... this is poverty pay, leaving those who prep and serve "Happy Meals" for millions of children unable to cover the cost of their own meals and other basics.
So, imagine the joy of crew members (McDonald's congenial moniker for "workers") when word spread down the ranks that the bosses were going to give a financial boost to each of them. At last, a raise!
Ha! A raise for mere workers? Get real. Instead of money, they were given a website. It was like getting socks for Christmas, but not as warm and fuzzy. Actually it was more like getting socked, for the website blames employees themselves for not making ends meet on their meager wages, implying that they're ignoramuses and wastrels who just don't manage their paychecks properly. Each worker needs "to become a better decision-maker," scolds www.PracticalMoneySkills.com. The site instructs them to "spend and save wisely," laying out a day-by-day, item-by-item, budgeting regimen for them.
Wait a second--save? On eight-and-a-quarter an hour?
But the site is not only clueless and condescending, it's also a hoot! For example, in the initial "sample monthly budget (PDF)" proposed by the McScrooges, no spending was allocated for one of life's basic needs: Eating. Good grief, they're in the feeding business, yet they failed to budget for meals! They also included zero money for other real life essentials, including child care and clothing, while proposing impossibly low spending on such basics as health coverage, which was fancifully budgeted at $20 per month (perhaps that's to cover cab fare to the emergency room). ...
McDonald's is hardly alone in running this flimflam, nor is the caper unique to fast food chains, or even to the broader retail sector (Walmart being the pioneer of such outright corporate thievery). Rather, this is the Brave New Future of work that Corporate America is rapidly imposing throughout the economy. From computer barons to college administrators, manufacturing bosses to media executives--a cold, calculatedly mean, self-enriching, ultra-profitable model has taken hold. Workers (including credentialed professionals) are no longer considered human assets to be nurtured, but as line-item costs to be disempowered, manipulated, and (by all means) cut.
What our country's workaday majority is presently experiencing is not some natural economic cycle (a "lagging jobs recovery" as corporate apologists disingenuously term it), but a deliberate, deeply immoral push by a moneyed and powerful elite to entrench widespread inequality as an acceptable social order in this phenomenally wealthy nation. While lashing us with the demand for greater adherence to the work ethic, they are stripping even the most basic ethics out of the workplace. As a New York Times editorial succinctly put it in August, "Americans are increasingly unable to make a living at their jobs. They work harder and are paid less than workers in other advanced countries. And their wages have stagnated even as executive pay has soared." ...
The depth of this industry's moral emptiness was demonstrated last year when McDonald's hierarchs decided to stay open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bad enough that this stole important family time from thousands of employees--but the corporate chiefs (who did not have to work these holidays) decided to go full-Scrooge by decreeing that there would be no overtime pay. It's okay, the bosses rationalized, because "the staff voluntarily signed up to work." Yeah, volunteer--or else!
By staying open on the two holidays and stiffing its workforce, McDonald's banked an estimated $36 million in added revenue--a pittance for a corporation with $27 billion in sales last year. But no level of grubbing for an extra dollar is beneath fast food executives.
A rebellion of restaurant workers is challenging the deplorable low-wage ethic of the fast-food behemoths