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A Living Wage?

The English language has become very fluid. We no longer add or remove words, we simply change them on the fly depending on what group we are speaking to.

Unless you were in a coma this week, you should have heard about the strike at McDonald’s in 7 different major cities across the country. Cities whose people need work. Cities that have high unemployment rates. Chicago, Detroit, Flint (Michigan), Kansas City, Milwaukee, and St. Louis are among the cities that were targeted. Why?

Does anyone else find it interesting that an industry with 75% percent turnover in workers would want to unionize and lose jobs? No one goes to McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and so on to pursue a career in burger flipping and take care of their families. The majority of employees at these establishments are young people. People who haven’t worked much in the “real world”.

These jobs are one of the learning cycles in life. They are a normal and natural progression on the path to one’s life career. Young people take these jobs, in most cases, to make some spending money, save for a car, school or Christmas.

They are great experiences that teach them how to take responsibility for their actions, both good and bad. They also learn how to work in a team environment to accomplish the desired results. They learn what “8 to 5” means and why a company needs to make a profit. It teaches them how to get along with people they may not like, and even a boss they don’t like simply because they need a paycheck. These are good skills to have and lessons that need to be learned.

It is not a life sustaining job. If you have an IQ above single digits you know that.

I was watching some of the news channels interviewing people on strike in different cities. At several of the locations were people wearing SEIU t-shirts, which I found to be interesting. As I went back over the interviews, I noticed they all had the same catch phrases, “We need a living wage”, “They make all their profits off our hard work and we get paid nothing”, “The executives make millions we make nothing”. I guess that proves my point about the IQ. If you aren’t getting paid to work, then you’re an idiot for working for nothing!

But how did they come up with the same catch phrases across all those cities? The SEIU spoon fed them. Did the SEIU also pay them for the day of work they missed? Were they bused in? Were they real employees? When the SEIU gets involved it opens up all kinds of questions.

The first is, what’s in it for them? The answer is simple… dues! And lots of it. Think about it. There are about 3.5 million people in fast food positions across the country. Each of those employees will pay an average of $45.00 dollars a month to the union. That’s almost $160 million a year. The SEIU is a large corporation and they pay their managers millions of your union money. Where is the outrage from the left?

If these union mercenaries were being honest then they would work for “fair” wages as well and then they would be able to honestly fight for the “rank and file”.
Living wages equates to union dues in most cases (that’s union-ese). In this case its 100% on. Unionizing means more than $15 an hour. It means accumulated sick days, accumulated vacation days, grievance filings, health care, representation, and more. Union driven benefits will equate to about $23.00 per employee and remember that the employer matches some taxes and portions of the benefits; this will bring the employer cost per employee up to about $32 per hour. With those wages you can look for a McDonald’s hamburger to cost $16.50, not including fries and a coke, and if you supersize it, you may need a loan.

Now those poor and middle-class people just barely scraping by who rely on the fast food dollar menus to feed their families will be screwed. Is anyone concerned about these families? It would seem not, as long as whatever employees are left in the fast food industry are making their “living wage”.

The bottom line is this; a living wage is what you make when you get your first professional job: carpenter, electrical or plumber apprentice, janitor, handyman, mechanic, computer technician, administrative assistance, etc.

It is not what you make for breathing and having a heartbeat.

Not every job pays a living wage. Stop complaining, grow up, and go find a job that will support your family!

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