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Fighting to Raise Wages on Different Fronts

April 13, 2015
Plain English Version

Wages 1

Was McDonald’s pushed or did it make the decision on its own? It raised the pay at company-owned restaurants. The average minimum hourly wage went from $9.00 to $9.90 and will rise to $10.00 next year. The raise covers 90,000 workers. It does not cover the 660,000 employees who work at franchises.

McDonald’s workers are planning to press for a $15.00 hourly wage at nationwide rallies on April 15, 2015. The movement to raise salaries is growing. It comes on the heels of Walmart raising pay at all its stores.

Experts agree on a number of things. The number of service workers who work to support families is growing. Many service jobs used to be thought of as part-time work for teens. Even conservatives think wages need to be improved. However, they say $15.00 an hour is too much for employers and will result in fewer jobs and workers. Other experts say raising wages does not seem to lower the number of people who are working.

States and cities are raising minimum wages. Seattle is now paying $15.00 an hour. President Obama supports a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

A work force can be happy and productive when it is paid a good wage. There is less turnover. The quality of service improves. People matter.

The rallies on April 15 may have a long-range impact. A new movement may be growing. College students are expected to take part in the rallies. Can wages be a new civil rights movement? The jury is still out.

Source: The New York Times March 30, 2015


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