Show Me $15: Fast Food Workers Strike for Higher Pay at McDonald's, Domino's (PHOTOS)

Categories: Bidness

fastfoodprotest1.jpeg
Jon Gitchoff
Fast food workers strike across St. Louis.
St. Louis fast food workers braved the cold Thursday to join a 100-city strike, protesting outside McDonalds, Arby's, Domino's Pizza and Rally's for higher wages and the right to unionize.

fastfoodprotest2.jpeg
Jon Gitchoff
Fast food workers strike inside a McDonalds.
The strikes started a year ago in New York and have swept across the nation as fast food workers ask for a pay increase to $15 per hour. In St. Louis, the campaign has adopted the name "Show Me $15."

See more photos: Show Me $15 Fast Food Workers Rally

"Our country's fastest growing jobs are also the lowest paid, slowing the economy and hurting our local economy," Show Me $15 says in a statement about the December 5 protests. "While the fast food industry is making record profits, its workers are forced to rely on public assistance -- to the tune of 7 billion taxpayer dollars each year -- just to afford the basics."

See also: St. Louis Fast-Food Workers Protest for Better Pay, Right to Organize

Show Me $15 calculates the median salary for St. Louis' 36,000 fast food workers to be around $8.71.

fastfoodprotest3.jpeg
Jon Gitchoff

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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79 comments
Jeremy
Jeremy

Besides the obvious fact that the market/economy determines the wage for a particular job and that you can't just artificially raise wages to a value that is above what the job is "worth" in equilibrium, let's look at the numbers. McDonald's earned a net income of $5.46 billion in 2012. They have 1,800,000 employees. If we assume the average employee works 50 weeks a year and 25 hours a week, then the math works out to each employee receiving an additional $2.43 an hour if the entire company profit is given to the employees. This is obviously impossible and the company would not exist as it does today without investors, investors who require a return on their investment. So even if we lived in fairy tale land where corporations were created without the incentive of profit, the employees could only be paid a a couple extra dollars, not even close to $15. And if the hourly wage was raised by $2.43, there would be greater competition for those jobs, especially since unemployment is so high right now. Instead of worrying about higher wages the employees would be worrying about losing their job to someone who can do it better. 

lindsey
lindsey

Ms. Adams, you indicated, "Mickey Dees can certainly afford it. Based upon your assertion, please explain how McDonald's can do so--based upon their financial statement information. Thank you.

hiwind
hiwind

$15/hr?  McDonalds?  Rediculous.  Get a career.

Everette Carter
Everette Carter

The minimum that one should earn is the minimum needed to survive ......food , clothing and shelter are minimums that should be expected .....what we end up having is a divide and conquer strategy which has lowered all salaries in this country - "degreed" positions or not........salaries that require assistance from government should not be the minimum !!

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

"They" already have, in some places -- SeaTac springs to mind. As far as I know, the current proposed increase to the Minimum Wage asks for $11/hour. The McDonald's workers pictured here are asking for $15/hour specifically from their employer, and Mickey Dees can certainly afford it. The notion that you personally, or any one else, will feel butt-hurt if people who work hard, long shifts and come home with burns and bad backs and sore feet and stinking of frying oil get paid enough to live on in most communities is just sad. Is that how you want to be remembered? As someone who looks at another person's dignity, housing, groceries, utilities, and car insurance and thinks: "Someone better make sure I get MORE than that, then!" That's just gross. I sure hope you don't call yourself any kind of religion.

Dawn Crow
Dawn Crow

They can complain all they want! But guess what......there will be somebody more than happy to take their 8.00 an hour job! So don't picket too long!

Ed Anderson
Ed Anderson

the greed has been there since day one of economics. and the common people have always picked up the slack. tax breaks in place are not set by the common people. but the common people are the ones who put those people into their places. and you say that wouldnt happen. have you lived in oregon, or any other state that has done away with 98%of all taxes? you would know about the higher rent, food, fuel, etc. higher min wage, equals higher everything that we all feel. FACT!

Keith Mccollum
Keith Mccollum

I've been at my job 20 years and make 17.00 if they raise to 15 (which they won't) then those who make 15 or higher should get raises as well

Theirry Less
Theirry Less

..and ACTUAL customer service without the atttude.

Theirry Less
Theirry Less

As they all miss out on today's pay to complain about what they are not getting paid. They would be lucky to even have a job after this.

Kelly Bradshaw Ifland
Kelly Bradshaw Ifland

By the way Susan I am from St. Louis! The same city you are from and I know the economy there. If you need a job I am sure I can make a few phone calls for you. Guess what I moved three years ago TN and had no job lined up. Guess where I had to start while I looked for for a mortgage position???? Drum roll.... Restaurant!

Kelly Bradshaw Ifland
Kelly Bradshaw Ifland

Susan not one person I know that makes a living and good living and works 40 hours a week? They work more like 50 to 60, like myself! I work around the clock. Where do you think we all have started? Are you ready for this? Fast food!!! My husband and I both worked for pizza hut. We worked our way into management and never obtained our degrees ( I do hold many licenses). Yes, Babysit! Most food management will tell you those exact words. I dont want to assume you have never worked in a restaurant, like you assume many of our lives are privileged. My husband and I are very successful and have wanted more than a fast food job. We worked our way from the bottom to learn the ins and out of the Finance industry. We have only been married for three years and prior to that I was a single mom with no degree supporting my girls just fine on my own with no privileges. I also, with the this intense schedule find a way to help with a few charities. So for you take such offense to call names, assume ( you know what they say about that), and frankly throw out incorrect facts just shows how undereducated you are. You don't have to have a degree to be educated. My husband and I are proof of that! I will say not everyone can learn what we do without an education so we are the rare exceptions. I am not smug, just very confident in this subject as I have always worked in the food industry as a fall back and I know this subject all too well along with how businesses actually work. I won't go into that because you are so off base it would take a full education on economics and business for you to be up to speed on that.

Amanda Stone DeGreeff
Amanda Stone DeGreeff

Susan your just another liberal idiot who thinks that people who make a lot of money are lucky or privilege. I had a child after high school, lived on my own, worked my ass off to support my family. Never got a dime from the government. I now have a good paying job and am going to school to better educate myself. Sorry I don't think flipping burgers, taking orders, mopping floors takes much skill. I think it's great that they are employed and not sitting on their ass, but if you want more go out and find it YOURSELF.

Timothy L Hughes
Timothy L Hughes

thanks susan you can always know who the obama supporters are..and please super size that 4 me

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

Wow, what a smug arrogant hateful beast of a human you are! Sounds like you need a little "babysitting" yourself. Here's the deal: if a person works full-time, he or she should be able to support herself and a her family. No matter what the job. ALL work is hard -- that's why they call it WORK.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

No, Ed, it wouldn't do that. You best go back to the college you think no one needs and read a little economic history. You can get "on here" from any smartphone -- what's your point? Everyone who has anything has worked for it. The issue is that if you work hard, full-time, it should pay for your life. The American taxpayer shouldn't have to take up the slack for corporate greed about wage increases -- minimum wage should have had a COLA built into it as an increase, all along.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

What you have is a mean-spirited judgmental short-sightedness problem, bub. You know who pays the difference between what those people earn per hour and what they actually need in order to make ends meet? You do. YOU pay for every government safety-net program people have to sign on for, with the help, and at the suggestion, of McDs and Waldos. Those Corp.s are paying pennies on the dollar of their real tax burden, and you and I pick up their slack. I'm a little sick of it. They've got the big money profit at the end of the year, not me. THEY should be paying their people wages commensurate with the cost of living. They better stop whining. Me, I *earn* what I get, and I pay my bills.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

Yeah. That crummy "lack of ambition" thing where you take the job you are "happy to get" in order to support yourself and your family and find -- hey, presto, it's magic -- that your company will help you file for SNAP because, although their profit margins have increased seven-fold in the last five years, they want regular people to meet the difference between McD starvation wages and an actual living wage. Aren't you proud to not be a Communist?

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

...for each of which they should be earning an hourly commensurate with the increase in the cost of living. Like everyone else gets.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

May you clean toilets on your knees for $7.25 an hour for the rest of your life.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

oh, Berri -- no, a living wage minimum is not Communism. You know what doesn't work? A CEO/line worker pay differential of Over Four Hundred percent. It's obscene.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

Wow, it's really wonderful how sure you are that you and people who look like you are the only ones who really earned anything.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

The math on that is incorrect. In point of fact, research shows that increase in the minimum wage has zero impact on the number of employees that a company uses in a given location. What drives hiring and hours is end-user consumption, not cost increase. Higher taxes do not decrease hiring, higher wages do not decrease hiring, having to pay into a workers comp or health insurance program does not decrease hiring. You know what DOES drive unemployment? Not enough *spending* in the community. You know what happens when wages go from 15 to 30K a year? People *buy* stuff. That is what drives hiring. Ooops yourself. Response: "So how dare you try to negate the fact I did work my ass off to get where I am at." = I pointed out, quite correctly, that most people work their ass off to get where they're going, and if you got where you were headed, that part was luck and privilege. How dare YOU denigrate the equally hard work of others who earn less than you do? Your self-congratulatory smugness breaks charity with the human community. With regard to "shouldn't there be a push to educate and train those people so that they too have better opportunities, two things: Firstly, this political environment can barely be brought to fund programs the House GOP actually LIKE, let alone proper educational and training mandates. Secondly, my point is that *someone* is going to have to clean out sewers and stand by orange cones waving traffic through and cut your hair and bag your groceries. The human beings doing that hard work should be able to support their lives on the wages of their work. Period.

Jeremy Mahoney
Jeremy Mahoney

I'll run this country as a dictator and change everything lol. When our world has people making millions of dollars and other scrapping by there is a problem and radical change needs to happen.

Berri Jackson-West
Berri Jackson-West

Susan in response to your reply, college does not have to be an expensive luxury. I took 1-3 classes at a time, depending on what I could afford, starting at a two year college. I have been very, very blessed in the fact I learned a trade and knock on wood have not been unemployed since I graduated high school. I started working part time as a grocery store cashier, I stocked shelves at Sams part time and I took college classes at the same time. Oh and so you know I found a job that offered partial tuition reimbursement, I took advantage of it and I learned a trade. I started in my career with an $8 an hour job, and so you know I am a single mom of two who does not get a dime in child support or receives any financial assistance like food stamps. There were times I did't have enough money to pay the bills and we did without things like cable tv, cell phones, and internet so we could keep the electric on or have grocery money. When my pay wasn't keeping up with the expenses, I looked for other job opportunities that would. I have changed jobs 3 times over the last 20yrs, and whereas I don't make a fortune, I am supporting my family. So how dare you try to negate the fact I did work my ass off to get where I am at. I don't dispute the fact minimum wage should be increased, but I think doubling it is an unreasonable expectation. "Illiterates doing landscaping 15 hours a day are working their asses off" instead demanding $15 minimum wage shouldn't there be a push to educate & train those people so they too have have better opportunities? By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour do you not understand the impact that will have on businesses? Do you think companies like Walmart or McDonalds are going to let an expense like that eat up their bottom line? No, they will lay off employees and put higher productivity requirements on the remaining employees, they will raise the price of goods higher to compensate for the higher operating costs. The logic of taking from the "rich" to feed the poor does not work, in a sense that is what communism is and communistic societies fail.

Susan Trowbridge Adams
Susan Trowbridge Adams

Thing one: people who work in food service are working just as "hard" as you or anyone else. Thing two: college is an expensive luxury, and these days even BAs are working crap jobs. What? Shall we tell them to take no work unless it really will be enough to pay them at something, ANYTHING, over the poverty line? No -- then we'd ask "Hey! Do you think you're too good to work a crap job?" That was actually things two and three. So, thing four: are you saying that a person who works cleaning toilets or picking vegetables or serving coffee or burgers isn't entitled to be able to actually, you know, LIVE, on his full-time wages? That a person caring for our children or cleaning our streets or providing security at the mall shouldn't be able to feed and house himself and his family on a full time job? He's been pulling down a wage and learning the ropes for 20 years too. And it's work our society needs done -- in some cases, we need it a LOT. But whatever, those folks don't deserve to be able to fund a life on their wage because...what? *You're* sure they're not ambitious enough? If you "started in your field" twenty years ago, how the heck did you stagnate so badly? Where's your drive, huh? Where's your grit? How 'bout them bootstraps, yo? I find it fascinating how many privileges you just brush right by -- as if working hard was all it ever took. Illiterates doing landscaping 15 hours a day are working their asses off -- and earning a pathetic hourly, nothing like enough to cover all real expenses in this country. How dare you? "I just looked for a better job," "I looked for jobs elsewhere" Must be nice to be you. To have the resources to "look for a better job," to have the wherewithal and the freedom to "look for jobs elsewhere." I guess it's a lucky thing you didn't have a few kids or an aging ill parent or any other thing preventing that option, like, oh I don't know -- no car, let's say. But hey -- you have a corner on virtue and no one who is bargaining for better has any right to it, of course. You're the only person who ever earned his bread, and everyone else is whining. The minimum wage could and should have kept up with the actual cost of living -- just like everyone else's wages.

Justin Curia
Justin Curia

berri, communism? ferreal? if recognizing that corporate welfare is a bigger issue than poor kids eating is 'communism' then sign me up! it's so refreshing to see yet another person talk about a broad group of people like they know each person's background and personal issues. i guess never eat fast food again if you don't want what you equate with losers making it, seems fair i think

Torrey Joe Roussin
Torrey Joe Roussin

I worked 3 jobs through school to get my degree and I've taken on a variety of jobs and training in the 10 years I've been out of school. And these guys who flipped burgers think they're entitled to get in the same ballpark of a salary or wage as me. F*#@ that!!!! Sorry, but that is ridiculous. If you want to make more money, get out of fast food and do something with your life. If you want to ask if someone wants fries with their meal and that's what makes you happy, then be happy and accept that the wage you get is what goes with the territory. Honestly...we don't have a "wage" problem here...we have a STUPIDITY problem. And the media outlets only fan the flames of the fires of ignorance.

Corey Roberts
Corey Roberts

Someone also mentioned in a comment that the CEO of McDonalds makes 8 million annually....... Throwing random numbers around is so useless... Anyone know what the average small business owner pays themselves as a salary.... I think the average is about 2% of gross sales.... Any guess as to McDonalds annual gross sales and what % the CEO is paid??? Bet it's about 2%....doesn't he/she deserve to earn at that rate??

Corey Roberts
Corey Roberts

All fast food restaurants are publicly traded companies....all publicly traded companies have CEOs and Boards of Directors that have one real job.... Make a profit this quarter to provide and return on investment to their share holders..... You can say anything you want about giving people fair wages, or ending corporate subsidies... But as long as you enjoy seeing your 401k quarterly report showing a profit.... You have no business complaint about anything any CEO or corporation does... Because your voting for their continued profitable operations....it's a big giant circle of the consumer driving it all.... The top just laughs at the middle and the bottom

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

huh...not a lot of asians in that photo.

sCint
sCint

I made $12.50/hr as a radiolabling technician (with a bachelor's degree).  While it was nothing intense, I still had to be formally trained on how to handle/dispose radioactive material, calibrate equipment, run tests, and perform QA/QC checks on samples.  I've been in the food service industry. It sucks and it needs to change, but if you think for one second that you should be making $15/hr for that nature of work, then give me a fucking break.

Sadie Lankford
Sadie Lankford

$15 an hour is bullshit. Shows how stupid they are to begin with. $15.00. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

Snippery1
Snippery1

So what does that mean for a $15 an hour licensed cosmetologist? Should they demand $22 an hour for a career that is licensed by the state and for which they have spent 1500 hours in school and countless hours building their skills?

Angelo Olegna
Angelo Olegna

So people want fast food. Fast food places need to be staffed. However, if these employees want to be paid a decent wage the response is: quit! So, who is going to make your food? Noone is saying these people aren't making poverty wages. They are instead saying that they WANT the people making their food to be impoverished. Simply because they don't respect the people doing exactly what they need them to. Crazy. If you dont think its real work then why do you need them in the first place? Make your own food if you dont wanna pay people decently.

Ed Anderson
Ed Anderson

Really? Want higher pay get a different job. Look people, if min wage was that economics would do this. Gas $20.00 per gal, and milk. That $85 tire is now $225.00, that $750 house/rent $2300.00. And you don't have to have a college degree. I came from the streets of east St. Louis, Washington park. Worked for all I have. Like most I know. Have a union job, unio rep, there are plenty of jobs out there, people are to lazy to them, and bitch about what they have. If your on here, then you obviously arnt living in a box under a bridge. Don't like where you work or the pay, then do something about it, and move on.

Kelly Bradshaw Ifland
Kelly Bradshaw Ifland

Justin Poole you are right a college degree doesn't entitle you to a job. You have to have presentation, personality, motivation, etc... So if you can't get a higher paying job with a degree then you really need to figure out what you are doing wrong and you sure as hell don't deserve 15$ a hour in fast food. Management sure they deserve it to babysit these people!

Berri Jackson-West
Berri Jackson-West

Justin....what you are suggesting is Communism. I didn't have the opportunity to finish college but I didn't stand around and wait for someone to hand me money. I worked long, hard hours and changed jobs until I got to a point where I make enough money I can live reasonably comfortable. I am a 40yr old single mom of two, I get no child support nor do I receive any government assistance. I don't own my home but I am working on it. My kids don't have ipods, ipads, xboxes, or any of that crap. We live within our means. If I need extra money I don't boycott my employer, I find some way of making money. Whether it be a second job or occasional side work cleaning someone's home or doing their yard work, whatever. I agree CEOs are way overpaid as well as politicians but the logic of taking from the rich to give to the poor doesn't work.

Michael Daniel
Michael Daniel

The stupid part about America is that you have to go to college to make something of yourself. I just graduated with my bachelor's in accounting and I am working towards my CPA. But its stupid how you need schooling to make enough to survive. Nobody has time for schooling... Not everyone is even cut out for schooling. All jobs should pay enough for people to live on.

Berri Jackson-West
Berri Jackson-West

Honestly Tessa only 9 other countries in the world have a minimum labor wage higher than the United States. If these folks want to make more money they need to do what the rest of us did, find jobs that pay better, gain on the job experience, and go to trade school or college. Just because they are working doesn't entitle them to higher salaries. I started in my field twenty years ago making $8 an hour, I worked my ass off and did what I needed to advance so I can live some what comfortably now. I didn't whine and protest my employer because I felt underpaid, I worked harder and looked for jobs elsewhere if needed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

Ryan Harris
Ryan Harris

And why would we give them a higher wage, only every other country like us does. But America is falling behind in everything. Our education system sucks, our health care system sucks, we have a min. wage from 1970 even while productivity has risen greatly wages goes down, our internet sucks compared to other countries. I always thought America was best country in world growing up then realize we are falling behind in about everything..... O wait one thing we are good at is putting people in prison, the freest country that has most people in prison... strange so lets get rid of all labor laws n go back child labor here, since that is where are clothes are coming from.

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

Too bad, the min. wage SHOULD be at $20. that's how fare BEHIND it IS!

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