Fast Item #5: Fast Food Workers

Friday, June 28, 2013

There are 50,000 fast food workers in New York City, and the new Fast Food Forward coalition is petitioning for higher and more stable wages. Joseph Barrera, who works at KFC, testified before the City Council yesterday -- he discusses his life behind the counter.

Comments [3]

RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I had two forays into fast-foods....In 1971 at $1.50/hr - even though minimum wage was $1.60 at the time...the owner claimed that we earned a dime per hour in tips. Tips? At a Burger King....right. But in high school and money was money.

I re-joined the fast-food legion (again) at the drive-thru window of a BK in 1980, this time at $3.35/hr. I was just finishing college and money was still money.

US GDP was $1.039T in 1971 and $2.79T in 1980. Work out the numbers of minimum wage to total GDP and you will see that buying power, the total amount goods and service that an hour of labor commands has been falling. [For reference, see how the numbers worked out with current numbers - $7.25/hr and $15T in GDP]

The minimum wage worker in 1968 could buy over 20% more with his wages than the average worker can today. Most of the split between work and income has come since the Reagan Administration.

Jun. 28 2013 11:16 AM
Bonn from East Village

It's not only for fast-food workers. I got canned from a steady freelance gig (over a decade) for complaining about not getting paid from one component of the company for several months. Apparently, my complaints were not appreciated by the new well-connected, rich female owner, who said that as a freelancer I had no right to complain about her employees (who were ignoring my pleas for remuneration). Also, I was replaced by lower-wage writers and unpaid interns.

Jun. 28 2013 10:59 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Shame for fast food workers - they really get scewed. Another reason to educate yourself or learn a trade.

Jun. 28 2013 10:58 AM

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