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Fast-food workers strike for $15 minimum wage

WFXT reports on the picket line that started this morning on Tremont Street downtown.

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Or will starting on Tuesday will workers unite and walk out citywide?

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Did they also have a group who wanted to lose their jobs to robots and kiosks?

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And we live in the richest country in the history of the world. We live in a city with the greatest income and wealth inequality in the US. Mass. pioneered the minimum wage in 1912. The legislative study group said that any employer who does not pay a person a high enough wage to cover their cost of living was stealing their labor.

If MA raised it's minimum wage to keep up with inflation since the 1970s it'd be $17 hour. These folks are asking for $15 minimum wage. The bill the Mass Senate passed that raise to the wage to $15 (over time) applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.

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or if you like, appealing to the sentiments of the powerful.

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People earning poverty wages say no, they want to earn fair pay so they can pay their own way. People making billions of profit in multinationals like WalMart and McDonalds say yes.

Poverty wages are socialized wages, the rest of us pay for food assistance, housing assistance and health coverage assistance. We allow capitalism to exploit labor and we require the public to fund the difference.

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Min wage will benefit some workers but make it harder for other low skill workers to get hired. Businesses will orient around employees who actually produce enough to be profitable paying workers 15/hr instead of 11/hr. Who speaks for the people who never get hired in the first place because of the min wage?

The second objection I have is that the min wage raise applies across the state and the effects on those in western mass will be heavier, will kill marginal businesses out there and hurt low skill workers more because there is a bigger gap to cover.

The min wage works when it reflects the actual minimum wage established by competition for labor.

I have worked at this wage not too late my ago. While it was hard it was also important in my life to understand what my labor was actually worth. Arguments about human dignity and fairness miss the point and leave you in a position as the beggar of giant corporations rather than taking control of your destiny.

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The min wage has increased $8 to $11 since 2014. Show us your evidence of job loss.

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appealing to the sentiments of the powerful

The first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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I've negotiated raises with bosses in professional services who said yes. Minimum wage workers in a business where the model is poverty wage don't have that privilege. I believe SEIU and others have been helping fast food and WalMart etc organize and protest for livable wages for about 5 years. I find it hard to believe that as the richest country in the history of the world we're not prepared to pay people a livable wage but that's just me. I don't own WalMart stock and want it to double in price on the backs of people paid poverty wages. SeaTac and Seattle were the first to pass $15 min. California and New York followed.

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but the richest people in the country aren't customers at the McDonald's on Washington St. this place serves some of the poorest people in the City. if you raise wages here then prices go up, poor people pay more for food, it's a vicious cycle.

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it becomes far cheaper for McDonalds to develop an app to replace the people in front and robots in back. Even at McDonalds there's no free lunch.

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The owner of the franchise who makes $1 million a year or whatever makes only $500,000. Boohoo for him.

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.

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S/he brings in technology and makes $1.5 million. Plus doesn't have to deal with people that call in sick at the last minute, quit without notice, don't folliw food sanitation rules etc etc.

You can always buy a McDs franchise and pay your people a premium. Lots of luck with that.

Or even start your own franchise.

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I need to gets me some of that free technology that never costs a dime for its entire lifetime all these people are talking about. I mean right now I'm payin' my kids to do their chores when I could just have a robot do it and save $1.5 million a year!

Tom and Jerry house of the future, here I come!

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Roomba

Doubles as a cat toy

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Great example. The roomba is a great robot helper for a house with a Tom, Spike, or Jerry. It means you don't need a $15/hr maid to do the sweeping...but you might occasionally need to hire someone to replace the carpets:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/15/roomba-robot-vacuum-p...

Now, let's head over to McDonalds where the robot workers taking your orders and making your food are as ready-to-go as a roomba...

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And the poor cars think it's chasing them

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Fast Food workers get a living minimum wage and benefits, like sick time, vacation, and health insurance. People still eat there too. Why? Because those people get paid a living wage as well. That's how it works. These corporations are making high profits off of the lowest paid workers and taxpayers subsidizing those wages with food stamps and other programs. People use these horror stories and mom and pop shops as a shield against paying a living wage but it really benefits large corporations that can't pull this crap in other countries.

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It kills off their smaller competitors who can't comply.

Giant corporations have offices full of lawyers and hr. They can automate and shift production to low wage states or even countries. Small companies do not have those options.

These campaigns aren't hurting Walmart and McDonald's, they are helping them.

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Suffragettes and civil rights activists were basically begging to be treated fairly and equally.

Vietnam war protesters were begging for peace.

Abolitionists were begging to have fellow human beings treated as such and not as chattel.

I don't think I need to go on.

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Minimum wage in 1971 was $1.60. That's about $10 in today's dollar, not $17.

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

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I did the same calculation some time ago from about 1978 I think - came up with about the same number.

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They are already adding robots and Kiosks as fast as they can. Paying the humans more or less won't change that.

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Making minimum wage vs making no wage at all does change a lot of things.

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It's not as if local employees/manager have much say in these decisions.

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Make sense when they're cheaper than burger-flipping and button-mashing drones. They might be more expensive than a $10 drone, but if they're cheaper than a $15 drone all the gimme $15 clowns will quickly find themselves making exactly $0.

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Your solution to avoiding robots constantly getting cheaper and easier to install to do menial work instead of humans...is to keep letting humans do the menial work for less and less money to stay under the ever-dropping line even if it means they can't even afford the food they're making but at least the robots haven't won yet?

Awesome goal. Good luck with that in 15-20 years. I mean another solution would just be to kill these people right now and replace them with robots immediately. It's a bit messier I guess and you'd have to get your hands dirty. Best to just keep killing them slowly instead and less directly so you feel like you were "helping" by "not replacing them with robots".

By the way...how much do you get paid to do things? I wonder how soon we can have a robot that does that...

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Good luck to them. The way shift workers are currently treated is shameful.

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          ( assuming he actually works a full 40-hour week )

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Heck, why not $30 while we're at it? $35 if you can work the fryolator.

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Your bad faith representation of the argument for 15$ minimum wage has completely won me over...in fact, why not pay them 0$ while we're at it!

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"The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/26/new-study-casts-d...

There's no free lunch.

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Has Seattle’s minimum wage hike backfired? Not so fast.

The paper found that Seattle’s second wage bump to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by 9 percent. These findings sharply diverge from what has been previously reported—only last week, a study by researchers at Berkeley found that Seattle’s minimum wage increase had only a negligible impact on jobs.

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McDonald's could finance $15 minimum wage by halting it's stock buyback program.

Unionized McDonalds in Denmark pay workers the equivalent of $23/hour. Customers pay the equivalent of .30 cents more per meal-- burger, fries, drink.

Imagine if all the WalMart and fast food workers were paying more tax on income instead of signing up for food assistance, medicaid and housing subsidies.

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McD's in Denmark is much, much nicer than the one on Washington St! Really what we're talking about here is making McD's pay more and charge more for it's food thereby pricing out most of its existing customers.

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$15 min wage would raise the cost of a Big Mac $0.17 cents, unless corporate funded it by ending their stock buyback program.

source:

Study: Raising wages to $15 an hour for limited-service restaurant employees would raise prices 4.3 percent - Purdue University https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/study-raising-wages-to-...

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Just curious - thanks.

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Why there's no Mcd's in Back Bay?

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And that study has been so shot full of holes, it ends up being pretty useless.

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McDonald's could finance $15 minimum wage by halting it's stock buyback program.

Except burger-flippers aren't paid by McD's corporate. They're paid by the independent franchisee.

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The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

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Do you want to get something done? Vote. There is an election coming up and you can vote to change the tide of driving families and blue collar jobs out of the City. The City is for the rich only and $15/hour isn't going to cut it.

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The city is for the rich and the heavily subsidized poor. The middle class has been squeezed entirely out of the city by housing costs.

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Back nearly 10 years ago when I was working with older adults and senior citizens to find housing in Brighton, the Boston waiting list was over 40,000 long, and I am guessing now it is even worse.

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Do you want to get something done? Vote

You might think having a Democratic super majority in Massachusetts means FightFor15 is a fait acompli aka done deal.. It's not clear Speaker DeLeo will even give it a vote. Forget voting, protest the state house. It's truly remarkable that this plank of the "Better Deal" national democrats rolled out a month ago (including our own US Senators) wont have the support of the most powerful Democrat in state government.

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They're experts on rising wages. ESPECIALLY THEIR OWN.

Those fuckers voted themselves a huge fatass pay raise and 99% of the voters are either too stupid or too sycophantic to do anything about it.

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Workers who start in my business don't produce enough to be worth 15/hour. I will simply cut back how much I take on and do more of the work myself.

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If you are running a startup and find yourself doing the work that would normally be done by workers 51, 52 etc... then you are a lousy businessperson.

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and thats true even if the shift to $15 is over a couple of years?

Are you saying that your productivity will not increase in that timeframe?

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Minimum wage is supposed to be the *minimum* amount of earnings needed to make ends meet WITHOUT NEEDING FOOD STAMPS, MEDICAID, RENTAL SUBSIDIES, REDUCED UTTILITY RATES, TRIPS TO THE FOOD BANK OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE.

And yet, in today's world almost every minimum wage worker qualifies for at least one form of government subsidy. Whether or not that worker applies for and receives such subsidies is a separate issue.

Also, just like a state may set a minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum...cities and towns may ALSO set a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state to reflect the higher cost of living in that city or town.

Yes, a few businesses will shut down or move to another city/town if that happens, but many will just simply comply, especially in a major city like Boston that gets a lot of tourists who want their fast food and/or convenience stores to be...well...convenient. Not in the very INconvenient next town over.

And I'm going to add to the opinion(s) already expressed above that if you can't afford to pay your workers an increased minimum wage, you are a lousy businessperson with a crappy business model.

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But that's not why a minimum wage was created. Medicaid for example, didn't being until 1965, the Fed. min wage was instituted in 1938.

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"In no state can a minimum wage worker afford a ONE-BEDROOM rental home at Fair Market Rent, working a standard 40-hour work week, without paying more than 30% of their income." In MA, a worker earning minimum wage would need to work 80 hours/week to afford rent:

http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR_2017_Min-Wage-Map.pdf

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