Well if you have a craving for fast food today and you are in New York, you might have to wait longer than normal to get your order. It seems that it is likely that some 200 to 300 workers across 50 or so fast food restaurants in New York will be taking the day off in protest of their minimum wage according to NBC News.
It seems that these and other fast food workers aren’t happy making minimum wage and are demanding a pay hike to $15 an hour, all claiming that they can not survive on $7.25. While I feel for anyone who is struggling financially, I have been in that situation myself not that long ago, I find it absurd that the workers in the fast food industry are demanding from their employers more money.
I don’t think anyone has ever looked at working for McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant as their final stop in their career. I contend that “fast food” has a high employee turn over rate for a reason, it is a job that one takes as a first job, in the case of young people just getting into the work force, as a part time job to supplement income, or as an in between job until you are able to find the job you desire, not as the job you plan to keep forever and retire from.
With this said, it has always been understood that a job in fast food was a minimum wage type job and nothing more. Now I understand that with the failing economy and the record number of people out of work, fast food jobs have been the saving grace for those out of work to be able to find some sort of employment to hopefully hold them over until the economy turns around and better jobs start to come back. As a matter of fact, a report published this month by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute states that the average age of today’s fast food worker is 32.
The report goes on to mention that “If a worker today is employed full time for a full 52-week year at a minimum wage job today, she or he is making $15,080. This is 19 percent below the official poverty line for a family of three,” While this is unfortunate, it is what it is. Other than a position in management, the average fast food job was never meant to be a high paying career, there are many white collar jobs, all of which require education well above the education requirement for fast food, that is not paying $15 an hour.
It is ridiculous in my opinion to demand that employers that offer these minimum wage, stepping stone jobs be required to raise the pay because the workers feel that they “deserve” better. This is another example of the ever growing “give me” mentality that seems to be sweeping the nation. No longer is it hard work and perseverance that gets you ahead, all you have to do cry “life is unfair, you have more than me so give me some.”
Here’s my suggestion to all of those fast food workers who think they “deserve” more pay just because they “can’t survive on $7.25”, stop playing the role of the victim, get an education, better yourself, work hard, learn a new skill, find a better job… EARN your $15 hour don’t “steal” it.