McDonald’s joins other major fast food chains in raising pay to attract employees
Why weren’t they doing this before?
On Thursday, May 13, McDonald’s Corp. announced a 10% hourly pay raise at the nearly 660 restaurants it operates in the U.S., in an attempt to lure workers back into kitchens and dining rooms as pandemic restrictions begin to ease.
The wage increases will not apply to employees at the roughly 13,025 U.S. McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by franchisees.
The fast food giant said that the pay raises for more than 36,000 hourly restaurant workers have already started, and will continue for over several weeks. Under the new scale, entry-level crew employees will make at least $11 to $17 per hour, and shift managers will earn at least $15 to $20.
The company wants to hire 10,000 more hourly workers over the span of three months, and they expect the average pay at all company-owned shops to hit $15 per hour by the year 2024, up from $13.
Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s USA president said in a statement that the company is rewarding their hardworking employees for the service they provide to their communities.
Erlinger also acknowledged the “challenging” hiring environment that many employers in the service industry are currently facing.
“Staying ahead means we must constantly renew our commitment to offer one of the leading employment packages in the industry,” he said.
Erlinger explained that “doing the right thing” for their employees and putting their needs and welfare first will be beneficial for all parties involved.
In the wake of the pandemic, where millions of Americans lost their jobs, the U.S. is seeing a major labor shortage.
Many of these employees, whether retail, restaurant or retail workers, relied heavily on government assistance like unemployment checks and stimulus payments, to simply make ends meet.
In some cases, people were making more money quarantining at home than they normally would have working full-time and in back-breaking jobs.
Like does nobody find it weird that all these places are posting those same “We are closed. No one wants to work anymore” signs verbatim? pic.twitter.com/qP4p9d66cP
— betty boob (@thee_blkhottie) May 13, 2021
With this announcement, McDonald’s has joined Chipotle Mexican Grill, Taco Bell and a few other fast food chains that have added more financial incentives to lure applicants.
Chipotle said on Monday, May 10, that it is seeking to add 20,000 more employees and will raise their average hourly wage to $15 by the end of June, marking an increase of $2.
Pressure is mounting on employers to raise wages and offer signing bonuses to attract new applicants, as the nation undergoes this massive economic recovery effort.
WE ARE CLOSED is trending because women, who are 80% of minimum wage workers, are choosing not to return to jobs that do not pay a living wage. Refusing to raise the minimum wage genders poverty. As I explain here:
Why raising the minimum wage matters https://t.co/QltrorWsa4
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) May 13, 2021
Some workers, however, are not satisfied with the raises. Activist group Fight for $15 is urging McDonald’s to raise minimum wages to $15 across the board.
“We’ve showed up to work day after day in the middle of a global pandemic, risking our lives without proper PPE or paid time off to keep your stores open and corporate profits flowing,” the group’s leader, Doneshia Babbitt, said in a statement.
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) May 13, 2021
Babbitt, like many service industry workers, are frustrated with the way in which they have been labeled as essential, yet not valued nor treated as such.
“You’ve called us essential for over a year, but your announcement today proves that you’ve seen us as disposable all along,” Babbitt said.
Fight for $15 plans to strike in 15 cities starting on May 19, the day before the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
On May 19, @McDonalds workers in the #FightFor15 are GOING ON STRIKE. Bottom-of-the-barrel bosses don't have to wait for Congress to pay fairly. It's time every McDonald's worker gets paid at least $15/hr.
Stand in solidarity: https://t.co/MpOFIRaMKx pic.twitter.com/xy6BsGkbmh
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) May 7, 2021
Though wages for restaurant workers have been steadily climbing in recent years, the trend slowed down during the pandemic, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now that Democrats control Congress, there’s a bit more talk of raising the national minimum wage this year to $15 per hour, a plan that’s been endorsed by President Joe Biden.
Last month, Biden signed an executive order that raised the minimum wage for federal contractors and tipped employees working on government contracts to $15 an hour, but efforts to raise the minimum wage on a national level appear to be stalled.
I'm a small business owner. We've received 300 applications per job opening this year. We pay a living wage with benefits.
There is no labor shortage. There's a shortage of people willing to work for $7.25/hour with no benefits for power-hungry bosseshttps://t.co/OghQ0G0Jmr
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) May 6, 2021
For months, people have been craving for everything to “go back to normal,” but evidently, normal was never truly working out that well in the first place for the millions of Americans who keep the country running, but struggle to feed their own families.
If corporations want to solve the labor shortage and continue succeeding in their businesses, it’s time for them to start creating healthier workplace environments where employees are valued, fairly compensated and provided adequate benefits that make them more willing to show up every day and do their best.