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McDonalds hasn't been all that happy about sales at its zillions and zillions of restaurants lately but last month it hit upon a way to boost those numbers -- stay open on Thanksgiving Day.

People close to the company said that about 6,000 more locations opened their doors this Thanksgiving than did last year. Presuming their sales were on par with company-owned stores, that's about $36 million in additional sales.
Staying open on Thanksgiving enabled the corporation to post a 2.5% gain in November, as opposed to a 2.2% drop the month before.

So, with that kind of boost, naturally the thing to do for December is -- drum roll, please -- urge franchisees to stay open for Christmas Day as well.

If Santa grants corporate's wish and every store in McDonald's 14,000-strong U.S. system opens on Christmas, and rings up $6,000 each (a near impossibility), it could line the chain's stocking on Dec. 25 with a total of $84 million.
Woo hoo. That's great news for shareholders, executives and franchise owners.

How about the employees? Surely there will be a little something extra in their stockings for working on Christmas Day, right?

So are employees paid more to work holidays? Ms. Oldani said she can't speak for franchisees, but "when our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay."
The staff voluntarily sign up to work on Christmas with no extra pay? Seriously?

When the manager says he needs a Christmas Day crew are they jumping up and down with their arms raised saying "Pick me, pick me please!!!!"

Some probably do because they need the money, even if it's only at the same pathetically low rate. Some might be willing to work at night once their kids have opened their presents or they don't care all that much about Christmas or they are students who need the extra cash.

But the idea that every holiday crew is staffed with volunteers is absurd. What happens if they don't get enough "volunteers?"

Of course, paying overtime would make it harder to rake in an extra $5K per store.

Not offering anyone anything extra, OTOH, would certainly make Ebenezer Scrooge smile. Fine excuse to pick a man's pocket every 25th of December, indeed.

When employees are asked to pitch in and do something above and beyond for a company, the least the company can do is offer something in return. Employee make those earnings possible. They should share in at least a tiny portion of the gain.

That's just smart business.

Originally posted to quaoar on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another reason not to eat at McDonald's... n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:53:18 AM PST

  •  FWIW, I agree that they should pay more (10+ / 0-)

    but, remember there are some of us in society (and on DK) who see Christmas as December 25, not as a holiday (or holy day).

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:54:43 AM PST

    •  As a teen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When I worked at a fast-food place, I definitely offered to work holidays.  Not that busy and the holidays weren't for me.

      It's like watching an unknown winning a boxing match vs. the world champ and asking him halfway why he didn't knock his opponent out in the first round.

      by bsmcneil on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:57:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great (0+ / 0-)

      Everybody who wants to work can work. But I seriously doubt there are anywhere near enough folks like that to staff every McDonald's restaurant.

      •  Actually they probably use (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Samer, Fishtroller01, misslegalbeagle

        a skeleton crew -- half or less the number they'd have on a typical weekday -- plus the hours might be shorter (maybe only open till 2 or 3, just to cover the breakfast/lunch shifts, since they figure that the cost of keeping the store open would outweigh any revenue when you consider salaries and utility costs).

        There are plenty of other places who'll be open at least limited hours on Christmas -- no outrage about that? If it's really franchisee option (and I could see many franchisees in suburban areas saying No, as well as those inside malls that would be inaccessible because the rest of the mall is closed), I've got no major beef (or beef-like substance) with it.

        "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:00:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many stores are corporate owned (0+ / 0-)

          And if you read the AdAge story, you will note that staying open  Thanksgiving brought in enough money to turn the monthly numbers around. You don't accomplish that with a skeleton crew open only part of the day.

          It is possible that some franchisees will decline to open anyway.

    •  That's irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quaoar, kmiddle

      Whether or not Christmas actually is a strictly commercial day or a religious day matters not. The fact is it is a holiday and employees should pay either time and half or double time to work on a holiday.

      •  I'm not arguing that they shouldn't pay extra (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01, misslegalbeagle

        I'm merely pointing out that there are people who might volunteer to work, even at regular pay.

        We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

        by Samer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:20:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I worked at a fast food restaurant as my second job in college. I needed the money, and once I hit 8 hours, it was overtime pay.

          It gave me an awesome reason to avoid the argument-filled holidays with the family. Most customers were very appreciative. Many were  extremely lonely, and it was nice to be able to serve them. The store wasn't so busy, so we could chat with them a bit. A number of them gave us tips. The tips weren't much, but an extra dollar here and there helped.

          Heck, even the drunks were unusually nice. Customers who used the drive-in (often driving to the home of a relative who was a terrible cook) were  often as funny as heck.

          Overall,  some of my nicest memories from that job are from working Christmas and Thanksgiving. I always volunteered.

          And I love Christmas.

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:35:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I dunno, some people are happy to (5+ / 0-)

    work on holidays.

    I know I've worked on President's Day and the 4th of July before, despite being just a patriot as the next guy.  Or if the not the very next guy, at least one in every 6 or 7 guys  . . . .

    What about hospital employees, nuclear power plant employees, gas station attendants, airline personnel, etc etc??

    Just saying, lots of people work on holidays.

    •  Egad, I forgot the take home message (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, gooderservice

      which was that if one wishes to dis McDonalds - great, have  at it - but there are definitely more legitimate reasons than this to beat them over the head with!  (figuratively, of course!!).

      •  Oh, I don't know... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, indubitably, quaoar

        I think McD's should definitely be bashed for this one.

        Look, I'm a peon in a low-wage industry, too.  But I will be making time and a half for seven hours on Christmas -- and even the part-timers who work Christmas will get the holiday pay.

        McD's deserves to be bashed for oh, so very many reasons, including inedible "food," and lack of holiday pay is definitely another reason to loathe them.

        To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

        by Youffraita on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:15:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I know a lot of kids (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      So to speak---I'm talking 17, 18 to early 20's---who happily work holidays. Not that I necessarily agree with it, but for somewhat different reasons, those reasons being they should be using that time and energy to groom themselves in whatever way necessary for better paying work.

      I've worked holidays, but always because I needed the extra money.

      It depends.

      I'd much rather see them attacked for the pitifulness of their food and its gruesome environmental and health effects. Those are the reasons I won't eat there.

    •  Do they work for multinational corporations like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      McDonald's? And many places give you comp time for working on holiday if they don't pay overtime. Also, we are not talking about a Fortune 500 companies. And you are comparing apples to oranges because you have not indicated whether or not those examples are regular pay or overtime.

      •  To a first approximation, I suspect (0+ / 0-)

        that most people working on a major holiday work for a major corporation (or government agency).

        And yeah, it'd seem only decent to pay them overtime.   But I suppose that type of thing was specified in the contract when they signed on.

        Which brings us to the larger topic of just how pathetic working conditions are for the worker in this country that anyone would be willing to sign such a contract.

        But since Americans Will Work for 25 Cents an Hour this is not really a surprise (in a bad way).

  •  When I worked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, Cali Scribe

    at a fast food company, I always took the holidays. First off, my family really shouldn't of been together for them, as my current husband found out a few years ago, secondly, my birthday is on Christmas, and I really wanted it to be as peaceful as possible.

    Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

    by misschris on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:13:11 AM PST

  •  "Voluntary," if food and shelter is at issue? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Desperate people don't really have freedom, as FDR said.

  •  I've used up my outrage allotment for this (0+ / 0-)

    month.  I'll save going over for something more important.  

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:44:26 AM PST

  •  Huh. Back in the day, I got double pay. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One place I worked at even had triple pay for holidays.  My family definitely worked with me on scheduling in those cases.  At the absolute minimum, I never got less than time-and-a-half, including at McDonald's and Wendy's.

    Granted, this is thirty-five years ago....

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:12:44 PM PST

  •  When I was in high school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I worked at a McDonald's.

    Come holidays, we'd be told "The store will be open - if we don't get volunteers, we'll assign people."

    So ... "volunteer" is a misused term here.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:36:14 PM PST

  •  Actually there might be employees (0+ / 0-)

    who'd like to work the holiday, especially if they're going to be getting extra pay (typically double time and a half under labor law). If folks don't have family in the area and would normally be spending the holiday alone, at least being at work especially if they like their co-workers would be something to do, and it's likely not going to be as busy as a typical workday. (Or if they do have family but don't like them, a "Sorry can't make it -- gotta work" excuse serves well to get out of family obligations.)

    Also, think of the folks who have no choice whether to work, but need a place where they can grab a quick bite or cup of coffee -- policemen, firefighters, and the like. Heck, you've even got buses running on Christmas and those drivers need somewhere to stop and use the bathroom. (My spouse worked holidays for several years before he had enough seniority to get them off regularly -- and many higher seniority drivers without young children would take a holiday run giving the opportunity for lower-seniority drivers with kids to have the day off.)

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:54:51 PM PST

  •  It has been my experience that McDonalds (0+ / 0-)

    is one of the better companies to work for when it comes to benefits. They are also very much mindful of diversity, not only at the restaurant level, but all the way to the top.

    That being said, this varies when it comes to franchisee owned units.

    I know that Christmas is a national holiday, but it shouldn't be because it's religion based. This is only one of the reasons I laugh loudly when Christians claim that they are persecuted in this country.

  •  The diarist needs to consider that (0+ / 0-)

    not everyone celebrates Christmas.  I know you think you're being really progressive with this diary, but to just totally erase the experiences of atheists, Jews, Muslims, and others who don't celebrate anything on December 25 is really quite regressive.  

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