Today: Jun 17, 2024

Fast food workers protest for more pay

Nicole Dellolio – Opinions Editor

Thousands of workers across the nation have started protesting against the low income wages they receive working at fast food restaurants.  People have started protesting to call attention to the struggles that they have to face every day due to making a living on minimum wage.

According to the Associated Press, “American fast-food workers often earn about $7.25 an hour to make the $3 chicken sandwiches and 99-cent tacos that generate billions of dollars in profit each year for McDonald’s and other chains.”

That means that if a person makes $7.25 an hour and works 40 hours a week, then they are making around $15,000 a year and that’s not nearly enough to get by in our society.  Also, if a person is making minimum wage and is working the typical 40 hours per week, they are making around $290 every week. I think that that number is extremely low and almost impossible to live off of, especially if you are trying to support and raise a family.


Overall, minimum wage needs to increase so people can live comfortably. All jobs with that low of wages need to be brought to the public’s attention so they can be aware of the situations that many people are put in due to the lack of jobs out there. In today’s economy it is very difficult to find jobs, especially after people graduate from college.

According to the 2010 American Community Survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau, only 27 percent of college graduates obtain a job that is relatively close to their major, and only 62 percent of U.S. college graduates had a job that required a college degree. This means that it is very hard to find a job that relates to the field that you studied in college, so people have to stray to different fields for jobs. This is one of my biggest fears coming out of college because I really hope to go into a certain field after graduation.

College students trying to find jobs while going to school are also faced with a dilemma because most part time jobs only offer their employees minimum wage. I fell into this category; I have worked at a grocery store and as a sales associate and at both places I started off working at minimum wage. One of the good aspects of working at a grocery store was getting time and a half on Sunday’s and holidays, which made up a major part of my paychecks.


According to the Associated Press, the protests started when President Obama called in an increase in minimum wage to $9 an hour. Since then the fast food workers have earned support from the Service Employees International Union, which represents more than two million workers, according to the Associated Press. With the prices of everything else going up around us every day, it would only make sense to raise minimum wage so people can earn what they deserve.

Workers are pushing for an increase of $15 an hour, which would make their annual wage go up to $31,000.

If you start to think about why their workers don’t make enough money to get by, it all starts to make sense. Fast food chains such as McDonalds charge low prices to consumers because the public wants to be able to purchase food at low prices and it makes them happy to do so.

“McDonald’s, the world’s biggest burger chain, for example,” according to the Associated Press, “reported a profit of $5.5 billion last year on $27.6 billion in sales. CEO Don Thompson got a pay package worth $13.8 million.”

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