Raise Inadequate Wages in the Fast Food Industry

strike fast food wage

Target: McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson

Goal: Stop cheating fast food workers out of reasonable wages

Fast food employees across 100 cities will be striking for higher wages in 2014. This is a crucial step toward ending worker exploitation by billion dollar fast food companies. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s must be told that their current wages are disrespectful and nowhere near adequate.

A recent examination by Time Magazine suggested fast food chains are growing even more monetarily successful. The four largest fast food chains in America made over 7 billion dollars in 2012, while costing taxpayers almost 4 billion dollars. Top executives at these chains were collectively paid about 52 million dollars. Meanwhile, more than half of families headed by fast food workers received public assistance.

Workers claim that they will be asking for $15 per hour, nearly an $8 increase from the current wage. However, progress towards such a wage increase is expected to be slow. Obama has already agreed to sign off on a bill that would raise minimum wage to $10 per hour, while Washington DC, California, and New Jersey lawmakers have already committed to raising minimum wage in their states. Now fast food chains must acknowledge this problem and the part they have been playing in it.

Ask McDonald’s, the highest grossing fast food chain in America, to stop cheating workers out of livable wages.


Dear Don Thompson,

As the new CEO of McDonald’s it is you responsibility to ensure the ethical treatment of employees within the company. McDonalds can be the first company in the fast food industry to make a dignified change and pay workers what they rightfully deserve.

While this issue has been brought to the attention of McDonald’s and other fast food chains in America countless times, executives continue to show no concern. This gives the impression that the fast food industry is purposely and knowingly exploiting workers while profits continue to soar higher and higher for those lucky enough to reap the benefit.

Inflation has risen steadily while wages have remained stagnant. With additional forces like  student debt and poverty working against employees, it is unlikely that this dispute will resolve itself. Employees will continue to strike and demand livable wages until they are given what they have already earned. Raising wages above $7.25 is not only an extremely reasonable request, but also necessary if workers are to successfully keep up with the cost of basic life necessities. This request should have been fulfilled long ago, especially by McDonald’s, the most profitable fast food chain in the nation.

Once again, we ask that you stop exploiting workers for the sake of billion dollar profits for the few.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Annette Bernhardt via Flickr

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