Friday, March 14, 2014

150.2 - Good News: McDonald's bending on raising wages

Good News: McDonald's bending on raising wages

I've talked on a couple of occasions about the increasing efforts among low-wage workers to force employers to pay something at least approaching a living wage, featuring one-day strikes against, among others, Walmart, the fast food industry, and contractors at government sites such as museums. The campaign is receiving support from the Service Employees International Union, the SEIU.

Most corporations have tried to shrug off the protests, saying they are ineffective or only involve a few people or are the result of "outsiders" trying to disrupt "our family." Because, after all, when the bosses tell you that they and you are both just part of "the team," that's supposed to make up for the fact that you're being paid sub-poverty wages with few - and maybe no - benefits.

Well, now it looks as though one big player is starting to bend. In its 2013 annual report to the SEC, filed the beginning of this month, the McDonald's corporation says that "events such as boycotts or protests, labor strikes and supply chain interruptions" can "adversely affect” the company's plans and, more importantly, “increasing public focus” on “income inequality” could force the company to raise wages.

We can hope. Actually no, we can do more: We can support the workers and their cause and promise to respect any call for a boycott that arises as part of it.


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