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Fast Food Workers & Unions

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In recent weeks fast food workers, as well as employees at stores like Walmart, have been demonstrating and agitating and in some cases engaging in one-day strikes, as part of a growing campaign to get their employers to increase their hourly rate to one that is considered to be a "living wage."

I have seen some comments that suggest that the low wages paid to these workers may also hint of race or national origin discrimination, since a fairly high percentage of fast food workers, particularly in urban areas, tend to be minorities.

If you were approached by a group of workers from a McDonald's or similar establishment, and asked for your opinion as to how they might organize into a union (what procedures they should follow, their unit, etc.) or whether they should explore discrimination charges, what would you advise. Also, in general, what is your opinion on the matter of wages for people in the fast food or discount retail industry?

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Solution Summary

The solution examines fast food workers and unions. How to make an hourly wage to be considered a living wage is given.

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Just a few decades ago it was a white field. That part of it is silly. East Asians, Nigerians (Nigerian immigrants are the most highly educated of all immigrants to the US) and Indians have a tendency to make more than whites overall. In fact, when you control for IQ, whites make the least amount of money in society (that is, the top 1% of IQ's in each racial category make different amounts. Whites are the lowest.)
Take a look at these pictures: http://www.frwu.net/news/

In addition, these people are far from powerless. Their fast food union movement is backed by the multi-million dollar Acorn Fund and Service Employees International Union 32BJ.

Now, as far as the wage is concerned, they are correct, in my view. I base this on the connection between worker productivity and wages. These are two different things. These people create more value in an hour than a similar worker made in a day 50 years ago. Yet, wages have not kept up with the value they produce. While estimates vary, if wages kept up with productivity, the minimum wage, at the lowest, would be roughly $20 an hour. Jerold Shanahan says:

The numbers speak for themselves. If today's minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.52 instead of $7.25. For many Americans, this difference is the cost of rent or a car payment plus groceries and utilities. Had the minimum wage rose along with worker productivity during that same period, it would be $21.72, almost three times the present minimum (http://www.vice.com/read/fast-food-workers-fight-for-15hr).

My personal opinion is that this ...

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