Fast Food Workers

We are a nation on the run, and in this busy hectic modern day American society a lot of us rely on fast food for nourishment instead of cooking a whole meal that we do not have time to prepare anyway…This is an established fact, and fast food has a lot of detractors because some fast foods are just not healthy… But what about those workers in the fast food industry, those smiling faces behind the counter that we take for granted, who  have to stand up all day, face a relentless, constant stream of customers, be fast, efficient and smart enough to get the order straight while still maintaining a friendly attitude all day long?

What about them? They certainly work harder than most Americans, (did you ever have to work standing up all day, every day?) often have management breathing down their necks to work split shits and are required to work on the weekends and late at night while most of us are home snuggled on the couch in front of the TV set….

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And until recently, they worked for the California minimum wage of $9/hr….OMG! Talk about unfair! Can you imagine trying to pay rent and buy groceries on such a pittance? And the current Federal minimum wage is only $7.25/hr! In fairness, if the state minimum wage is higher, like in California, the workers are paid that…In San Francisco, mainly because of the exorbitant cost of rent, the minimum wage as of May 1, 2015 is $12.25/hr, and that takes precedence over the California minimum wage…In San Francisco, where I live, this minimum wage would be bumped to $13/hr in 2016. $14/hr in 2017, and $15/hr in 2018….

This pay increase was voted in by San Francisco voters in the 2014 elections, and was an attempt to close the gap between the average worker in the Bay area and the fast food workers toiling away at the minimum wage….In fact, according to my Google statistics: “Workers in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $33.34 in May 2014, about 47 percent above the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in all of the 22 major occupational groups.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and management. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; healthcare practitioners and technical; and transportation and material moving.”

Fat cat big mouth racist politicians like Donald Trump, for example, would not last one day working in any fast food place, he would collapse in exhaustion, and yet this big mouth jerk blasts immigrants as if HE was a Native American instead of being descended from immigrants himself while sitting on his fat ass reminiscing about how his father loaned him “just a million” to get started…He has no concept of how hard the average American has to work to make enough money to survive, and I am glad to hear that more socially conscious politicians have passed laws raising the minimum wage for fast food workers recently, a move long overdue and an injustice being corrected….

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This pay raise was voted into effect by San Francisco voters and when it reaches $18/hr that comes out to approximately $31,000 a year….That is not bad, I never made over $30,000 a year in my long 45 year history in work world, working a series of dead end, low paying jobs including being a low end corporate worker,  and I am very happy to see that other cities are jumping on the San Francisco bandwagon…Los Angeles and Seattle have already passed legislation guaranteeing a $15/hr minimum wage….New York voted to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15/hr, all to be phased in by 2018, and voters in Washington DC will also soon be voting on this long overdue financial reform…

This whole issue of raising the minimum wage is an effort to salvage the fast disappearing middle class in America……It is an attempt to close the gap between the super wealthy and the poorest economic groups….America is on the brink of losing it’s middle class almost entirely, and becoming a nation of have and have not’s which is the norm in most third world countries…..

This is NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution: “ We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The American middle class is not only being squeezed out of existence, it is being betrayed by the very system it once firmly believed in, according to an NBC News report Middle-Class Betrayal? Why Working Hard Is No Longer Enough in America from a story in March, 2015….

“The unemployment and underemployment rate for young workers is always higher than it is for older workers — that was true before, during, and after the recession. And many (younger workers) are carrying tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

But even with more education, working 18-to-34 year old adults are earning less than they did 15 years ago. Since 2000, real wages for people in that age group have fallen by a full 10 percent, according to Census data. Lower pay is not just a by-product of the most recent economic downturn. As corporate profits and productivity have increased in recent decades, wages for most workers have not kept pace. That means a shift in what kind of life workers can afford.

So the gap between the richest and poorest Americans continues to widen, and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence… This effort to reward fast food workers, some of the hardest working, economically abused Americans in the labor force, is not only a giant step in the right direction, but also it is an essential component of what is needed to rescue the American middle class from oblivion….Meanwhile, the 1% cackle in their mansions and count their ill gotten gains while the poor, the minorities, and the elderly suffer because of their unfair, greedy, racist policies…

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to go with story in French by Anne-Pascale REBOUL et Sophie DEVILLER
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America cannot survive as a country without a strong, viable middle class…It is what we were designed to be by the Founding Fathers, and it is the danger we face now with the widening disparity in income between the rich and the poor….Giving fast food workers at least a shot at economic survival is long overdue….It is, in all fairness, the least that we can do….

It is only a link in the chain, but anything that cuts into the obscene profits of the 1% is to be welcomed as a necessary reform.. .The gains in economic equality for fast food workers is long overdue; they are on the cutting edge of perhaps a return to the principles that make America the greatest country in the world!

As it states so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence, the document that the fascist 1% would like to repeal,as evidenced by their own actions and statements: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

For more information on the betrayal of the middle class see: http://www.nbcnews.com/…/middle-class-betrayal-why-workin…NBCNews.com

For more information on San Francisco Bay area average earnings, see: http://www.bls.gov/…/occupationalemploymentandw…Bureau of Labor Statistics

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

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