By Michael d’Oliveira
Every employee in the world wants to make more money.
Every day, many around the world ask for a raise to try and get it.
Not everyone is successful but the ones who are usually get met with praise and congratulations.
Everyone, that is, except for fast food workers.
For some reason, when fast food workers say they want more money.
Maybe it’s the fact that fast food workers aren’t widely respected by many people. Their job is seen as being at the bottom of the economic food chain by many and they think the wage they make now accurately reflects that.
Fast food workers who want more money are often met with insults and predictions that paying them more will lead to being replaced by computers and robots.
The meme below predicts replacement. But ordering kiosks alone don’t seem to have much of an impact on employment levels in fast food. The vast majority of jobs in a fast food restaurant are behind the counter – people making food or cleaning or doing some other kind of manual labor a kiosk can’t do.
In the comment section of a story about fast food workers asking for a $15 wage, one person on Facebook wrote, “Clu3, naw naw naw…. I was an Assistant Engineer in college makin $15/hr… and I had to be actively in pursuit of a degree for that!!! I can’t see it, they have to miss me with that ?✌?let them strike, and get replaced with a kiosk ?”
Another person, who supports a wage increase for fast food workers, has the perfect response”
“It’s cute how people will say “Why should a fast food worker get paid $15 an hour when a paramedic gets paid $15 an hour for saving someones life?” instead of “How come a paramedic gets paid $15 an hour while a 30 minute ambulance ride costs $900?” Wow, it looks like the fast food worker, the paramedic, and the person in the ambulance are all getting fricked and somehow mad at eachother about it instead of being mad at the people who are profiting off them.”
But no one seems to be talking about another important point: in this country, people aren’t paid what they deserve or need. They’re paid what they can negotiate for.
As Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven said, “deserves got nothing to do with it.”
That’s how wages have always worked. Workers try to get as much as they can and ownership tries to give as little as they can.
In our capitalist society, we’re told it’s up to us to get as much as we can for ourselves – grab as much of the pie as we can slice. But, suddenly, fast food workers aren’t supposed to get a bigger slice of the pie? They aren’t part of capitalism?
No one should be judged for trying to make more money.