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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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August 29, 2013 - 9:23 am

Unskilled entry-level workers demand double pay without offering more to their employers or customers.

NEW YORK — Beginning a day of protests that organizers say will spread to 50 cities and 1,000 stores across the country, a crowd of chanting workers gathered Thursday morning at a McDonald’s in midtown Manhattan to call for higher wages and the chance to join a union.

About 500 people, including workers, activists, religious leaders, news crews and local politicians, gathered outside the McDonald’s on Fifth Avenue. The protesters chanted “Si Se Puede” (“Yes, We Can”) and “Hey, hey, ho, ho $7.25 has got to go,” holding signs saying “On Strike: Can’t Survive on $7.25,” referring to the federal minimum wage.

The protesters plan to spread out to other stores throughout New York during the day. Protests are also expected in Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., and other cities.

Fast-food customer service is hard work, but it’s entry level. I know, because I’ve done a version of it in my storied career. It’s a skill-developing stepping stone from which an ambitious person should seek a better gig. It’s not an end, it’s a means. If you’re in a job like that, you’re very replaceable and you always will be. Knowing that should motivate a good worker to seek a better job where they will earn more and be harder to replace, not try to squeeze too much out of an-entry level job.

Aside: When was the last time you went to a fast-food restaurant and actually experienced good, friendly service? In my experience, that happens at Chick-fil-A, Sonic, Subway, sometimes Wendy’s, and…really, nowhere else but local franchises. Customer service at national chains is nearly dead — usually surly, slow, and prone to mistakes. They want more money for that? Robots can and probably soon will do the job better. The strikers should think about that.

Obamacare has changed the job market negatively and to some extent trapped workers in part-time underemployment, which is a terrible shame. But the unions that these strikers want to join support Obamacare. Well, they support it until they have to live under it. Then they get exemptions to escape it.

The fast-food industry used to employ mostly younger people just trying to make some extra money as they went through school. Now, workers are older and depend on the work to feed families. Analysis by the Economic Policies Institute shows that the average age of minimum-wage workers is now 35, and that 88% are 20 and older.

That’s sickening. It’s Obama’s McJobs recovery in full flower. It’s a direct result of his anti-jobs policies. This isn’t the fast-food chains’ fault. It’s the fault of Democrats and Big Labor. These dopes are striking against the wrong people and deserve to be fired for stupidity.

Update: Well here’s a genius move. It’s not like Detroit needs jobs or anything. It’s not like unions haven’t already destroyed the city.

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ/AP) - A local McDonald’s restaurant was forced to close after its employees walked out and hundreds gathered outside to protest for higher wages.

Hundreds don’t work at a single McDonald’s. Who are these people — Big Labor goldbrickers or Anthony Weiner-style rent-a-mobs?

The restaurant on 8 Mile and Lahser roads along the Detroit/Southfield city line was just one location locally where fast food workers are participating in a nationwide “walkout for better wages.”

Over 200 protestors crowded the restaurant, carrying signs that read “We are worth more. Strike for 15,” as in $15 an hour.

Why $15? Why not $16, or $20?

More: Upon further review, this is the dumbest strike ever. Typically, workers strike against a specific company to obtain a condition or benefit. The strike puts that company under pressure by impacting its ability to do business. In this case, the strikers only represent a tiny fraction of fast food workers, so there is less pressure applied from the outset. They are striking not against a specific company, but against an entire industry. Thus, there is no one on the other side with whom they can negotiate anything. The target is too diffuse to feel much pressure from this tiny strike. Any fast food chain that does comply with the strike demands may get some good press for a few days, but will have put themselves at a strategic disadvantage relative to their competitors by paying the higher wages, and setting the precedent that they will bow to strike pressure. So fast food chains have built-in disincentives to do anything the strikers want.

Beyond that, most fast food chains do not own most local restaurants. They’re franchises; the chains can’t set wages in franchises even if they wanted to. All this strike is likely to do is speed up the rise of the machines in fast food.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
If I was the owner of that particular McDonald's my response would be to hang a Help Wanted sign in the window.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama owned a company, his workers would look like these strikers.

The man has the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to crap.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
IF they can get fast food positions to $15 an hour, then people worth $15 an hour will seek those positions out. The labor component of the entire industry will change. Fast Food Restaurants will use fewer (but more qualified) people. Fast food positions will be more sought after and will become more competitive. They may get fast food positions to be $15 an hour – but the very zero skill people who are marching in the streets today will no longer qualify for the positions they currently hold.
There is no “free money” available, simply by demanding it. Any time one attempts to artificially influence supply and demand, there are always unintended consequences.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (109)
All Comments   (109)
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You guys keep on calling striking workers lowlifes and losers and "Like"ing comments encouraging that they be fired. We'll get our political revenge in 2014/2016, and that's a PROMISE!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They want more money for that? Robots can and probably soon will do the job better. The strikers should think about that."

Some fast food places are already installing automation - you walk up to a computer screen, enter your order, sit down or wait at the counter, the food is prepared & delivered. Fast food workers are currently getting exactly what they are worth - i.e. what the market will bear. If you FF workers believe you're worth more, then I say go where you can get paid what you're worth - no one's holding a gun to your head to work in a FF restaurant!

I would say the workers at In 'N Out Burger are also generally cheerful & service-oriented. I live in the South, so I've only been to In 'N Out a handful of times but each time, the workers had good attitudes, & were friendly & helpful.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rock, your comment reminded me of discussions I have had with my own employees for over 30 years. When they come to my office and complain that they should be paid more than X amount per hour, mostly because their lifestyle demands a higher income, I remind them that I am paying them what the job is worth to me. If they think they should be making more money, they should go and market themselves elsewhere. Let me know if a different employer in our area thinks your skills are worth significantly more. Another option would be to go to college at night (using our tuition reimbursement program) and develop skills that will make you more valuable.

As you can imagine, hardly any of the whiners wanted to go to the effort of earning a college degree at night. Several did try to market themselves to other employers, but came back to me and said the others paid even less. A couple were so foolish that they left my company to take a lower-paying position somewhere else to "teach ME a lesson." Within a year they were begging for their old jobs back.

I guess you can't fix foolish. Besides, this is all about the SEIU wanting to organize the fast-food industry. I wonder how these same employees will feel when a percentage of their "higher wages" has to be paid to a union?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
So the working class is just a bunch of whiners? I thought you conservatives valued work! Oh I get it now - you just value social hierarchy and obedient arse-kissing to bosses.

Studies have shown that the conservative moral mind places great emphasis on obedience and conformity to established power structures, cultural norms and social hierarchies. That's why I'm a LIBERAL FOR LIFE!!~!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
A local company went on strike, kept pressing for a better deal and in the end, the owners decided it wasn't profitable and too much trouble. The owners decided to sell the company's assets to pay the company's bills and retire. All the workers lost their jobs.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
How many more can be stuffed into the IRS and the TSA?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I knew a member of the SEIU. She worked in a nursing home and her pay was $10.00/hour. Her job was giving baths and to old Alzheimer patients and changing their diapers. I respect the worker very much for doing something I wouldn't do for ten times her pay. The SEIU didn't do very much for that worker.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only mistake, these people are making, is one of scale.

They have fallen for the scam...unionizing at the job and company level. The upper class does not do so, I notice.

What is needed, is an association of employees, that is divided by income. then, strikes could be organized on a state by state basis, or by entire industries. THAT would speak truth to power!

If everone who makes less than $20 an hour, stikes for two months, in certain states, that could send a real message. They would be supported by association members from the other states.

Unions don't cut it anymore. The present generation, needs to realize, that unionization, is the right idea, but it needs to be national, and income based, not employer or industry based. Young people, you have your work cut out for you. The Second New Deal is calling!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Genius, people discovered industrial unions a very long time ago. The Teamsters, the UAW, the IAM, most railway and airline unions are wall-to-wall unions with no craft divisions and covering at least an entire region if not the entire industry nationwide. The CIO in AFL-CIO stands for Congress of Industrial Organizations.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
No no, not an industrial union, an association, of all people who make a certain income. 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc., a section for each level.

Strikes would be done on a statewide level, the People on strike would be supported by the members of all the other states.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's describing a worker's revolution. So everyone gets paid more, but the money's worthless and there's nothing worth buying. I've seen stores in the Worker's Paradise. Filled with lots of empty shelves. In a typical grocery store in one of the Marxist countries I was in there were no brands—all items in the store were generic. The items with almost no variation were: bar soap, powdered soap, coffee, tea, canned tomatoes, canned carrots, potatoes, hard salami sausage, something that looked similar to bologna sausage, 1 liter bottles of unlabeled beer, yellow cheese, white cheese, bread and maybe two or three other things. Because I was a foreigner staying in Komsomol housing, I could also go to the "special" stores that had nearly everything our grocery stores have.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't confuse America with Russia.

Not a workers revolution, but a guaranteed minimum income, as proposed by that commie, Milton Friedman.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unions are just another tax. Unions kill jobs. Unions send jobs to China.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
That made no sense.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Xiaoding is very keen on sending jobs to China. China itself, however, will soon be exporting jobs to Vietnam, or Bangladesh, or Zambia - without ever becoming the source of the industry. The US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, even the UK will still be where the inventions happen, not China.

Currently, the Chinese build everything, but invent nothing.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
They used to say that about the Japanese "inventing nothing". Learn to build and then learn to invent.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can try to spin this for some kind of political point....it won't hunt. This is not a political issue, in the sense of one party vs another. It's the future, vs the past. Both parties, are the past.

The Democrats posit solutions from the 1940's, and the Republicans object, as those solutions violate principles from the 1840's.

Blather on, this useless piece of propoganda convinces no one.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was even more incoherent.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking of blathering... something about pots and kettles comes to mind.

Your tirade is as tired as a rusty sickle & hammer.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ha. Xiaoding's future is just tired, muddled political nonsense from 1848.

I would rather watch others succeed and exceed than have us all pushed down equally.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, the advocate for North Korea speaks again, I see.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I ate fast food 3 times today, just to stick it to these idiots who want half of what my HIGHLY trained husband makes, for doing a monkey job.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking of monkey jobs, I also see monkeys taking care of their kids, sometimes with more compassion than humans.

You are insulting people who are at least working, instead of leeching off another person, sitting on the floor playing with the kids, and watching "The View" and "Dr. Phil" all day. And when your kids are in school, you will likely continue the parasite existence with some new justification.

And who cares about your vicarious identification with your "highly trained" husband. What have YOU done of any note?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope the strike lasts a long time. It will benefit the health of Americans. Obesity rates will plummet
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is an example of the liberal impulse to turn everything into a welfare program, little understanding that paying people for nothing or overpaying them will bankrupt the economy. McDonald's, nor any employer, owes you a living. The way to make a living wage is not to extort money from your employer, like Tony Soprano, until they are wrung dry but rather to acquire marketable skills that pay more.

McDonald's is the biggest first employer of unskilled labor in the US. Young, inexperienced workers learn valuable skills there like showing up for work, taking orders, courtesy, and discipline. From that first rung of the work ladder, they can ascend to the next rung.

Instead of whining about wanting more pay, how about they stop wasting all of our time protesting and put their effort into earning it?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe they're doing all they can, and a little compassion wouldn't really hurt. Why haven't you gotten further in your life, Steve Gregg?

"Working your way up the rungs of a ladder" sounds great, and I bought it when I was young, but I see something very different when I really look at society. I majored in engineering then law and worked my butt off. Guess who is by far the richest person in my extended family? That would be a woman who has never worked a day in her life. Great settlement from Hubby No. 1, Hubby No. 2 died, and she fleeced Hubby No. 3 (stealing his children's inheritance) after he got Alzheimer's disease. I'd bet that she is also several million richer than you, Steve Gregg.

If you want a meritocracy in the US, you could quit taxing people who WORK and start taxing leeches, criminals and the rest. You could start looking down on the Patricia Kluges of the world (1 billion settlement, now bankrupt). You could appreciate anyone who really WORKS. Fast food is really hard work.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Re:
"The strikers should think about that."...[i.e....robots can do that work].....

Can't resist typing here that entry-level fast food workers aren't thinkers; and separately it'd be interesting to know if a basic future vote-registering-getting-effort on the part of Democrats and unionists isn't behind this strange "strike" by these uneducated entry level folks.

The is the Liberals' generalized "entitlement" mode gone crazy. These young folks are simply being manipulated.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wherre is the morality, in your statement?

"Can't resist typing here that entry-level fast food workers aren't thinkers;"

Are you saying, that the less intelligent, deserve to starve? To live a second class life? Are less human, in some way?

You are superior, and that entitles you to some kind of predation?



47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
It means that less intelligent workers provide less value, so they get paid less.

Which goes back to the original point of the article which was that striking for higher wages, as well as advocating food-service unions, is idiotic. If someone is worth $12 or $15 an hour, they'll get it. Restaurants are desperate for good cooks, servers, and bartenders. Even a good host can make a big difference.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It means that less intelligent workers provide less value, so they get paid less. "

Which begs the question, less value, to who? The employer, for one. So, if all we are considering, is the economic question, the answer is as you stated.

But, the question of value, is more than an economic one. This is what the right, and the left, is in denial about. There is more to life than the economy. like God, for instance. Remember God?

If we continue to ignore the poor, be assured, He will remember us!



46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there an English translation of your comment available?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where's the thinking in your statement?

Go post your dialectical nonsense elsewhere.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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