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Fast Food Employees on Strike
Posted: 04 August 2013 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 August 2013 11:36 PM

Comparing fast food to nice restaurants and catering companies is way the hell off.

The strikers are not trained chefs, bakers and maitre D’s.

Thank you, for crying out loud.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 12:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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MidAtlantic-I wasn’t being serious about Wal-Mart employees. But, some Wal-Mart employees are more skilled then almost all fast food employees.

Ok, but what do skills have to do with any of this anyways?
Assembly line workers are nominally skilled.  Coal Miners are nominally skilled in some cases.
Lot’s of “unskilled workers” are the ones traditionally organized.
I could argue that it takes just as much skill to work at KFC as it does in a coal mine. The primary skills are indubitably safety skills.

We know safety plays a big role in coal mines and kitchens alike. Other than that it is just flippin’ burgers or handling a jackhammer.
I’m a Teamster.  My main skills are safety skills.  I make sure I don’t cause horrible damage to life or property when I operate a truck.
Other than that, I just point the truck around and put stuff in it and take stuff off of it.
It’s the unskilled workers who need unionization. Otherwise with people like you and Cloak around, the workers who actually make the World go ‘round get sh*t on.
Attitudes like screw them, they have no skills. 

The people who pick up garbage.  The people who deliver every conceivable thing into towns on trucks and trains.  The people who have your Egg McMuffin and coffee waiting for you at the drive-thru window, etc etc…Basically all the things that people take for granted.
You might not like McDonald’s, I sure as heck don’t. But lot’s of people do.  Lot’s of people take all of that unskilled labor for granted.

Sorry I never detected the sarcasm in your Wal-Mart response.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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MikeYohe - 03 August 2013 05:16 PM

Vyazma

Now look at Wendy’s or McDonald’s, or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The employees want more of a stake in that business.

There is something that not right here.

There are some unions that deal with fast food and they are connected with the restaurant and bar unions that have been around a long time. This one is not. I would guess that this is a movement by a group of lawyers.

That’s a guess that is at least partly right.  I’m sure there are lawyers involved.  That goes without saying.
The rest is pure speculation.

There are a fair percentage of fast food workers that would lose income by getting a raise. Many are on relief and minimum wage and less than forty hours lets them qualify for relief. They might make say $560.00 a month more and take home $450.00 of that after taxes, but they would lose $600.00 a month in food stamps. So I do not see this movement coming from all the workers.

This is just conjecture and windbaggery.  I bet if you polled 10,000 fast food workers and asked them if they wanted their salaries doubled and health benefits etc.. they would say yes. Probably on the order of say…99.99%.
It’s about raising people up.  I would have thought you preferred them to make a living wage with some benefits and get off of food stamps.
People don’t want to be on food stamps.
Why would I even have to emphasize this?!?!?

I started a union one time. And it’s not that hard. I did it for the reason that unions can get around most labor laws to a point. The state let injured workers go to these worker’s compensation medical clinics for treatment and spent six weeks before we could get them to a real doctor and heal the injury. These clinics were known as millionaire mills and were jointly run by the attorneys and doctors. When an employee is hurt the best thing you can do is get him to the best specialist and doctors you can find as quickly as possible. It will be cheaper in the long run and better for the employee. 

Ok, do you think is really fairly admissible in this discussion?

The whole union thing here could be to solve a similar problem and could be backed by the big fast food chains to be able to lower their insurance costs and be able give the workers a raise at the same time, but not a 100% plus raise. In the fast food industry injury fraud runs rapped and most insurance companies will not touch fast food business.

I really doubt that.  I would say those attorneys you mentioned are more of the Left Wing variety.
This is more of the “living wage” issue that is continually cropping up in this country. It is being exacerbated by reports of 2% of the population owning 80% of the wealth. Or whatever the figure is.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

Otherwise with people like you and Cloak around, the workers who actually make the World go ‘round get sh*t on.
Attitudes like screw them, they have no skills.

So you’re saying that the guy trying to trade you the bottled faucet water for your car has a legitimate case for calling you unfair when you decline the offer? if you refuse, aren’t you, according to your logic, “sh*tting on the little guy”?

Nobody is saying “screw him”. I’m just saying that if he is asking to be paid the same amount as the dude that is 10 times as valuable as he is and doing ten times the work that he does, then he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. And it’s called reality.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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I’m am not defending the businessman for bad behavior, just saying that most businessmen started out as employees and went through all the stuff you are talking about and when they got their own business they were going to do thing right and not take advantage of the employees. But once they became a business the unforeseen pressures caused them to act out of character.

I totally agree that there are legitimate businessmen out there who are struggling not only to create a life for themselves but to put out a quality product for public use and consumption. A friend and I formed two small businesses back in the day, invested in machinery and took losses. The first year we went in the hole big time but stuck with it. Fortunately we were the only employees and had volunteer family labor. We kept the businesses afloat for five years before giving it up. The problem arises when the business leaders become too impersonal as it grows and more personnel are added. Then the stock is sold and the corporation owns it and the bottom line is the profits derived from quantity, not quality. This is often seen, or tasted when restaurants become franchised chains, the quality of the food goes down. When corporate bosses see only profits, and benefits for themselves the workers suffer from low wages, etc. which is why they are firced to unionize to maintainthe balance between corporate greed and employee need. Without that balance you have people living on the margin.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 August 2013 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

MidAtlantic-I wasn’t being serious about Wal-Mart employees. But, some Wal-Mart employees are more skilled then almost all fast food employees.

Ok, but what do skills have to do with any of this anyways?
Assembly line workers are nominally skilled.  Coal Miners are nominally skilled in some cases.
Lot’s of “unskilled workers” are the ones traditionally organized.
I could argue that it takes just as much skill to work at KFC as it does in a coal mine. The primary skills are indubitably safety skills.

I don’t know what it’s like to work in a coal mine, but I think the risk, and the discomfort justify the higher pay. Fast food places are not that bad; and they have many more people willing to work there.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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If I own a business, and I need someone to flip burgers all day long, then I’m going to reason that this job doesn’t require much skill, so I’m going to pay the minimum. However, if I’m needing someone to flip burgers, manage the accounting system, organize and manage the inventory systems while distributing tasks among the other workers, I’m going to need someone who has the necessary skills to do all of that, so I’m going to pay them more. Why? Because someone like that is more valuable. Why is he valuable? Because there are less people that can effectively do all of that and still be efficient. So, if the guy who does nothing more than flip burgers, and let’s say he’s not even that good at flipping burgers, comes to me and demands that I pay him as much as the guy who does all of those other tasks, what real incentive would I have to meet such a demand? Good will? Perhaps, but that’s up to me and nobody else.

We can call this “unfair” all day long and whine and complain about it, but this is reality. We can use emotionally charged terminology like “peasants” or “sweatshops”, but at the end of the day this is how the world really works.

That’s a good point and I believe that a worker should be paid a wage commensurate with his/her skills and responsibilities, even in this instance merit pay should be a factor wherein a person really busting his ass should get a little extra in his pay envelope, no problem there. And no, I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage to unrealistic levels, but that could be negotiated. What I am referring to is benefits, vacation, paid or otherwise, and sick leave. Even with the minimum wage these would be a boon to any restaurant worker, and the possibility of advancement in the business. And BTW the guy who isn’t very good at flipping burgers is fired, unless he’s the boss’s son, nephew etc.
So it’s your view that working long hours, performing backbreaking labor, paid wages so low that you can barely survive, being treated like a throw away machine, denigrated by supervisors and customers comes with the territory and the workers just have to accept their lot in life? I don’t think so.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 August 2013 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

We know safety plays a big role in coal mines and kitchens alike. Other than that it is just flippin’ burgers or handling a jackhammer.
I’m a Teamster.  My main skills are safety skills.  I make sure I don’t cause horrible damage to life or property when I operate a truck.
Other than that, I just point the truck around and put stuff in it and take stuff off of it.
It’s the unskilled workers who need unionization. Otherwise with people like you and Cloak around, the workers who actually make the World go ‘round get sh*t on.
Attitudes like screw them, they have no skills. 

 

I don’t know if I made this clear, but I’m not anti-unionization per se, trying to make a better career than fast food jockey is what I’m talking about.

Yeah, I remember you posting several times before that you’re a Teamster; but, as a Teamster truck driver, you have to pass a drug test, right?  If you have an accident you can possibly be in deep s***? You probably have intense deadlines to meet? You have a reputation to uphold around the job? The opposite is true in the fast food field. I don’t consider your job on the same level as fast food guy or girl.

I know Cloak and me do sound like total snobs.  However, better employment is not impossible. There’s no harm in taking a fast food job to put cash in your pocket, but many people can do something else.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

The people who pick up garbage.  The people who deliver every conceivable thing into towns on trucks and trains.  The people who have your Egg McMuffin and coffee waiting for you at the drive-thru window, etc etc…Basically all the things that people take for granted.
You might not like McDonald’s, I sure as heck don’t. But lot’s of people do.  Lot’s of people take all of that unskilled labor for granted.

 

Hell yeah they take it for granted, I don’t know what the solution is though. Make everybody work as a toilet scrubber for 2 years? grin  (FWIW, toilet scrubbing is a fairly big part of my job.) But, not all unskilled work is equal.

Sorry I never detected the sarcasm in your Wal-Mart response.

No sweat, that’s the price we pay for using forums.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 August 2013 05:53 AM

If I own a business, and I need someone to flip burgers all day long, then I’m going to reason that this job doesn’t require much skill, so I’m going to pay the minimum. However, if I’m needing someone to flip burgers, manage the accounting system, organize and manage the inventory systems while distributing tasks among the other workers, I’m going to need someone who has the necessary skills to do all of that, so I’m going to pay them more. Why? Because someone like that is more valuable. Why is he valuable? Because there are less people that can effectively do all of that and still be efficient. So, if the guy who does nothing more than flip burgers, and let’s say he’s not even that good at flipping burgers, comes to me and demands that I pay him as much as the guy who does all of those other tasks, what real incentive would I have to meet such a demand? Good will? Perhaps, but that’s up to me and nobody else.

We can call this “unfair” all day long and whine and complain about it, but this is reality. We can use emotionally charged terminology like “peasants” or “sweatshops”, but at the end of the day this is how the world really works.

That’s a good point and I believe that a worker should be paid a wage commensurate with his/her skills and responsibilities, even in this instance merit pay should be a factor wherein a person really busting his ass should get a little extra in his pay envelope, no problem there. And no, I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage to unrealistic levels, but that could be negotiated. What I am referring to is benefits, vacation, paid or otherwise, and sick leave. Even with the minimum wage these would be a boon to any restaurant worker, and the possibility of advancement in the business. And BTW the guy who isn’t very good at flipping burgers is fired, unless he’s the boss’s son, nephew etc.
So it’s your view that working long hours, performing backbreaking labor, paid wages so low that you can barely survive, being treated like a throw away machine, denigrated by supervisors and customers comes with the territory and the workers just have to accept their lot in life? I don’t think so.

Cap’t Jack

Having to “accept their lot in life” does not necessarily follow. That’s the choice of the individual. But it does, however, have to start with accepting the way that the world works, and working within those same paradigms to make ends meet. Many of the wealthiest people I know could give you a sad sob story, because many of them started out poor and uneducated, have lost everything at least once or twice, or at least came from broken homes.

Right now, there are tons of fast food workers who are way more valuable (have college educations, have a long list of acquired skills, or just do all of the basic tasks better than the rest) than most of these people asking for more money, but are not demanding higher pay. You know why? Because they know that such a demand is silly. These are people who paid attention in economics class and understand why what is being asked is not going to work. And quite frankly, many of those same people, who are having to settle for jobs that are far below their skillsets, feel insulted when the guy who is ten times less valuable (marketwise) asks to be paid more than him.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Cloak-So you’re saying that the guy trying to trade you the bottled faucet water for your car has a legitimate case for calling you unfair when you decline the offer? if you refuse, aren’t you, according to your logic, “sh*tting on the little guy”?

I don’t even know what this means.  Why would someone want to trade me a bottle of water for my car?
I can easily tell that this statement is one gigantic “straw-herring” or whatever.

Nobody is saying “screw him”. I’m just saying that if he is asking to be paid the same amount as the dude that is 10 times as valuable as he is and doing ten times the work that he does, then he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. And it’s called reality.

Well you guys basically have said “Screw ‘em”. You have.
I don’t think anyone is asking to be paid as much as anyone else is?  What gives you that impression?
They are trying to agitate, and collectivize to possibly unionize. If that happens, they will get a raise and some perks perhaps.
I’m sure the pay scale they agree on with McDonald’s for example will be something that all parties agree is commensurate with their skills, abilities and time.
You need to stop looking at anyone who is looking for a raise and better work environment as greedy and wanting to be paid like Donald Trump.
This ain’t hard dude.  People have rights to collective bargain.  It doesn’t matter what you think they deserve.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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mid atlantic - 04 August 2013 05:36 AM
VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

MidAtlantic-I wasn’t being serious about Wal-Mart employees. But, some Wal-Mart employees are more skilled then almost all fast food employees.

Ok, but what do skills have to do with any of this anyways?
Assembly line workers are nominally skilled.  Coal Miners are nominally skilled in some cases.
Lot’s of “unskilled workers” are the ones traditionally organized.
I could argue that it takes just as much skill to work at KFC as it does in a coal mine. The primary skills are indubitably safety skills.

I don’t know what it’s like to work in a coal mine, but I think the risk, and the discomfort justify the higher pay. Fast food places are not that bad; and they have many more people willing to work there.

I think a good way to understand it is that the laborer, skill set and all, is still a market commodity. The laws of supply and demand apply to him just as much as they apply to anything else. If there was a much higher demand than supply, then his work would be much more valuable, and he could bargain for more money. That is why people with a higher, more rare set of skills tend to be more valuable, especially if there is a high demand for those particular skills in the current market. The bottom line is that, while the burger flipper skillset is in high demand, there is a massive supply, which is what drives down its costs. When businessmen (and women!) or people who at least paid attention in economics class, see what is going on right now, they can’t help but feel like it’s just a bunch of people who are just asking for free stuff, whether wrong or right.

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Posted: 04 August 2013 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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mid atlantic - 04 August 2013 05:36 AM
VYAZMA - 04 August 2013 12:22 AM

MidAtlantic-I wasn’t being serious about Wal-Mart employees. But, some Wal-Mart employees are more skilled then almost all fast food employees.

Ok, but what do skills have to do with any of this anyways?
Assembly line workers are nominally skilled.  Coal Miners are nominally skilled in some cases.
Lot’s of “unskilled workers” are the ones traditionally organized.
I could argue that it takes just as much skill to work at KFC as it does in a coal mine. The primary skills are indubitably safety skills.

I don’t know what it’s like to work in a coal mine, but I think the risk, and the discomfort justify the higher pay. Fast food places are not that bad; and they have many more people willing to work there.

I agree with you.  However coal mines used to be the McDonald’s of today.
Those coal miners wouldn’t get the pay and benefits they do today if it weren’t for the unions.
Coal mines paid horrible pay, no benefits, no nothing! Kids working in the mine.
But they needed lot’s of coal miners. They need lot’s of fast food workers today.  Lot’s of them. That means demand.
If they want the supply to meet the demand, they need to pay more.  Nobody can live off of $7, $8, $9 bucks an hour.
You pay those workers enough with benefits maybe here’s what happens….  Turnover rate declines.  Food and service quality increase.
Cleanliness increases etc…

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Posted: 04 August 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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I don’t know if I made this clear, but I’m not anti-unionization per se, trying to make a better career than fast food jockey is what I’m talking about.

I know you’re not.  But what does upward mobility have to do with the fast food workers wanting to organize?
I would argue that that is upward mobility. That is making a better career. From the inside.  With more dignity. It’s a win-win.
The fast food industry is just stuck in an old 1950s-60s model. It isn’t going to be sustainable.  The weak jobs numbers out of DC show a good percentage of the new jobs added were service related jobs. Good jobs have been hard to find for awhile now. I predict that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Flipping burgers is the new manufacturing job.

Yeah, I remember you posting several times before that you’re a Teamster;

Yes because I’m proud. I love being a Teamster. I pass non-union drivers on the street or see them on the dock somewhere and I know that they know that they are getting competitive pay with me because of what our Union has done. Their non-union companies wouldn’t be able to keep drivers or dock workers if they didn’t come close to matching what the Union guys get.
And most of those guys know it. By most I mean…85-90% of them.
It would be the same with McDonald’s.  If McDonald’s unionized, every one would want to work there. Burger King would have to adjust their scales to keep workers. Suddenly McDonald’s and Burger King have higher standards for employment. Because they could start picking their workers.
Retention would improve. Quality would skyrocket. Prices would not go up by any serious amount. Because BK and McD would still have to compete.
But then they could also compete on more than just prices.  They could compete on reputation, quality, performance.
BK and McD’s are not currently competing on reputation, quality or performance.  Not even a little! Not even on price. The food is practically free to begin with.
Like I said..it’s a win-win. Retention and reputation cost any business greatly. Hugely!
And what do these workers want?  No they aren’t asking for the moon! How about $14-15 bucks an hour. Some healthcare. Some job security. Some perks.
Like I said, McD’s isn’t the place where kids go to get a summer job anymore. It’s increasingly becoming the place where people go because there are no other jobs.

You probably have intense deadlines to meet? You have a reputation to uphold around the job? The opposite is true in the fast food field. I don’t consider your job on the same level as fast food guy or girl.

I do.(think they are equal to me.)  On an ideological level. I’m not saying a Fast Food worker is going to be able to bargain the same pay and benefits I do. But there is room for improvement.
Lot’s of room. They’re in the streets.  That indicates a problem.  When people go in the streets that usually indicates a problem.

[ Edited: 04 August 2013 12:58 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 04 August 2013 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Fast food workers and restaurant workers in general don’t have health insurance, besides getting low pay.  Think about that the next time you go out to eat.  What do they do when they’re sick, besides passing illness on to the customers? Most don’t have insurance and they also don’t have money to pay for decent health care. Emergency room care is usually too little, too late and requires long waits for which they have to miss work with no sick pay and they are already living on a shoestring.

Lois

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