Patterico's Pontifications

9/2/2014

Fast Food Workers Taking Action — And That Action May Surprise You!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Then again, it might not.

Fast food workers across the country believe they are underpaid — so they are planning some action. They intend to band together and work extra hard for a week, to increase sales and productivity, and show their employers that they are worth more than they are currently being paid.

Sorry, my bad. Actually, they’re planning civil disobedience:

The next round of strikes by fast-food workers demanding higher wages is scheduled for Thursday, and this time labor organizers plan to increase the pressure by staging widespread civil disobedience and having thousands of home-care workers join the protests.

The organizers say fast-food workers — who are seeking a $15 hourly wage — will go on strike at restaurants in more than 100 cities and engage in sit-ins in more than a dozen cities.

But by having home-care workers join, workers and union leaders hope to expand their campaign into a broader movement.

“On Thursday, we are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15,” said Terrence Wise, a Burger King employee in Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the fast-food workers’ national organizing committee. At a convention that was held outside Chicago in July, 1,300 fast-food workers unanimously approved a resolution calling for civil disobedience as a way to step up pressure on the fast-food chains.

Imagine if they showed this kind of commitment and resolve to doing their jobs well.

44 Responses to “Fast Food Workers Taking Action — And That Action May Surprise You!”

  1. I talked to a Mexican who works at such a place about Rahm’s election year squirrel. He is already getting paid more than the proposed minimum wage. He’s a good worker, at a good place, with a good product, at a convenient location. He is part of the package.

    nk (dbc370)

  2. “hold the pickles hold the lettuce, between your knees, it won’t upset us, all we demand is that you pay us a living wage… have it our way, have it our way, have it our way or else pound sand.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. I wonder if we aren’t to the point where civil disobedience is mostly counter-productive. I remember the UCLA kids a few years back who chained themselves together and blocked a busy intersection on Wilshire Boulevard during rush hour all in the name providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. As I recall, reaction to that tactic was overwhelmingly negative. Perhaps the purpose isn’t so much to win over hearts and minds as it is to seek attention from liberal politicians in which case it might have been a qualified success, but I have a feeling that most civil disobedience is just a nostalgia trip for 1960s burnouts and the clueless young leftists who think those was some sort of glory days for activism. But all of it has the ugly stench of “look at me!” solipsism.

    JVW (638245)

  4. I’m all for a $15/hr. minimum wage for fast food workers. The fact that I’m a mechanical engineer with interests in robotics and automation have nothing to do with it.

    http://momentummachines.com/

    JNorth (3adc09)

  5. I’m confident that it’s an election year issue. Both sides should just lie through their teeth and say they support it; both giving a nod and a wink to their respective big-money donors. When it comes time for Durbin to actually vote on it, Warren Buffet (he’s big in fast food, isn’t he?) will just waive his pinky ring and the issue will be replaced with the debate over red-headed, Tibetan, lesbian, transsexual, pituitary dwarves in the Green Berets on the nightly news.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Greetings:

    Of course that would be 21st Century Progressive “civil disobedience”, not that Emerson and Thoreau kind with its inconvenient penalties and such. We evolved, you know. So now its more like “do the crime but don’t do the time”. It’s a subpart of Attorney General Holder’s “My People” program.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  7. Meanwhile China has pledged to produce thousands of industrial robots.

    Doesn’t anyone working at McD’s et al see the convergence of opposing
    forces?

    They already have prototypes undergoing testing to be the first fast
    food ATM.

    In the course of history, menial, repetitive, hazardous tasks have
    consistently been replaced first by slaves then by electro mechanical devices.

    Beep beep boop boop:: May I take your order sir/ma’am? :: Bzzzt

    jakee308 (ba1e65)

  8. They already have prototypes undergoing testing to be the first fast
    food ATM.

    Like to see the Labor Relations Board define them as employees of the parent fast food company, or activists try to unionize of robots.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  9. what these people are agitating for amounts to a giant subsidy for companies working on the development of qsr automation technologies

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. which is to say it’s not unlikely they’ll be able to charge more for their technology than they otherwise would if these lil agitators get their way

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  11. The LA City Council passed a law setting a “living wage” for airport hotel employees. I attend an annual business conference at a LAX-are hotel. Imagine my surprise last year to see that the parking lot attendants (some of whom had been there for years) have all been fired and the gates all automated.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  12. having thousands of home-care workers join the protests.

    So they are going to let grandma lie in her poop all day instead of getting changed?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  13. MD – yes

    JD (2d6674)

  14. i know it’s obvious but let’s lay it out

    these astroturfed protests with the fast food losers are of the same cloth as the phony occupy movement what was ginned up by the Democracy Alliance

    we have an exceedingly feeble president who needs gobs of such help

    so they create this phony movement and president food stamp in turn exploits it

    Obama Renews Call to Increase Pay Floor

    it’s all coordinated and very very phony

    not to be taken seriously except as a sign that president food stamp genuinely needs these sort of training wheels on his presidency

    he can’t rise to the challenge of dealing with the reality of sad pitiful declining America, so they gin up an alternate reality for him to engage

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. Instead of paying them according to what they produce, pay them according to how much money they need to overbreed. Is that about it?

    CrustyB (69f730)

  16. JD, I don’t think that is going to work out too well…

    But, it does give the opportunity to comment on a similar theme,
    the governor of NY, and by proxy all of the people who voted for him and those who could have but didn’t vote against him,
    said that he didn’t want pro-life, not pro-SS people in his state.

    It would be interested to see what would happen if they all decided to stay home one Wednesday
    I know 2 docs in NY state who treat patients in no-affluent areas,
    all of the docs, nurses, nurses aids, trash collectors, policemen, firemen, cashiers, etc., etc. not showing up for work to show what the state would be like if they all left as he wished.

    Now, leftists might do that, but conservatives will not, because it would hurt people.
    I am not in NY, so it is easy for me to make the suggestion-
    maybe someone should make some buttons;
    “I’m one of those pro-lifers that the governor wants to leave the state.”,
    and everyone wear them one day, en masse, instead.

    back to work.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  17. I watched a program over the weekend about how the fast food industry has changed. The employees don’t even flip burgers anymore–they use a clamshell grill that grills burgers in 40 seconds; soft drinks are poured and delivered by another piece of equipment at the point of sale. Frankly, I don’t know why the fast food industry doesn’t go ahead and mechanize more–they can probably buy a lot of equipment instead of paying unskilled laborers $15 per hour–and I assume the robots would get the orders right the first time.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  18. She also said the campaign helped persuade the Los Angeles school district to sign a contract for 20,000 cafeteria workers, custodians and other service workers that will raise their pay, now often $8 or $9 an hour, to $15 by 2016.

    even as president food stamp’s deranged lunch lady wannabe wife is causing cafeteria revenue to plummet

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  19. I would be a lot more opposed to this if the same businesses weren’t the ones supporting a flood of illegal labor. A guy has a right to prove his worth in the economy. But if the demand side is going to influence a massive over-supply, then it is rigged against him. You’d have to be one amazing burger flipper to get McDonalds to pay you $15 when illegal labor is going for $8 or less. A price floor on labor is a hedge against an illegal oversupply. I’m having a hard time disagreeing, even though I generally agree with everything said here.

    Robert C. J. Parry (cdd6a8)

  20. The LA City Council passed a law setting a “living wage” for airport hotel employees. I attend an annual business conference at a LAX-are hotel. Imagine my surprise last year to see that the parking lot attendants (some of whom had been there for years) have all been fired and the gates all automated.

    Not only that, but some colleagues of mine came out for a convention and stayed at an airport hotel and they report that the chain hotels now offer extra hotel points if you agree to forego having a chambermaid come in every day to make your bed and spruce up the room. This way, they can cut down on housekeeping staff. Yet many progressives keep right along with the fiction that raising wages doesn’t threaten jobs.

    JVW (638245)

  21. She also said the campaign helped persuade the Los Angeles school district to sign a contract for 20,000 cafeteria workers, custodians and other service workers that will raise their pay, now often $8 or $9 an hour, to $15 by 2016.

    And we wonder why teachers have no money to teach.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  22. Yet many progressives keep right along with the fiction that raising wages doesn’t threaten jobs.

    This is because what concerns the progressives is their aura of goodness. Anything outside that magic aura isn’t important.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  23. Intentions are what’s important to lefties, not results.

    Colonel Haiku (4aa570)

  24. A price floor on labor is a hedge against an illegal oversupply.

    Or, you know, we could do something like actually enforce the laws on the books and block that oversupply from happening in the first place.

    Nah.. that’s too hard (and RACIST!), let’s just bump minimum wage instead, that won’t have any effect on anything… /sarc

    Miguelitosd (d13001)

  25. Just curious, if a business that does things legally has to pay $15 hourly, would they be more prone to hire an American or an illegal immigrant? I might argue that they would hire the American. So does this benefit or hurt illegals?

    Denver Todd (831352)

  26. Well, I don’t really eat much fast food anyway. But, at $15/hour, bargain shoppers can say goodbye to those “dollar menus.”

    And say hello to more automation in fast food restaurants. Which means fewer jobs, mostly for the kids who hold the vast majority of fast food jobs.

    WarEagle82 (b18ccf)

  27. Just curious, if a business that does things legally has to pay $15 hourly, would they be more prone to hire an American or an illegal immigrant? I might argue that they would hire the American. So does this benefit or hurt illegals?

    When Tyson Chicken got busted for employing illegal immigrants during the Bush years they were worried that they wouldn’t be able to recruit enough legal workers, so they upped the $8.50 per hour (or whatever it was) that they were paying the illegal immigrants and posted the job with a salary of something like $11 per hour, and they were overwhelmed with applications for work. It turns out that the Bush Administration’s infamous “jobs that Americans won’t do” are actually jobs that Americans won’t do at the low wages that a company can pay illegal immigrants, but that they would do for a higher wage.

    But, and I kid you not, leftist intellectuals at the leading universities will insist that illegal immigrants overall raise wages, not lower them. I guess that’s why they have tenure and we don’t, because their ideas are so stupid that they would be laughed out of private industry.

    JVW (638245)

  28. I wonder what those fast food workers are going to do when they find out that the unions are just using them to up wages of union members who are already making more than minimum wage?

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/28/11-facts-about-the-minimum-wage-that-president-obama-forgot-to-mention-during-the-state-of-the-union/

    11) A Change In The Minimum Wage Often Triggers Union Wage Hikes And Benefit Renegotiations

    The famous investment banker J.P. Morgan said something along the lines of, “Every man has two reasons for everything he does: a good reason and the real reason.”

    …The labor contracts that we examined used a variety of methods to trigger the [wage] increases. The two most popular formulas were setting baseline union wages as a percentage above the state or federal minimum wage or mandating a flat wage premium above the minimum wage. Other union contracts stipulate that, following a minimum-wage increase, the union and the employer reopen wage talks.

    …Minimum-wage hikes are beneficial to unions in other ways. The increases restrict the ability of businesses to hire low-skill workers who might gladly work for lower wages in order to gain experience. Union members thus face less competition from workers who might threaten union jobs.

    And there you have it. The “real” reason behind the minimum wage push is to pay back the labor unions who helped re-elect the president in the form of higher wages, increased negotiating leverage, and less competition for jobs. The president’s decision to unilaterally hike the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour doesn’t really make sense until you view it through that lens (is there a critical mass of federal contractors who make only the minimum wage?). .

    Used, that is, and then thrown away.

    http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/meet-mccashier-your-15-00-per-hour-mcdonalds-worker-replacement/

    Mickey D’s has already replaced at least 7,000 human cashiers with automated kiosk cashiers in EUrabia.

    And there are companies that are automating nearly the entire process.

    http://momentummachines.com/

    Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

    It does everything employees can do except better:

    - it slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.

    - our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.

    - Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.

    - it’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

    The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

    Saying that their automated burger maker “frees up” all of the hamburger line cooks is San Francisco liberal-speak for “eliminates.”

    President Prom Queen blames ATMs for eliminating jobs. The idiot doesn’t have the sense to know that it’s policies like raising the minimum wage (not to mention Obamacare) that makes ATMs more cost-effective then human employees.

    So now the fast food workers are striking to eliminate their jobs. And then at the same time eliminating unionized entry-level jobs because they just won’t have the skills for it to make sense to hire them at artificially inflated labor costs.

    Geniuses.

    Steve57 (e0f6ab)

  29. 26. Well, I don’t really eat much fast food anyway. But, at $15/hour, bargain shoppers can say goodbye to those “dollar menus.”

    WarEagle82 (b18ccf) — 9/2/2014 @ 7:20 pm

    Dollar menus? SF raised it’s minimum wage recently from $10.74/hour to $12.25 hour (and will incrementally rise to $15.00/hr by 2018) and the city’s Subway restaurants notified customers that due to increased labor costs they could no longer serve the $5.00 meal deals.

    Steve57 (e0f6ab)

  30. even as president food stamp’s deranged lunch lady wannabe wife is causing cafeteria revenue to plummet

    not to worry: they’ll just raise your property taxes to pay for their touching gesture.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  31. 25. Denver Todd (831352) — 9/2/2014 @ 7:05 pm

    Just curious, if a business that does things legally has to pay $15 hourly, would they be more prone to hire an American or an illegal immigrant?

    If it does things legally, it wouldn’t hore an illegal immigrant. That hasn’t been legal since 1987.

    I might argue that they would hire the American. So does this benefit or hurt illegals?

    The alternative isn’t hiring someone who won’t complain about low wages (which is not limited tio illegal immigrants)

    It’s hiring fewer people, giving less hours, eliminating benefits, if any.

    If you meant appear to do things legally, what they would do is hire an American or permanent resident, treat him as an independent contractor, and have him pay the illegal immigrant with part of his check (and any taxes.)

    As Joe Haldeman described in “The Forever War”

    Sammy Finkelman (da8ac2)

  32. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/2/2014 @ 11:51 am

    the governor of NY, and by proxy all of the people who voted for him and those who could have but didn’t vote against him,
    said that he didn’t want pro-life, not pro-SS people in his state.

    He didn’t really say that anyway.

    He meant politically active people.

    Sammy Finkelman (da8ac2)

  33. Just curious, if a business that does things legally has to pay $15 hourly, would they be more prone to hire an American or an illegal immigrant? I might argue that they would hire the American. So does this benefit or hurt illegals?

    Well, such a business wouldn’t hire illegals anyway, or they wouldn’t be “a business that does things legally”.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  34. I didn’t catch what he meant at first, either. He gives his own answer.

    What he losing is that the market share of businesses that do things legally might not remain the same, and some might even switch.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  35. The unions will probably sabotage the machines.
    UAW would like to go back to the good old days, back before robots learned how to weld.

    On the question of illegals vs American worker at $15 probably is a non issue. The fast food chains will act to protect their investment in the training of existing employeess illegal or not. Areas of the country where the labor inside a food box chain is heavily hispanic will continue to hire hispanics because all the interaction inside the kitchen is done in spanish. Also hispanics are relentless networkers and when an existing hispanic employees vouches for a cousin, they train and push them along.
    In other words the chain franchisee in a hispanic labor market will likely continue to hire hispanics. Some will have fake green cards and SS numbers. If the worker with the fakes is a good employee the discrepany in the SS# will be overlooked as a paperwork error at the SS administration. If the alien hire sucks you fire him for having fake documents and as an added bonus there will be no unemployment claim.

    steveg (794291)

  36. 35. I serve illegals daily doing the work they eschew at pay they decline. We have no problem.

    That isn’t to say they can do my job or that I have no problem with anyone.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  37. He didn’t really say that anyway.
    He meant politically active people.

    Sammy Finkelman (da8ac2) — 9/3/2014 @ 6:16 am

    Thank you Sammy, for that clarification,
    and it’s a good set up for my idea of the day, germinated under the hot noonday sun working on a scaffold.

    Concerning the intellectual rigors required to say female genital mutilation is ok in one culture, because it is a culture thing, but our culture is poisoned by a “rape” mentality
    (if you have seen a better discussion of this elsewhere, and I don’t doubt you may have, please point me to it for our edification):

    Point 1: There is a desire/need for some to deny there is any such thing as objective morality.
    Point 2: With no objective morality, one needs to put in its place something to prevent, or at least prevent the rationalization of, lawless anarchy.
    Point 3: Let’s use the concept of cultural morality, right and wrong as defined by a culture
    A) This has the draw back of needing to not criticize other cultures, no matter how brutal and savage they are
    B) But has the advantage of being able to justify anything “we” want within our “own” culture, as long as “we” somehow “define” the cultural “norms”.
    C) So, the effort is then to declare “normal” (for us, our culture) whatever it is that “we” want to do
    hence, the gov. of NY states what the new cultural norm is for NY. If you are willing to sit down and shut up and go along (even if you don’t agree), then you are fine, as you are not violating the new cultural norms,
    if you dare to pipe up about it or otherwise make a fuss, leave, you don’t belong here.

    Putting ideas into law does have an influence on defining what is “normal” for a culture/community.

    As Patterico has argued elsewhere, if cultural norms are allowed to evolve in what ever direction they do and laws are made by the “will of the people”, that may avoid lots of conflict which otherwise happens when a minority attempt and succeed to impose a new standard of morality on the majority.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  38. I forgot to say that the people who want more money should put their efforts into moving on above an entry level job.
    I worked at an ice cream store for $1.65 an hour. I heard there were jobs in ag construction starting at $2.00 hr and with a raise to $2.25 after a month.. which was more than the manager of the ice cream store made.

    The real tragedy is that there are people who settle into entry level jobs and they never reach higher

    steveg (794291)

  39. “Imagine if they showed this kind of commitment and resolve to doing their jobs well.”

    Wages have failed to keep up with increases in productivity for a long time now.

    ghostofkeynes (1467a4)

  40. ghostofkeynes – For actresses?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. Wrong thread?

    ghostofkeynes (1467a4)

  42. Wages have failed to keep up with increases in productivity for a long time now.

    Wages are exactly what the law of supply and demand dictates. Not a dime more nor a dime less. That’s economics 101. Nobody is artificially setting the price of labor and if anything it’s being forced artificially high by both government and unions.

    I have a friend who is always bitchin’ about this movie star getting 10 million a movie or this baseball player getting a 6 million dollar contract and try as I can to make him understand if the person wasn’t worth it the boss wouldn’t pay it. That too falls on deaf ears. People are paid what they’re worth, no more and no less, for the job they’re doing. Don’t like the pay then get a better job….if you’re worth it.

    Minimum wage jobs are entry level positions, not careers. If we raise those entry level jobs beyond their economic worth they will go away and the entry level kids will be the ones to pay the price. Especially minorities. That’s where kids get their first experience in the job market. If they go away so will the opportunity for kids to get a start.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  43. Wrong thread?

    Yes

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. “Wages are exactly what the law of supply and demand dictates. Not a dime more nor a dime less. That’s economics 101″

    It’s certainly not about how hard you work.

    ghostofkeynes (1467a4)

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