mcdonald’s, burger king, and starbucks to raise pay for workers
Fast-food giants in California, US McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks among others have finally bowed down to their workers’ demands for a pay raise. Nearly half a million fast-food workers will see wage hikes, with the minimum wage being $20.
The labor union successfully pushed the fast food industry in California, which already has the minimum wage among the highest in the United States, to increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour for workers at restaurants that already have outlets at least 60 locations across the country. The bill guarantees workers an annual wage adjustment of either 3.5 percent, or the increase in cost of living. It safeguards the labor-management council that the law passed in 2022.
Big Victory for Workers
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) successfully pushed the fast-food companies to raise workers’ wages and set up a labor-business board to address industry issues. Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President, said the deal gives California’s 550,000 fast-food workers a raise. “For us, the big victory here is a seat at the table with employers. We think the lesson here is major corporations in the US that operate globally can sit down and think through common issues in their industry with workers.”
While the bill is being celebrated across California, economist Sung Won Sohn says its either a make or break. He said when wages increase in one sector, it tends to increase salaries in other sectors too. A ball has been rolled.
Higher Pay Need of the Hour
Sohn explained higher wages generally mean higher inflation. And this increases the price of goods for everyone. The economist said it’s pretty clear that workers in lower wage jobs really need the raise.
Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for public affairs for the National Restaurant Association, commended the bill. He said it protects local restaurant owners from significant threats that would have made it difficult to continue to operate in the state. The bill is also a golden opportunity to unionize more fast-food workers. Henry said SEIU will push other blue states to adopt the council model.