with signs demanding a living wage and saying that the minimum wage is equal to poverty. But generally people don’t remain on minimum wage for long. They get raises and promotions,

The unions want the minimum doubled because most, if not all, of their contracts are based on some multiple of the minimum wage.

There is no hope of actually unionizing these workers, there are far too many “management units”. McDonald’s has corporate stores, but it also has far more franchised stores. These franchisees can own one or more stores. Some own quite a few, but most probably own under 10. It would cost far too much to bargain with each of those “management units”, more than the union could possibly collect in dues. Multiply that by all the different fast food outlets and their franchisees and the unions would probably actually go out of business.

The workers that the unions are goading into trying for a doubling of the minimum wage (and hopes of unionization) really don’t realize what that means. It means giving up part of your paycheck for dues and perhaps giving up your entire paycheck because smaller franchisees can’t keep as many employees at the higher wage, or if they do, won’t keep a lot of their customer base due to higher prices. The workers could lose their jobs due to the franchisee going out of business. But unions sound so good, we all hear about the grand union paychecks, and super good benefits…

I think that the sheer number of “management units” is why we haven’t seen food service or retail workers unions before. I’ve heard talk about unionizing the stores in the mall, but it’s always been only talk. And I’ve heard this for decades. There was talk about it when I used to work in stores at malls when I was in high school and just out of high school. Back when minimum wage was $3.25 per hour.

So, I think the main goal of the unions at this time is to get the minimum wage increased because of the ripple effect it will have on their actual members (not these non-member fast food workers).

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