Meeting of shareholders of striking McDonald’s workers

  • McDonald’s workers in 15 U.S. cities plan to strike on May 19.
  • The strikes are scheduled the day before McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting.
  • They say McDonald’s is turning to benefits and hiring incentives instead of just raising wages.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

McDonald’s workers in 15 U.S. cities plan to strike for higher wages on May 19, the day before the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.

Employees will go on strike to demand that all McDonald’s employees earn at least $ 15 an hour. So far, strikes are planned for Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit, Flint, Kansas City, St Louis, Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, Houston and Milwaukee. A protest is also planned outside the company’s Chicago headquarters, organizers of advocacy group Fight for $ 15 said.

McDonald’s told Insider it depends on local governments for minimum wage laws. “It is the responsibility of the federal and local governments to set the minimum wage, and we are open to dialogue so that any changes meet the needs of the thousands of hardworking restaurant workers and the 2,000 independent McDonald’s owners / operators who run our business. small businesses, ”said McDonald’s in the United States. Insider said.

Read more: Jack in the Box is the 5th largest burger brand, but it beat McDonald’s during the pandemic. Now he’s looking for franchisees to open restaurants, which earn around $ 1.7 million a year.

Workers say McDonald’s is offering all kinds of perks to lure workers amid the labor shortage – but not to raise wages. An organizer shared a photo of a $ 500 signing bonus in Fayetteville, NC. And in Florida, a McDonald’s pays applicants $ 50 just for an interview, but even that doesn’t create enough applicants, Insider previously reported.

McDonald's is giving away $ 500 signing bonus

Fight for $ 15

Blake Casper, the McDonald’s franchisee offering to pay interview candidates $ 50, told Insider he has had some success with signing bonuses and referral programs. But tactics are not enough to make up for the lack of workers across the chain. The company is looking to hire 25,000 employees in Texas and 8,000 in Tennessee, while fast food competitors like Taco Bell, Whataburger and others are all grappling with the same problem.

Organizers cited McDonald’s massive earnings and the danger of working during COVID as reasons for the strike.

“Last year, in the midst of a global pandemic, McDonald’s made $ 5 billion and gave billions to shareholders, as workers like me risked our lives to run stores under $ 15 / h. I can’t afford to wait for anything any longer for a raise, ”said Hakim Dumkia, a worker from Saint-Louis. “I plan to go on strike to tell McDonald’s, don’t wait for politicians in Washington to pay us what we need to survive. We supported McDonald’s during the pandemic, and now you have to pay us enough to support our families and communities. “

The strikers are also asking the company to withdraw from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the International Franchise Association (IFA). In 2019, McDonald’s announced that it would no longer lobby against the increase in the minimum wage, but the two lobbying organizations continue to fight against increases in the minimum wage.

In 2021, the The NRA wrote a letter to Congress campaigning against the wage increase law, which would have raised the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025. Fight for 15 data shared with Insider shows NRA and IFA spent more than $ 3 , $ 2 million to lobby against wage increases since April 2019, after McDonald’s agreed to stop working against it.

IFA told Insider that Fight for $ 15 is outside of the organization’s core goals. “The IFA supports reasonable increases in the minimum wage that are applied fairly, so maybe the fight for $ 15 should spend its hundreds of millions of dollars in contributors on better research before making unsubstantiated demands on organizations. he doesn’t know anything about, ”Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Matthew Haller told Insider.

The grievances of McDonald’s workers relate to a larger issue in the fast food industry and retail in general. Almost half of all American restaurants say they are sorely understaffed.

11 Starbucks employees previously told Insider their stores were understaffed and faced high turnover rates due to low wages, thousands of 7-Eleven franchisees told the chain they couldn’t reopen at night hours because they couldn’t find workers, and Dollar General workers in Maine came out to protest against low wages and understaffed stores.

Do you have a story to share on a chain store or restaurant? Email this reporter at [email protected]

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