Go get your Big Macs and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets while you can because there could be times today when it’s awfully tough to get your meal of choice at McDonald’s. That’s because there is a strike planned among the fast-food chain’s workers going down in a number of cities that could temporarily (or longer) halt service at hundreds of McDonald’s locations. The core issue at hand is the hourly wages of the workforce and folks are demanding a pay increase in the short-term or this kind of labor organization could be happening more and more.
McDonald’s workers will be walking out in a number of major cities around the United States in including Los Angeles, Tampa, St. Louis, Kansas City, and many others. They are demanding that McDonald’s raises their current wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, effectively doubling (plus) the current wage structure and bringing it more in line with the living wage in the cities the workers are walking out.
Currently, McDonald’s workers are not unionized which is why this walkout isn’t happening across all locations in the United States. This is coming on the same day the company is planning a shareholders meetings. In this way, it’s an organized effort to bring more publicity to the walkout and have the talking points be in line with what McDonald’s sets forth as a company and the financial future. The organized strikers are also demanding that McDonald’s remove itself from the National Restaurant Association which has been in an active lobbying effort with Congress to maintain the current federal minimum wage.
This McDonald’s workers‘ walk-out comes at an inflection point for the restaurant business in general. In the wake of the pandemic and a number of different closings over the last year, there’s also been a shortage of restaurant workers across the country. The reported reasoning, among others, about the labor force not returning to previous postings is that the wages are simply too low to maintain a cost of living in major metropolitan areas. There aren’t clear incentives for certain members of the workforce to return and its caused a major shortage.
McDonald’s isn’t the only company dealing with strife among its workforce. There are currently reports eight million job openings across the country right now with many businesses simply not able to staff enough people in physical locations in order to reopen at full capacity. What started as locations being shut down because of the pandemic is ending with them not being able to reopen because they don’t have the workers.
The move by the McDonald’s staff in this strike is part of a larger movement called the Fight for $15 which is centered on increasing the federal minimum wage on a Congressional level. This will be one of the most publicized events for the movement yet, sure to put some pressure on the larger company. If many locations are forced to close for an extended period of time the conversation might change at a corporate level.