McDonald’s workers have long been fighting for higher wages and better compensation packages. April of last year the company reported that they would, in fact, raise workers wages with a cap at $10 per-hour. They would also institute paid time off and offer further education assistance to workers through their Archways to Opportunity program. McDonald’s has admitted that with these changes they have seen lower employee turnover, customer satisfaction has increased and sales are up for the third consecutive quarter.
It is true to say that the increase in benefits and pay has had a positive impact on many of their workers. Unfortunately, they are only being offered to their employees of company-owned stores, not franchised restaurants. So, while close to 90,000 of U.S. workers are reaping the benefits, this only makes up roughly ten percent of all McDonalds locations.
Many feel that while this is a step in the right direction, the company could do more by including franchised workers. The National Employment Law Project estimates that taxpayers cover over $1.2 billion a year in public assistance programs just for McDonald’s workers alone. Increasing wages and benefits across the board for all of McDonald’s workers would be a step in reducing that burden on the American people.
McDonald’s executives seem to be seeing the bigger picture admitting that rewarding employees with fair wages directly leads to an increase in loyalty and reduced turnover. However, the other point to consider is that McDonald’s runs a non-union company. The employees are essentially at their mercy without a union contract to enforce the changes and protect the workers from higher wages and better benefits being taken away at any time.
Some fear that with all of the attention on nationwide labor movements, McDonald’s is only compensating for the short term. When these protests die down and are not as news worthy, the fear is that the company will revert back to lower wages.