Burger Flippers of the World, Unite! The Drive to Unionize Fast-Food Workers
A burger or pizza joint can't stay in business long if the workers are earning $15 an hour.
November 29, 2012 - 5:04 pm
It may be less — if management cuts back on the workforce and many workers’ dreams of making $15 an hour end up on the sidewalk. And there would be a big push to automate a lot of jobs now performed by humans. Many full-time workers would be moved to part-time and the pace of franchise openings would slow considerably.
And how “fast” would “fast food” really be in a union shop? Moving people in and out in the least amount of time has a hefty impact on profit margins. Work rules that would slow that process down and affect productivity would lead to smaller profits and fewer new hires for the franchisee.
There is no doubt that some people are forced by lack of education, skill, intelligence, or ambition to work in a fast-food restaurant. But these jobs were never meant to be careers. At best, they work as entry-level jobs for kids and young adults. They teach them life skills that will hold them in good stead when they are ready to go out in the world and get a “real” job.
Unionization will destroy these opportunities for teens, as most of those jobs will go to adults who need the union wages to stay out of the poor house. What is gained by paying a “living wage” to low-skilled, unmotivated workers will be lost on the other end when young people first starting out find opportunities to learn how to work closed to them.