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View Diary: Largest Walkout in U.S. History of Fast Food Workers Begins in Seven Cities (149 comments)

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  •  I support the strike and I think their hourly (1+ / 0-)
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    should be raised for sure, but 15 an hour is insane.

    My best friend is an LVN and only makes 16 after 2 years of college and no telling how much student loan debt to get it.  Think how many jobs that require college degrees that don't start at 15 an hour.   Who would pay thousands of dollars to go to school when you would make more at McDonald's?

    I think when they ask for that much it limits the discussion because every comment section on every newspaper that is actually talking about the walkouts...that is exactly what the commenters are focused on....they are talking about how crazy 15 dollars an hour is for a fast food job.  We want them to talk about the working conditions and the fact that people with families are working there and not just teens...but when the strikers are asking way, way more than would ever be possible, none of the real facts get heard.


    •  Ever hear the phrase (7+ / 0-)

      when the water rises all ships rise?

      I have a Level 3 paraprofessional certification, 7 years of advanced work in behavioral science, massive amounts of experience and I was told that asking for 15 dollars an hour was too much because it was not the prevailing wage for teaching assistants .

      Privately I can charge 20 - 30 an hour for the type of work I do. At any of the schools that work in ABA - they often try and start workers - having to do intense behavioral therapy with children with autism (often the most difficult cases if you've ever been shit on, spit on, hair pulled, punched, cursed at and had a child have multiple seizures in your arms) - at 8 - 10 dollars an hour.

      That is insane.

      All workers at this point deserve a raise and 15 dollars an hour means that these schools could no longer get away with paying their workers below poverty wages and expecting that to be their only job.

      It would do wonders for the economy if workers had wages to spend instead of languishing untaxed and unused in some off shore account.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:42:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I teach and I know. Teachers with advanced degree (4+ / 0-)
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        Tool, elwior, swampyankee, llywrch

        and above do not make near what 6 years and up of full time college education would suggest....especially considering the 50,000 it cost them to get that education, at the very minimum.

         I teach because I love it, and most who do it, do it simply  for the love of it.  My education is in urban education but I have a law degree as well, over time I found the classroom was my calling...regardless of pay.   I now teach law so both loves can go together.

        However, paras and teacher's aides are not paid according to their duties and demands....agreed.  

    •  How much do you think your friend will make (4+ / 0-)

      if Fast Food workers make 15?


      Do you think the wages for LVN's won't rise?  That there will be no competition for workers?

      What's "crazy" about 30k a year for a physically demanding dirty shitty job that few people will do if they have any other options?

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:08:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Her pay would have to go up to 24 an hour to be (0+ / 0-)

        comparable and so do you honestly believe that every field and every job would automatically raise 8 dollars an hour to reflect a new bottom scale?

        In other words, if they raise fast food workers 8 dollars an hour and my friend only gets a 2 dollar raise for instance because there is beyond zero chance that all jobs and fields would raise accordingly....but even if a slight raise was given.... do you honestly think someone would go to college for 2 to 6 years, take on the debt, take on the time away from life etc etc.... to make only 2 dollars more per hour as they could in a fast food place with no special skills or degree required? The answer is no way.

        Now if you raise fast food workers to say 10 to 12 dollars an hour for an entry level job....then we are talking.  That is realistic and it would do as you might raise everyone in a slight manner and several years later we could do it again.  But to suggest that we can (and it will never, ever happen) but that we can raise fast food workers in one fast movement to the pay level of a college graduate is crazy.  It won't happen and people won't listen to this argument when they have a college degree hanging on their wall and a monthly note of student debt and think to themselves "hell, I don't even make that much and I am an EMT or LVN or paralegal or supervise a staff or do pay roll or......."

        •  These aren't "entry level jobs". (1+ / 0-)
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            These are jobs people are going to have to do for decades.  This is the new economy.  We didn't respond to the economic collapse of 2007 and this is now America.

          This is the work grown ups have to feed their kids on.  This is the new "factory job".  Millions upon millions have to buy their daily bread on the basis of these wages.

          You either want those people to make less than a living wage or you don't.  And 10 dollars an hour is nowhere close to a living wage for even a childless person.

          If no one will go to college to college for two years to be an LVN instead of cleaning grease traps, then the market for LVNs will become tight and demand will drive up their wages.

          You're arguing that people working 12 hours a day six days a week for poverty wages never should have fought for an eight hour day, because their Educated Betters already worked 10 hours a day five days a week.

          But they fought for 40 hours.  And no small number of them died for 40 hours.  And for 40 years, until their soft-handed soft-headed hard-hearted children and grandchildren threw it all away, they got us 40 hours.

          Because they looked the people who said "That's Crazy" in the eye and clenched a fist and went on about making change.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:32:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They are entry level jobs when they can be filled (0+ / 0-)

            with just about anyone off the street.  

            That's the issue here...the reason some jobs are not entry level is because you must have a degree first or special training or whatever.  People who have such special skills have to fight 200 other applicants to get a position, true, but regardless, if they get hired they are paid accordingly for that education and/or training.  A fast food worker that leaves, quits, goes on strike, or is fired can be replaced same day... no training or special skills needed, other than perhaps a 4 hour afternoon....and thus the reason $15.00 per hour has zero chance of succeeding.

             People who have the special skills, who don't work minimum wage jobs, who will also fight this. In their minds...It isn't fair to them....They think "why should I have to wait around for supply and demand to come around in hopes that maybe sometime in the future I too will see an 8 dollar an hour increase in hourly pay. Why did I go to school?  Why did I work for the same company 10 years in a row and start at the bottom?" Blah blah Etc Etc.  

            This is what you will hear from the people and voters and that is not the argument we are trying to put out there.  We are trying to get people to see that minimum wage needs to be raised and why it needs to be raised.

            If you want to see everyone in America (voters) fighting to get higher pay for fast food can't ask them to fight for a level of pay that is equal to their own but with the added burden of getting a degree first and fighting 200 other applicants to get the lone job....they will not do it.  You want them to fight side by side the minimum wage worker for a raise that helps and in time more.

             10 to 12 per hour does have that chance....because people can see and will understand the argument that they need to be pay more for their labor but just not on the same level as someone who did pay to get educated.   It is a truly valid argument and one people will listen to once you are realistic in requirements and demands.  I mean why 15 an hour....why not 20 or 25?  Because it is unrealistic and I would suggest that 15 is just as unlikely.

            •  They're being filled by people with degrees. (2+ / 0-)
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              sadpanda, Shotput8

              They're being filled by people who used to make much, much more.

              You are stuck in an economic model which has not reflected American reality for about 20 years.  The median age of these workers is 28.  These are not kids working for prom money.  

              People are paid according to what employers believe they must pay to get the quality of worker they want.  Period.  Employers aren't sizing up the value of some educational attainment and saying to themselves "Well, what a worthy go-getter, let's pay this person more".

              The truth is that a lot of people with technical certifications make under 10 bucks an hour.  That's America.  That's where we live.

              The only things standing between all workers and a decent humane living wage is YOU .  You're the one who thinks that idea is "crazy", and you're the one who keeps voting for politicians who won't support it.

              Your salary is NOT a god-given reward for your innate virtue.  It is not the fair grant given to you by some cosmic arbiter with a big set of scales that puts a resume on one side and a pay check on the other.

              It's whatever you've wrung from the grasp of a greedy exploiter who is getting rich on your sweat.

              You can stand with workers or with bosses.  There really isn't a middle here.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:51:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  True (2+ / 0-)
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                JesseCW, llywrch

                I got laid off when the economy went down.  I haven't been able to find a permanent full time gig since then.  I occasionally have employers ask me what would be a workable rate for hourly work.  I usually suggest something close to 65% of my old salary, but add that number is flexible.  I quote that rate because its close to the minimum amount I can feed myself and make my loan payments if I work 40 hours a week (which isn't guaranteed).  That doesn't include rent since I'm crashing with family and would continue to do so if need be.  The last two times I haven't even heard back from the potential employer.  I think they were car shopping for the cheapest skilled labor they could find and wanted me to come it at less than half of what I was previously paid to do the EXACT SAME WORK.  I can't find a job at my old salary.  I can't find a full time job at half my old salary, and I can't live on a part-time job at half my old salary, assuming I ever find one which I haven't been able to do.
                The new reality sucks.

                I am the typo queen. Sorry in advance.

                by sadpanda on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:11:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  That doesn't make any sense. (1+ / 0-)
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      Your friend wanted to be an LVN. If that person is being paid $16 an hour, would he/she leave the career they wanted to work as a cook if it was paying $17 an hour? Its just all about the money?

      What about the person who actually wants to be a cook for a living and not an LVN? Fuck 'em?

      Every job should either provide a living wage, regardless of whether or not we consider it beneath us.

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