McDonald's CEO Abruptly Shifts Stance, Supports Minimum Wage Hike

Illustration for article titled McDonald's CEO Abruptly Shifts Stance, Supports Minimum Wage Hike

Since the fast food worker protests started, McDonald's has always taken an approach of calculated silence towards raising the minimum wage. Given that they sat in the center of the storm when it came to the pay inequality debate, it was inevitable they'd have to say something eventually.

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That happened recently when CEO Don Thompson, at a talk at Northwestern University, came out in support of President Obama's proposed $10.10 wage hike. Granted, his workers have been asking for $15, but that's probably always going to be a non-starter (even though, as HuffPost points out, adjusting for productivity gains and inflation, the minimum wage should actually be $22/hour). "I will tell you we will support legislation that moves forward," reads Thompson's exact quote.

Perhaps more interestingly, in response to the oft-repeated (and psychotically delusional) refrain that paying their workers a living wage would somehow cripple businesses, Thompson took a cue from Planet Obvious:

"McDonald's will be fine," he reportedly told Northwestern. "We'll manage through whatever the additional cost implications are."

McDonald's, of course, tried to spin it whatever douchey way they could. I won't bother to link the full pile of PR bullshit (it's through that link, if you really want to see it), but it mentions the Affordable Care Act and stubbornly continues to raise the spectre of increased costs for franchisees. Fortunately, it appears those cries ring increasingly hollow.

Look, we've been over this more. Businesses can survive paying their workers a living wage. If a portion of the cost has to be off-loaded to consumers, I'm pretty sure most people are OK with paying 20 cents more for a value meal just so the people serving them can afford heat — and those people who aren't OK with shelling out two extra dimes are basically unequivocal monsters. Other countries make it a point to see that their citizens can actually afford to survive, and they're doing just fine — in some cases, way better than we are. Give up the ghost, conservatives.

Image via Getty.

DISCUSSION

aruvqan-myers
aruvqan-myers

IF the stockholders would get their minds around the simple fact that the more they demand in profits, the less the employees can be paid; the less pay and benefits for the employees, the crappier morale and employee quality is; the crappier the employee morale and quality, the shittier customer experience is and the customer goes away; no customer, no profits for the shareholders.

If the employees are treated fairly, they have good morale and the customer experience remains good, the customers spend money and everybody benefits. *costco* is a good example of this.

I am in favor of a living minimum wage, universal health care, paid vacation *and* separate sick days, and no partial pay for restaurant employees - tipping should not be considered part of their wage, they need to be paid full minimum wage or greater, have the same paid vacation and sick days as every other employed person. I also think we need to have a ceiling to executive pay and to stockholder profit - this bit of the CEO getting 300-1000 times the income of the base employee is fucking stupid - the average CEO sits on his ass collecting an insane pay and benefit package and does very little to actually warrant that type of money. It is the midrange executives who handle the day to day running of most companies. The whole practice of 'business management' as taught currently us full of shit. You can not run a company on minimal employees and expect them not to be overworked and burntout, giving sucky customer service and having bad morale because of shitty pay and working conditions. I think that every executive needs to go work as the entry level employee anonymously for a month before they start thinking they are *god* and making stupid management decisions.