Friday, August 30, 2013

Fast-Food Strike: Dumb Strike, or the Dumbest Strike Ever? (Update: It’s the Dumbest Strike Ever)

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.
Via: PJ Media
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