Natural Solutions Radio header image

I'm Slavin' It! McDonald's minimum wage crisis reaches tipping point as mass labor protests begin

By Adams: (NaturalNews) Already losing market share to more innovative restaurants that are dropping GMOs (Chipotle) and toxic chemical ingredients (Panera), McDonald's is about to be hit with a massive worker protest.

"McDonald's workers will gatecrash the burger company's shareholder meeting later this month with 'the biggest ever protest' demanding an end to 'poverty wages' paid to many of its 420,000 staff," reports The Guardian.

Workers are fed up with being paid wages so low that they have to live on food stamps and government assistance. They want McDonald's and other fast food corporations to raise their pay above the level of poverty, helping them live financially sustainable lives while serving genetically modified, chemically engineered "food" to customers. After all, don't we all deserve to make a living while we're engaged in the killing of customers with toxic food?

Reality check: Fast food labor is unskilled labor

The plight of McDonald's workers is a serious one, and it raises an enormous cultural question about corporate profits vs. worker pay. The thing missing from this debate, however, is that fast food labor is UNSKILLED labor. You don't even need a high school diploma to work at McDonald's.

Fast food work is, almost by definition, minimum wage work. And historically, it was the kind of work that high school students or college students would take on a part-time basis. It was never meant as a long-term career choice except in those pursuing a McDonald's management career that earned them higher pay while demanding greater job responsibility.

As much as I personally feel for all the fast food workers who want to earn higher pay, the frustrating truth is that, for the most part, many of these people lack the kind of professionalism and personal responsibility that would earn them higher-paying jobs somewhere else. Many of them show up stoned to work, call in sick with lame excuses, or simply quit their job without giving any notice at all.

Nearly every McDonald's franchise owner will confirm what I've just said here: With some exceptions, most minimum wage workers simply aren't committed to their jobs, and just getting them to show up and behave in an acceptable manner is a monumental challenge these days. The contradiction in all this is that fast food workers want to be paid at the rate of educated professionals, even when they're largely unskilled workers who shun the kind of professional responsibility that comes with higher pay.

I hear you say, however, that maybe if they got paid $15 / hour, they would take their jobs more seriously. That may be true, in fact. But then you'd attract other people to those jobs who have better resumes and higher levels of professionalism, thereby displacing the low-wage workers who are demanding higher pay in the first place. If McDonald's paid $15 / hour, I can think of a whole lot of public school teachers who would quit their lame-paying jobs in the schools and go serve French fries instead.

This is the catch-22 with the $15-an-hour premise: It would cause those workers demanding the higher pay to lose their jobs because they would be displaced by better-qualified workers. The raw truth is that $15 an hour means a total job loss for many minimum wage workers.

Are you "Slavin' It" at McDonald's? Improve your prospects!

This doesn't change the fact that low-wage workers are, indeed, "Slavin' It" at minimum wage, and there are many such workers who really are dedicated and professional, yet who never had an opportunity for a higher education to increase their value to society. But those people, I would argue, can very likely find work somewhere else that pays better. Any person who doesn't have a felony record, still has a functioning brain and is willing to simply show up on time can make their way up the corporate ladder in all sorts of industries, from insurance to real estate.

Showing up is 80% of the game, as they say; especially in a society where so many entry-class workers are shockingly incapable of acting with a sense of professionalism or personal responsibility.

My advice to McDonald's workers who want to earn more would be to work on yourself and raise your value to employers. Don't get tattoos on your arms. Cut your hair, or wash it! Actually practice showing up on time for interviews. Don't show up stoned or drunk. Dress like you give a damn about yourself. Do what you say you're going to do. Don't steal from your employer and don't deal drugs at your place of work, for example. Every one of these examples has happened at a McDonald's franchise, by the way.

Those things alone will get you a better-than-minimum-wage job in almost any industry. Nearly every employer I know is extremely frustrated that they can't find reliable people to work for them. There's a huge jobs market for people who simply wake up on time, show up on time, and do the job they're supposed to do. Simply stated, if you want to make more than the minimum, DO MORE than the minimum.

Unskilled labor will soon be made obsolete by the robots

Let's get down to the real straight talk here that McDonald's workers desperately need to know:

Nearly all of you are going to be replaced by robots in the next 1-2 decades. Unskilled labor will be obsolete. Far worse than a minimum wage job, you'll soon have NO JOB if you don't raise your value above that of a robot.

Even worse, the more pressure McDonald's workers put on higher wages, the more quickly the McDonald's corporation will replace them with robots. From a corporate point of view, after all, it only makes sense. Robots don't show up to work stoned. Robots don't get spiders and demons tattooed on their necks. Robots don't sexually harass the other workers. Robots don't protest for higher wages!

For those stuck in minimum wage jobs, the real way out of poverty is to work on improving your job skills and professionalism. As you raise your value to potential employers, you raise your job prospects and take-home pay. In fact, this is the only long-term way to achieve this.

The tactic of protesting for higher pay might result in short-term gains, but in the long run, unskilled labor will become obsolete. Robots will wipe out all those jobs, unleashing an unprecedented wage crisis in society as people demanding $15 / hour come to discover they are no longer worth anything at all to their employers.

Don't get caught as one of those people, or in the not-too-distant future, restaurants that used to hire you may start serving you up as soylent green burgers. And who will harvest all the humans to make the soylent green? Google's army of robots, of course.

Learn more: