Fast food workers around the country staged the largest strike to date on December 5, 2013. These fast-food workers were striking in an effort to force fast food companies to raise wages for fast food workers around the country. Many fast food workers are paid the federal minimum wage which currently stands at $7.25 an hour with many companies and state’s wages going beyond that number offering their workers higher wages.
Even though the federal minimum wage has been raised 3 times since 2007, going from $5.15 in 2006 to the current rate of $7.25 in 2009, and the fact that President Obama is advocating for a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour – these workers want their wages to be raised to $15.00 per hour. These fast food workers also want to be unionized, so they can collectively bargain for higher wages in the future.
One of the striking fast food workers, Latoia Caldwell from Missouri, was quoted in an MSNBC article as saying “These [fast food wages] are starvation wages.” She went on to say “We’re going to do whatever it takes to get this $15 wage and a union”.
Some activists are even calling for an executive order to raise the minimum wage for workers in the DC area who work for federally contracted restaurants such as McDonald’s.
While it is easy for the left to broadcast all the sad stories of workers who cannot make it on fast food wages, the reality of life after a fast food wage hike would be much sadder.
According to an article published last year on Business Insider, inventors have come up with a robot that can make 360 perfectly made burgers in 1 hour or one burger every 10 seconds. These machines, while obviously not cheap, would still be a whole lot cheaper and more efficient than paying a restaurant full of cooks $15 an hour.
Another article on c|net published in 2011, stated that McDonald’s in Europe had purchased over 7,000 self-pay kiosks for their restaurants so that individuals could order and pay at a kiosk without ever coming in contact with a human.
This type of behavior by fast-food workers is the same type of behavior perpetuated by the unions that have caused millions of American jobs to be shipped overseas. Many unions have priced their workers out of the market and made it extremely hard for companies to make a profit without moving their jobs out of the country. According to Outsaurus.com, it is estimated that as many as 10.5 million jobs have been lost to outsourcing – while not all of these jobs losses can be attributed to unions – many of them can.
While fast food companies will always be state-side, if fast food workers price themselves out of the market, fast food companies will figure out a way to continue to make a profit with or without human workers.
What happens when companies, such as McDonald’s, do away with human workers in favor of robotic machines? A surge in unemployment, millions more in tax dollars being spent on welfare and public aid, and a possible return to the depression style economy that we are barely escaping as I write.
Low wage jobs are low wage jobs for a reason. They require little to no skill and are meant to be a spring board into a more profitable and stable career. If workers cannot better themselves to a point that they are deserving of better jobs, than they are not deserving of the better pay that comes with those jobs.