Congressional Democrats pen letter urging higher wages for fast food workers

Congressional Democrats have written a letter to McDonald's (MCD -0.9%), Burger King (BKW -0.6%), Yum! Brands (YUM +0.1%), Wendy's (WEN -1%), and Domino's Pizza (DPZ +0.7%) management urging the restaurateurs to raise wages for store workers. "Too many hard-working families are being forced to depend on poverty-level wages," the letter, which was signed by 53 members, reads.

The moves comes as fast-food workers in over 100 cities plan to strike for $15/hour pay tomorrow. President Obama has voiced support for a pending bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour from $7.25 and index it to inflation.

If steam gets behind the movement, fast-food operators could experience significant margin pressure. Employee expenses represented 25.6% of sales at McDonald's in the 9 months ended Sept. 30, for instance, already up from 25.2% in the comparable period in 2012.

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Comments (25)
  • redhat63
    , contributor
    Comments (333) | Send Message
    It would be nice if these companies told the congressional democrats to suck wind. These are entry level jobs for pocket money, not jobs meant to support a family.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (1142) | Send Message
    Says who? Average age of a fast food worker is now 30, thanks mostly to conservative retards destroying middle class jobs out of greed and selfishness. You're next, dummy.
    4 Dec 2013, 11:57 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5357) | Send Message
    Clinton was a "conservative retard" for signing NAFTA?
    5 Dec 2013, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • patastic
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
    All 53 of these morons have now shown their complete and total ignorance of economics to the entire country. Please feel free to ignore anything else they may say in the future.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Big Bad Bulls
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
    So, some employees would lose other benefits to offset this or it would just get passed on to the consumer. Although I am generally against govt regulation on pay, it is quite ridiculous to see the discrepancy between what the CEO's etc., make and the average worker. When grocery store workers, library workers, fast food and retail all barely make the minimum wage, someone is pocketing the money at their expense. In the 1980's you could make $11.00/hr at grocery stores doing shelf stocking.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • ladubs111
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
    they get paid what they are worth. Systems not perfect but if you increase the minimal wage the middle class will get squeezed the hardest most likely due to the wage increase leading to higher inflation. Most of Congress is the top 1% anyways, and don't give a rats ass about the minimal wage workers cept to gain votes.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • redhat63
    , contributor
    Comments (333) | Send Message
    You act as if it takes no skill to be CEO. How is a community organizer working out as president, huh? These people are paid what they are worth.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Rose_Colored_Glasses
    , contributor
    Comments (1115) | Send Message
    I got a better way to get to $15 per hour. Lets focus on growing real jobs, create a labor shortage, and let supply and demand take care of the problem
    4 Dec 2013, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • amg mic
    , contributor
    Comments (58) | Send Message
    Your statement about discrepancy shows only that Executives do in fact earn more than line workers. What you fail to state is that virtually anyone can work a line at fast food. To run the company is further from working the line than the wages are from each position. Generally positions pay in line with job description and ability to fill the perspective job. Anyone can work a line CEO's are not as easy to find. So no one is pocketing money at their expense rather they are being paid accordingly. One more thing to bring to your attention people are still free in this country to find employment elsewhere should they decide the wage is no longer suitable.
    You describe a world that will take a job knowing full well they pay and then demand higher wages. I suggest taking a job knowing the wage and investing in your skill set and gaining employment at higher rate some where else or working for promotion within the company.
    Employers compete for employees based on ability to fill the open position and will pay higher wages/ benefits when competition requires.
    Think about it loser easy why can't someone do something winners say here's what I can do.
    4 Dec 2013, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • busterosodd
    , contributor
    Comments (63) | Send Message
    Those Congressional Democrats and Obama should forcibly be required to have 90% of there salaries distributed to fast-food workers.
    4 Dec 2013, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • SaBom32016
    , contributor
    Comments (149) | Send Message
    How about the democrats also take a pay cut and restore funding to the SNAP program if they are so worried about "Hard working families".... Maybe pay some of their own healthcare expenses too....
    4 Dec 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5357) | Send Message
    Maybe Congress should get off their butts and try to create an economy conducive to better jobs?


    Perhaps they don't realize that these jobs basically provide work for people who would otherwise be on federal assistance alone. At least this way, they can actually contribute to society. The other chunk of people obviously working these jobs are high schoolers and retirees, something that seems to escape the congressional dems who signed this letter.
    4 Dec 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • Davide12
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    We need a higher minimum wage. People are taking these jobs because they need them. This is where government has responsibilities as one Co can't act without the others and still complete.


    What would happen if they got together and decided to raise wages. Would probably be called wage fixing and get them into court.
    4 Dec 2013, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • tampabay
    , contributor
    Comments (459) | Send Message
    When will the Democrats quit Pandering to "poor" Dumb people for votes, they have never ran a business, Don't like Big Business and are on big Salaries, benefits, and all they can steal....Please, Public Wake up....
    4 Dec 2013, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Ryan Takach
    , contributor
    Comments (62) | Send Message
    As automation becomes more advanced and less expensive I think you'll see a lot of these jobs being replaced by machines. McDonald's already has quite a bit of mechanization in its processes, there's no doubt they're working on more.


    Machines don't take breaks, they don't complain, they don't throw attitude at customers or managers, they rarely make mistakes or labor costs put the squeeze on margins, fast food joints will definitely be making investments in automation.


    And that is the sad reality for the future of unskilled labor, because for centuries mankind has been developing technology to relieve humans of the burden of labor. Capitalism only provides different incentives for relieving humans of the burden of labor.


    Here is an article in Time magazine from 2011 about McDonald's installing self-serve kiosks:


    And another one from InvestorPlace:


    There's no reason why burgers couldn't be assembled by robots; or fries be portioned, cooked, removed and salted by robots; or drinks being dispensed by robots. Pretty much every activity within a fast food restaurant can be done by a machine, with few limitations.
    4 Dec 2013, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • Davide12
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    If these Cos got together and decided to raise wages. (Which they would need to do to remain competitive,) hty would probably wind up in court for wage fixing.
    4 Dec 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • carolynmwright
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Raise the minimum wage for these food service workers and then all classes from there up will demand higher wages. Food, gas, utility, etc prices will go up because people "can afford" to pay more etc... employers will not be able to pay more for wages, plus more for insurance, plus more for stock, transportation for goods etc.. etc... soooo businesses go under. people lose jobs etc...government losed taxes... government has more people on welfare,snap benefits, health insurances, taxes go up for everybody... yada, yada, yada
    4 Dec 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • yaozchen
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    The congressmen or our president should take full responsibilitis about the poor but not to force the private sector to pay the mess "they" created. If those workers don't like to work in the restaurants, they could go to look for other jobs. Don't blaim the minimum wages, blaim the government or who run the system.


    Ask youself, how much do you do for the county and how much you should claim?
    4 Dec 2013, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • bradc562
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Fast food work is for high school kids, or secondary family earners. How can anyone think that fast food is a career. Get a real job, and leave fast food for kids.
    4 Dec 2013, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • vmg
    , contributor
    Comments (89) | Send Message
    A robot or something like it is already filling drinks cups at the drive thru window at most McDonald's. Life is so hard and pay is low if a person doesn't acquire or learn a work skill. Flipping a hamburger is not a work skill. As a consumer I don't feel like paying someone above their skill level, even if it is for a hamburger. Yes, these jobs are not careers - but they can be stepping stones up for those that choose. I am a MCD customer and stockholder.
    4 Dec 2013, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • 1313sk
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
    If they are capable of getting better jobs they certainly are free to do so.My experience with these workers is that they can't give change if the cash register doesn't tell them how much.They have no skills.They are lucky that these companies are even willing to hire them.The welfare party (democrats) should give them their parties money if their so concerned.
    4 Dec 2013, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • Gcouch490
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Incredible! That these Dem's don't understand the market system, tell them to move to South Dakota and work at Mc D. there I heard they are paying over $25 dollars an hour becuase of a shortage of workers.


    Hey Dem's that is how market works the availability of talent and equivalent jobs dictate the price. Why do I pay more for my Starbucks in NYC than in rural PA. The market dictates the price, if we try to switch that around, that is called Socialism.
    4 Dec 2013, 08:15 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    So where does it stop, $15.00 for fast food worker well then what about the Wal-Mart worker the Security guard it goes on and on. Are you going to say these low paid workers deserve more and not others?
    4 Dec 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • Steve Tinnes
    , contributor
    Comments (74) | Send Message
    Democrats will do and say anything to get votes
    5 Dec 2013, 05:54 AM Reply Like
  • tony1066
    , contributor
    Comments (152) | Send Message
    The demunists are trying to do what they can to run businesses into the ground. Paying someone $15/hr to flip burgers?
    Hope and change. Want some fries with that?
    5 Dec 2013, 05:55 AM Reply Like
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