Fast Food Walkout In New York Adds to Spate of Low-Wage Actions

by Categorized: Consumer, Economy, Labor, Retail Date:

Workers at fast-food outlets in New York walked off the job Thursday, another action by low-wage workers of the sort we should expect to see happening more.

Organizers hope to see the protest lead to unionization and wages of $15 an hour, but as Steven Greenhouse explains in the New York Times, it’s a tough industry to organize because of high turnover and fractured workforces, and anyway, those wages might not be attainable.

No word yet of a similar action in Connecticut, where the cost of living is high and minimum-wage workers typically need public assistance of one kind or another.

Give credit to the strikers, as they could easily lose their jobs at a time when unemployment remains around 9 percent. That’s a sign of how bad it’s become for low-wage workers.

Will the $1 meal at Mickey D’s go the way of the Twinkie? I say good riddance if it does.

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32 thoughts on “Fast Food Walkout In New York Adds to Spate of Low-Wage Actions

  1. Da Troof

    Yes Dan, we should see more of these labor actions in the Obamanation where SEIU and the Teamsters now have spare bedrooms in the White House. In the new America created by Obama, low wage jobs will be the only ones left so we might want to establish new college majors like “fast food hospitality” or “janitorial engineering.”

    Now that’s change we can believe in. Forward.

  2. JM

    “where the cost of living is high and minimum-wage workers typically need public assistance of one kind or another.”
    I remember when I was in high school/college and working at a restaurant for minimum wage…I didn’t need public assistance…nor did any of my friends as far as I can remember…are you implying Dan that minimum wage jobs are now a career path?

  3. Dan Haar Post author

    That’s the whole problem here — for some people, these jobs are a high school waystation. for others they are indeed a career, if not a career path. Maybe we should have a high school minimum wage.

    1. johngaltwhereru

      What does a “high school minimum wage” mean?

      Are you suggesting that people who are past high school age be paid more than high school students for doing the same work?

      Also, working full time, $15 per hour would be over $30K per year for a job you can obtain as a high school drop-out. With tax payer funded healthcare, food and housing combined with absolutely zero income taxation, I’d say $30K is excessive.

      Fast-food jobs should be used to supplement income from other jobs, or make a little cash while you are in school. Cooking fries is not worth $15 per hour.

  4. Dan Haar Post author

    That’s what a high school minimum wage is, yes. I agree that $15 an hour is excessive but the current minimum wage is inadequate for anyone living on his or her own in New York. The whole industry can’t rely solely on a labor force looking to supplement income — that’s not realistic.

    1. Johngaltwhereru

      You are openly advocating discriminatory wage policies.

      Where does that end? People getting closer to retirement age or that have kids need more income than a single, childless 19 year old. Should the older burger flipper or the one with 3 kids get paid more than the less needy worker? How about if that single 19 year old has a kid but the fry cook has 3 kids. Then this social engineering gets complicated.

      This kind of reminds me of “…to each according to their needs”. Who said that again?

        1. johngaltwhereru

          Fruitful. I’m moving there January 2.

          How is the Framing and Art Biz? (I hope I have the right guy.) Ready to have your taxes dramatically increase along with your health insurance premiums?

          How do you feel about President Obama holding middle class tax rates hostage for a tax rate increase that will do nothing but mildly and tmporarily quench a childish left wing bloodlust against the “rich”?

          1. bill

            You do. Hey, call me and say hello. You know how to find me. You really are going? I though it might have been a temporary hissy fit as we all have them. I feel that you had Costa Rica in mind for awhile and this was your tipping point. When W Bush was elected or later in his term, I wanted to pack up and return to Europe. it was so oppressive living under an idiot.

            You ask how I feel about Obama behavior? the same way I felt when the conservatives in Congress avowedly said no to all parts of the Affordable health Care act for the sole purpose to bring Obama down in 2012.

            Don’t be naive, doc. politics is ugly and back-stabbing on both sides. In particular, it is arrogant of Obama to leave out addressing social security and medicare in the grand compromise.

            Frankly, they both are screwing with my country and I am not very pleased. But still, I would rather have a leftist gone centrist in office rather than someone so far to the right that to go any farther would be to fall off the graph, LOL.

            I’m still laughing at how the Courant cut the blog lines after having finally made our peace treaty with each other.

            And finally, business is slow right now. but I never depended on a weekly pay check to survive. In fact, I have been going on a minor art buying spree since the prices I am paying for a master artist in the aft market is pennies on the dollar. I have good marketing plans for them.

            so really, it would be fun to say hello. anyways, good luck with your move.

          2. Johngaltwhereru

            C.R. Was a retirement plan. I had no intention of having a career there.

            I don’t think Obama can be considered a Centrist. I think his liberal desires are limited soley by Congress.

            Mitt Romney was nowhere near the right edge of the graph. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts. He instituted Romneycare. He repeatedly signed tax increases. He repeatedly said he does not want to change the progresivity of the tax code. He was pro-choice, or at least a flip-flopper on abortion.

            Anyone who claims to be moderate or a Centrist is lying to themselves if they voted for Obama.

            I will stay in touch. I will still be online, and I will be in CT a few times per year.

            I am switching from owner/operator to an employee, so unfortunately I have no say over the artwork in my new workplace.

            Out of curiosity, and keep in mind I could not stand Bush, how was living under Bush oppressive for you? Did any of his policies directly affect you? I understand not liking his policies, but did anything actually hurt you personally?

  5. Bill

    Jongalt: On W Bush, it is hard to find a starting point how this twerp affected me. I don’t need to be personally affected to feel oppressed. To wit, his insistence to needlessly invade Iraq wasting bil
    Ions of tax payer money ( sending pallets of money to bagdad)and thousands of American lives. This should be enough for you to agree with me. Not to mention all the thugs in his administration that sold out this country in favor of staying employed. This ignorance of insulting France because they refused to go along for the ride. Remember the line, “France is the old Europe” by our then defense secretary? If it hadn’t been for the support of France we would be bowing to the British crown. My proud sign that I marched with in the anti war protest in DC on March 15, 2003 said “vive Le Frane” with a painted French flag as few professional French photographers shot me so I’m sure I was popular in France for a day or two.

    Anyways, enough stress thinking about Bush. BTW, I wasn’t referring to Romney as an example of someone far to the right. I was referring to the tendency of the Republican party to vere to the extreme right in general with their newly elected representitives. Come on, give me that much. I wasn’t talking about Romney.

    My uncle was our family doctor and while he did OK for himself, many of his patients were elderly and his income was stymied by the lower pay from Medicare.

    And how is your buddy Kimmerian? I suspect some of those guys from the blogs are around under different names.

    I still use my “Jimmy Boggs” in article comments.

  6. Johngaltwhereru

    Kimmerian is now Kim. I have a hunch Da Troof is Jim Nasium, but I have no confirmation.

    As far as I can tell, the Troll has yet to figure out this format.

    I have seen a couple posts from Dr. Aki Bola, Esq.

    I tried a couple other websites, but there are so many posters you can’t really get a dialog going. The concentration of morons seems to be more intense on many of these sites. I understand people preferring Obama to other options, but the regard in which some people on these sites hold him is mindless. I have no use for discourse with the brain dead.

  7. Bill

    Jongalt; As you remember, the Troll aka Professor was my ally. But I was a reluctant one. I believe he actually is a Maxist and Maxism, as well as Randian capitalism, is so out of date.

    My few honest discourses with you showed that I am a centrist. I attacked you on taxes but it was a faux fight. I don’t like taxes either especially when we waste so much. The tax code is so Balkenized – an invention of special interests.

    The bus lane is a shining example of wonton waste of public monies. But don’t just blame Malloy. There were Republican governors during the plan’s inception.

    1. johngaltwhereru

      I don’t believe in pure Randian Capitalism. I am only a Libertarian at the Federal Level.

      Our Country is too large, with too diverse regional viewpoints for an all powerful central government to ram their ideology down the throats of our entire nation. I believe the Federal Government should only exist to protect Constitutional rights and to provide Defense and International Diplomacy. The rest should be controlled at the State and Local Level.

      Our tax code and budget need to be wiped out. Everyone who works should pay some Federal Income Taxes, or there should be no Federal Income taxes. All refundable tax credits should be eliminated. Once tax credits result in your liability approching zero, they should no longer apply. I am still for scrapping the entire code and replacing it with a Federal Sales Tax exempting certain food, clothing and educational supplies.

    2. old capitalist

      “Randian capitalism is out of date” – replaced by nanny state socialism & crony capitalism, enabled by a host of weak and like-minded Bills willing to kotow to their future Chinese masters and support those who continously bleat for others to sustain their existence.

      How out of date is promising Bread and Circuses?

      Apologies for intruding on your discourse.

      1. johngaltwhereru

        Old Capitalist,

        All are welcome. I detect a hint of the poster formerly known as “Common Sense”. Am I correct?

        Also, I would like to clarify my thoughts on Randian Capitalism. I strongly agree with her staunch opposition to Crony Capitalism. I strongly agree with her staunch opposition to an all powerful and large central government, which automatically leads to Crony Capitalism.

        However, there has to be some regulations. Rand was seemingly opposed to all Government intervention in the free market. Unfortunately, ownership of intellectual property would fail to exist if the government did not enforce patent laws. Further, contract and bankruptcy laws need to be enforced.

        Some regulation is necessary, just not anything close to what we have now, and not regulations chosen by the politically connected designed to enrich themselves or harm their competitors.

  8. old capitalist

    Thank you and no, even though I believe that “Common Sense” would be an ideal name to post under.

    While I am no Rand expert, I do not believe that she advocated a totally anarchistic view towards government regulation, particularly as it would apply to the area of fraud.

    Be that as it may, I believe that our founding fathers principles regarding limited government and free market capitalism provided us a path to prosperity and made us the envy of the world for the past two centuries. The millions of immigrants who came to our shores are a testament to that fact.

    Our course towards growing government intervention in all matters social and economic is leading to growing dependence, increasing poverty(it’s greatest sucess) and to use Dan’s phrase – a “long slog” of decline in our standard of living.

    To question this labels you as and extremist and having knee jerk reactions to governments beneficence that among other things have burdened us with trillions in debt and millions in food stamp dependency. California once a near paradisial oasis of the American dream has become a fiscal cesspool and a place to escape from for many of the industrious.

    ..and the leftist politicians keep chanting – “Fair Share” often quoted in the Communist Manifesto, but never in our own Constitution.

  9. johngaltwhereru

    That “fair share” crap needs to be challenged by a politician that is willing to leave his ovaries behind.

    Our Federal Spending in 2011 was $3.4 Trillion and 221 Million Tax returns were filed. Therefore, using any known definition of the word “fair”, each tax payer’s “fair share” is around $15,000. Anyone paying over $15K per year, which is each and every person with earned income reaching a MAGI of $200K is paying way the hell more than their “fair share”.

    We will need someone far more eloquent and far less blunt than myself to express this message, but it needs to be done. The left’s populist class warfare message is far easier to get into American’s heads, but it should be easy to explain how all their goodies go away when you implement policies attempting to equalize income by making the rich poorer instead of making the poor richer.

    It would be much easier if the person delivering that message wasn’t the extremely wealthy and privileged son of an extremely wealthy man. While I have no problem with such people running for President, it may be hard for those in the victim class to accept a messge of upward mobility from such an individual.

    Also, can I give you an Amen on the Social issues?

  10. old capitalist

    Our illustrious columinst saw no problem with an additional $1.5 Billion tax increase imposed on our fragile and underperforming economy, but called a possible $1 billion expense reduction an unrealistic and knee jerk reaction. The former is a primary cause as to why employment in Connecticut is two percent lower than it was a year ago (end of the recession?) and refusing to do the latter is why the expected recovery in the state (if ever it comes) keeps getting pushed back later and later.

    … got a chuckle from this post – “Socialism – polices so wonderful they must be made mandatory. ”

    I much prefer a rich wealthy person who by and large earned his wealth over a gigilo politician from the same state who married into it.

  11. Jimmy Boggs

    Back to one of my names.

    Jongalt: I’m not so sue Old Fart Capitalist isn’t Kimmoe. He or Common Sense.

    Come on, Old Cap, who were you before?

    Succeeding presidents and Congress laid off banking and financial regulations and look what happened. Special cultured in and pushed laws allowing markets to regulate themselves.

    Sorry Old Capitalist and Jongalt. You both are wrong on thisoint although Dr Jon understands the need for some emulation. A star for you.

    1. old capitalist

      Sorry, but I have no idea of who you are or what the … you are talking about.

      “Special cultured in and pushed laws allowing markets to regulate themselves” ???

      Maybe you should research Obamacare and see if it would cover the brain transplant you seem to most desperately need.

  12. Jimmy Boggs

    Old Capitalist; You attacked me without even knowing my views. Which is why I think you are one of those retreads from the banned blogs. I don’t believe that we should increase the debt and I feel that we should live within our means. Of course there are exceptions to that thought. The massive stimulas grants into the capital markete and bailing out the auto industry were perfect examples of smart stimulas.

    Old Capitalist. I know you are from the old blogs because you have a beef with me.

    Jongaltwhereru; I think he is Kimmerian. Kimmoe could never stay away. He lives.

  13. Jimmy Boggs

    Sorry for my misspelling I am now working on an IPad.

    If Old Cap is referring to the slogans “paying your fair share…” keep in mind that Obama had to rally the liberal, the center and the independent bases and he is probably the only candidate for president who advocated for increase in taxes during a lingering recession. It was beautiful class war strategy and it worked. Do not forget that the right wing conspiracy tried to bring down Obama by trying to stop the health care reform. They messed it up but it didn’t stop this historic legislation from becoming law and being upheld by The Supremes – baby baby… Where did our love go?

    But the class war propaganda was onlyactivated as a campaign strategy.

    Food stamp distribution has increased and one of the reasons is the movement of wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Someone must suffer for this. And it is the working class who can no longer find a job with living wages. It makes me made as hell.

    In my family, my father was the bread winner with his own micro business. My mother was a stay at home wife and took care of the house. Bills were paid and we lived in our own house. Then came the 1970s and both spouses had to work in order to stay above the water line. In the 1980s through the present, both parents must work full time jobs as well as part time jobs.

    This is no accident. The unmistakable creep of money going from the once expanding middle income to the wealthy nescisitates the redistribution of wealth. And I love to use this word since it drives cheapo stingy conservatives crazy. Old Capitalist, is that who you r?

    1. Johngaltwhereru

      I strongly disagree that upward wealth redistibution has a damn thing to do with the need for 2 income families.

      This need sprung directly from the Feminist Movement. The Rockerfeller’s started and funded the movement in a successful attempt to increase the number of people paying taxes, to blur the lines of gender roles, and to move the education of children from the home into Progressiveu minded schools.

      Read about it. It is very interesting.

      1. Jimmy Boggs

        OMG Hey Doc, before Dan closes us off, we all could go to CT Running the old style blog is the only one remaining. Check it out.

        You sure do have an original way of viewing history

          1. Jimmy Boggs

            If you open the blogs page you will see all the Hartford Courant blogs. I thought this is how you access Dan’s blog.

      2. Jimmy Boggs

        I can’t prove my statement but I feel that your explanation is in
        Eft… ‘er – right field. To suggest that the Feminest movement placed more people in the job market and this took more living wage jobs away from… I can’t follow you. But you are true to your path. Beats the hell out of me.

        You loose your job, to Asian shores
        But they expect you, to shop in their stores
        The price is low, so you rush the doors
        Black Friday is, the darkest whore

        They’ll cheat your ass, out of your house
        Oh you say you never knew, about that clause
        That sent your payments, through the roof
        Too bad for you, it’s water proof

        The cards are stacked, in the deck
        Against your hopes, you’re such a wreck
        You try to do good, but it’s all a mess
        Laws are made, for the privileged best

        They’ll dose you up, on liberty
        Patriotism, and misery
        They’ll dose you up, on liberty
        The drug of choice, of industry

        Call for a revolution, in this land
        Call for a revolution, in this land
        Redistribution, is the plan
        Call for a revolution, in this land

        Call for a Revolution, November 27, 2012
        Bill Katz

      3. Johngaltwhereru

        Somehow that escaped any degree of my attention.

        Blogging about running is not something I have ever considered, or would demonstrate any knowledge or skill.

        However, if the thought police return, I will see you there.

    2. old capitalist

      Or could it be that before the seventies, households weren’t making multiple car payments, paying for monthly cable,internet and cell phone service, living in 2500+ s/f homes with all the latest gagdets, covering the cost of a platoon of paper pushers with each doctor visit (they made house calls in those days) taking annual out-of-state vacations, dining out and paying outlandish property, sales and state income taxes. Most of all the cost paying for college and health care (thanks to government intervention) didn’t require a 100 lbs of flesh as payments.

      ..and you may find it difficult to understand since nature seems to have deprived you of your fair share of cranial material, that the cheapo stingy Republican gave more to charity
      last year than what the combined opposition ticket gave in there lifetimes.

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