McDonald’s, Subway then In-N-Out

B-Daddy B-Daddy 13 Comments

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The title of the article refers to my dining plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner in light of the “fast-food” strike set for tomorrow in San Diego and elsewhere.  I will be showing solidarity with the workers of those establishments who choose to show up and provide the generally good service we have come to expect in all American businesses.  I predict that I will have no trouble getting my meals, as the “strike” is an astroturf operation of the SEIU.  If the strike by San Diego’s roughly 8,000 fast food employees was otherwise, why would the strikers only gather at a single establishment downtown?  For the publicity and the photo op, of course.  I just feel sorry for the jurors who won’t be able to hit the Wendy’s on their break from duty.  Other than that, this will be a great big fizzle.  To my astroturf point, the AP is reporting:

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which is providing the fast-food strikes with financial support and training. . .

The strike is stupid for other reasons.  If the strikers were successful, then eventually fast food outlets would employ vastly more automation to make their meals, reducing the number of employees.  Further, it would harm the nation’s economy by not providing entry level positions that allow young people to learn the life skills necessary for success at work. How is that fast food workers would get paid $15 an hour when my son only gets minimum wage in his union job at the grocer?  McDonald’s spokesperson Ofelia Casillas:

“Our history is full of examples of individuals who worked their first job with McDonald’s and went on to successful careers both within and outside of McDonald’s,” 

Exactly. The call for higher wages not supported by skills hurts job creation.  I think employers should fire workers who miss their shift to strike tomorrow, but I could understand wanting to play it low key.  McDonald’s is doing so:

Casillas said in an email that McDonald’s did not plan to take any action against employees who participate in the strike.

In trying to explain why the strike is needed the SEIU set up this young man:

Diego Rios, 18, who works at a downtown San Diego McDonald’s as a crew trainer, said he struggles to make his monthly rent of $1,150 on his $8-an-hour wage. While he’s nervous about leaving his job to participate in the strike, he feels strongly about pressing for higher wages.
“We’re on our feet all day long, eight hours a day,” said Rios, who does everything from making fries to operating the drive-through window. He’s been working at McDonald’s for the last year and a half. “It’s very hard work, and for people like me who have families to take care of and bills to pay, $8 an hour is not enough.”

A few questions.  What life choices led Diego to be supporting a family at age 18.  Since he apparently lacks the skills to do much else, how is he gong to make a living when he is unemployed because McDonald’s could no longer afford him?  What is Diego doing to get some salable skills that will allow him to earn more?

So join me tomorrow at a fast food joint, this could be a boon for the industry, and it will help reduce youth unemployment.

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Comments 13

  1. You are correct about more automation and efficient operations with less employees. Either that or $10 Big Mac value meals, resulting in few customers. again meaning less demand for workers.

  2. This “strike” is not a foolhardy as it sounds. Fewer jobs means more unemployed, which in turn is GOOD for the Democratic Party, as more will be dependent on government for their subsidence and their future wellbeing.

    When the Democratic Party becomes stronger, that makes SEIU more powerful, so THEIR workers (particularly their union BOSSES) will prosper.

  3. I’m looking for the gun that forced these people to work there.

    If your career depends on a union its time to take your life into your own hands and empower yourself with marketable skills or start a businees so you can give your family the quality of life you think they deserve. Protesting for it doesn’t show the boss how valuable you are.

  4. Good piece in today’s WSJ on McWages:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324591204579039521905693430.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

    EXCERPT: The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry. In reality, only 5% of the 10 million restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. [remember, many get tips]. Those who do are predominantly teenagers working part-time jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of minimum-wage employees in the restaurant industry are under the age of 25; 47% are teenagers.

  5. Amazingly, some people think that doubling the minimum wage will “come out of profits.” Such economic illiteracy is rife in this country.

    Labor costs are a PASS THROUGH expense, paid by customers — resulting in lower sales and fewer people employed. Otherwise government could raise the minimum wage to $50 an hour, and it would “come out of profits.”
    [NOTE: Don’t even SUGGEST such an idea to our nation’s #1 economic illiterate — currently residing in the White House.]

    Most people have NO idea what profit such a business makes per dollar of sales. NONE. But whatever percentage they would come up with, it’s too high. Usually by a LOT.

    Consider this example. A dollar’s worth of fast food/restaurant sales provides 12 cents profit (a bit generous, actually). Assume labor costs constitute 25% of the total business costs (a bit conservative). Now double the labor costs for 80% of the employees.

    How are the profits are going to pay for the higher cost? HINT: Will there be ANY profits at all without a substantial increase in the price to customers?

  6. Richard,

    I don’t doubt the numbers; they just surprised me. I would have assumed the shift managers and assistant managers would make more than that but you are probably correct.

  7. If you want to make more money:
    1. Get my order right, or
    2. Get a better job, or
    3. Get an Education

  8. Anybody who wants to make more money can deliver more value than they get each day. That simple formula of success is applicable whether you are a high-school student, working part-time at Whataburger to the CEO of Whataburger.

    The unions are pushing a staid argument (trade time for money) when, in the real economy, the formula is trade value for money. This does quite a disservice to people looking to build wealth because it teaches them to be laborists rather than capitalists.

    How do you accumulate capital?

    1- deliver more value for money
    2- spend less money than you earn
    3- keep your eyes open for people who want to pay you more money for the value you deliver

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    Author

    I followed up today by visiting three fast food restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorite comment was from an In-N-Out employee. “On strike? We’re never on strike. Why would we go on strike? This is a great company to work for.” Read the whole experience at The Liberator Today.

  10. If the minimum wage were to be raised to $15 an hour, then the Fast Food companies can pass it on to the customers. But what if the customers won’t pay the increased price for a whopper or decide to only buy a whopper junior going forward? The profits of these fast food joints will undoubtedly fall causing significant unemployment in the fast food industry. Similar to our many municipalities going bankrupt because the tax base can no longer support the bloated and out sized governments and public employee salaries and pensions brought on by over zealous Unions and politicians quick to scratch each others back. The end result of establishing a minimum wage the Free Markets won’t support is unemployment. There are many public employees from the city of Detroit unemployed now because of back scratching deals made for decades between Unions and Politicians. Like Mother Nature’s fury in tearing down man’s temporary existence on this Earth, the force of the Free Markets are the final judge of what the minimum wages will be for the fast food industry as well as the many (far too many) public employee’s across the United States. In Liberty.

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