Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fast-Food Workers Plan Strikes in 100 US Cities This Week

Fast-food workers are planning strikes in 100 cities across the country Thursday in an effort to step up pressure on chains including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and others to pay $15 an hour, NYT is reporting.

What is going on here?

Unions are losing membership and the Service Employees International Union  thinks it sees an opportunity to increase union membership by unionizing naive youth and promising them a $15.00 minimum wage, when the current fast food wage is around $7.25.

How aggressive is the SEIU move on fast food operators?

A secretive Seattle arm of the White House connected SEIU paid protesters to picket fast-food restaurants for higher pay.

The Freedom Foundation reports that Working Washington, an “alternative labor” group pushing for a $15 minimum wage, gave a $75 check to a striking Subway employees for their participation in protests against the firm in Seattle.

According to the Daily Caller, Working Washington bills itself as “a coalition of individuals, neighborhood associations, immigrant groups, civil rights organizations, people of faith, and labor.” But documents from the Department of Labor indicate that the group is essentially a covert wing of the D.C.-based SEIU.


  1. If I were the manager or regional manager, I would counteract this by teaching these kids or young adults how to manage finances of the workplace so they can understand why if they get paid higher without earning it that it'll only eliminate jobs and customers. That, if you raise their pay higher - government mandated or some means of coercion - it will only raise the prices on the sold products in order to meet the bottom line in order for the business to survive. Show them the spreadsheets and teach them how to read them and about basic accounting. They'll benefit from it in the long run anyways. Then, I would give them Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson".

    Personally, when I was younger and getting paid about $15, because I earned it, and when the minimum wage was raised due to government coercion to $10, I just remembered that it sucked because products were going to get more expensive while my pay was still the same. People that get hurt the most, at least at first, are people who are getting paid just above the minimum wage, but nobody thinks of these consequences.
    - JS

  2. Good thing I haven't eaten fast food in years and don't plan to any time soon. What will be amusing is that some of the managers (if not get orders from regional or district managers) will just start firing employees who walk out. It's not like there aren't people who need jobs (no matter how the pay is). In my conversations with union guys who are also libertarian they view unions in retail and food service to be pointless and do nothing but drive up costs that are past onto the consumer.

  3. I think these strikes will just keep growing and growing.

  4. "Fast food" is an oxymoron. There is almost nothing even remotely nutritious about the crap these establishments serve. Is it any wonder the average American is obese?

    As for the strikes, I say, "Let them." And then do what Reagan did with the air traffic controllers back in the 80's. If these employees don't like the conditions of their employment, let them find jobs elsewhere.

  5. Seriously, cui bono? Doubling labor costs wrecks the fast food business model. Does SEIU really gain anything from closing down thousands of franchises and putting their workers on unemployment? Not following the logic here.

    1. Of course they do. The underlying ideology is socialism, not gradual improvement in what they already deem an exploitative capitalist system. And the means of socialism is class war. What better way to instigate class war than to antagonize disgruntled workers as much as possible? Divide and conquer.

      This is just an example of something i've been thinking about more and more lately: the very reason that principles in libertarianism are so necessary instead of the milquetoast gradualism and compromise of beltarians, tea partiers and Rand-apologists etc... The statist left is doing what it always does, expertly wage in a political tug of war, a gradualist fight for leftward political movement in which they ALWAYS win. And the most gradualist libertarians can achieve is a temporary draw. Things like a decrease in the projected *extra* spending. For them, a draw is like a victory, and thats why they'll never get anywhere.

      Let's face it, Americans in Seattle have now voted for someone who suggests doubling minimum wage and even nationalizing Amazon. In New York City they've voted for someone who openly states he believes government should be activist. This is the result of playing a gradualist game that the statist left is both experienced and expert in. These strikes by fast food employees is just a recent example of it. They can see the time has become ripe.

  6. It is funny how protests like this are just starting to happen now that we are on the cusp of full automization of these kinds of jobs. We have burger making machines, coffee making machines, pizza making machines, and so on that do all these jobs and do them consistently better than humans.

    A rise in the minimum wage will ensure this will happen a lot quicker than it might otherwise.

    1. Logic is not their strong suit. A $15/hr wage would mean 90% of those jobs would be automated within a year.

      I hope that crazy socialist See You Next Tuesday in Seattle gets Boeing nationalized, Amazon kicked out, and the minimum wage raised so the rest of the country can see how fast Seattle becomes a third world city worse than Detroit.

    2. Hell, she might be the best thing to happen to anarcho-libertarianism since Ron Paul if she succeeds! Just imagine the chaos once her policies take effect, and the misery she inflicts causes riots!