The Chain Gang

Income Disparity Between Fast-Food Workers and Executives Keeps Growing

Billions served, millions of employees screwed.
Billions served, millions of employees screwed. Photo: Christopher Macsurak/Flickr

Bloomberg brings us a frown-inducing story today about the income disparity between fast-food workers — like one McDonald’s employee in Chicago named Tyree Johnson who works at two restaurants, still can’t get 40 hours a week, and makes $8.25 an hour despite having been a loyal employee for twenty years — and recent former CEO Jim Skinner, who made $8.75 million last year. As they point out, depressingly, it would take Tyree Johnson working a million hours, or a hundred years, to make what Skinner makes. Worse: That’s totally indicative of the growing wage gap between the one-percenters and everyone else.

As The Nation reports in a piece about service industry workers trying to unionize — and why most of them didn’t strike in that nationwide fast-food strike last month — one in ten Americans now works in food service, and more than half the jobs created during this economic recovery earn less than fourteen bucks an hour.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, have experienced double-digit growth since 2007 and have been lobbying Congress to keep the minimum wage low. (There’s some evidence to suggest, however, that McDonald’s and their burger competitors are a little concerned for the future, but they’re not hurting that badly.)

Both articles mention the fact that fast-food jobs aren’t just for teenagers anymore. The average fast-food employee is now more than 29 years old, and there are more and more people like Tyree Johnson getting nickeled and dimed well into their forties by fast-food companies.

Kinda makes you think twice about that 99-cent value menu, no?

McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap [Bloomberg]
Why Most Walmart and Fast Food Workers Didn’t Strike [The Nation]
Earlier: New York City’s Fast-Food Workers Commence Massive, Unprecedented Strike
McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s Struggling — Here’s Why

Income Disparity Between Fast-Food Workers and Executives Keeps Growing