John F. Bridgers: Pay fast-food workers a living wage

December 9, 2013 

Under current minimum wages and in the absence of their own labor union, fast-food workers in the U.S. find themselves on the fast track to poverty. Their low annual earnings will usually qualify them for food stamps and other government benefits.

Corporations like McDonald’s that employ these workers are quite content to pay low wages and let the federal government and the American taxpayer subsidize their workers’ poverty-level salaries. That one of our largest industries – food service – doesn’t have its own union is indicative of the general decline of union power and the political power of big business.

All Americans should show their support for food service workers by boycotting all food service businesses that don’t currently pay a living wage. If these corporations can’t afford to pay higher wages and still make a decent profit, they need to find another line of business. If fast food prices need to be increased, so be it. A $1 hamburger should not be a permanent fixture of the American economy at the expense of a living wage.

John F. Bridgers, Fuquay-Varina

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